Mohamed Kamal Abdien

Hotel Studies Department, Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Alexandria University, Egypt




The physical and human surroundings in restaurants (DINESCAPE) provide an early impression to their customers. Hence, the purpose called of this research is to study the dimensions of DINESCAPE, and their influence on customers' behavioral intentions towards restaurants. 220 questionnaire forms were randomly distributed to 25 fast food restaurants in Alexandria city; 165 questionnaire forms out of 220 were returned and valid for the analysis process.

The results indicated that perception of DINESCAPE influences on two behavioral intentions; intention to revisit and word-of-mouth. Results also emphasized the significance of six DINESCAPE dimensions; layout accessibility, aesthetics, ambience, lighting, table setting and service staff. The study restaurants managers to give continuous considerations and efforts to the issue of DINESCAPE, as it should not be left to chance. Managers should use it as an essential marketing strategy, and manage it successfully to get positive customers' behavioral intentions. 

Keywords: Servicescape, DINESCAPE, Behavioral intentions, Word-of-mouth, Intention to revisit



Servicescape is defined as an organization's tangible setting where the service is presented (Countryman and Jang, 2006; Hoffman, Bateson, Wood and Kenyon, 2009). It refers to both outside features (such as building exterior, parking, waiting areas, admission office, and landscape) and inside features (such as design, layout, equipment and décor) (Bitner, 1992; Zeithaml, Bitner and Gremler, 2006). Dong and Siu (2013) added that servicescape refers to the service context where interaction between customers and workers takes place; this context includes all tangible fundamentals that facilitate and improve the customer's experience about services.

Physical environment is a dominant component for many service organizations (e.g., hotels, restaurants, and hospitals) since they provide an early impression to their customers, before they deal with service staff (Lin, 2004). Specifically, customers who choose to eat away from home search for a memorable dining experience (Ryu and Han, 2011).  Subsequently, there is a strong challenge in the restaurant industry to meet the increased expectations of customers towards theme, layout, signs, ambiance and so forth (Agnihotri and Chaturvedi, 2018).

Servicescape may be a main reason for a customer's satisfaction or unsatisfaction about his/her visit experience to an organization (Bitner, 1992; Sim, Mak, and Jones, 2006; Ryu, Lee, and Kim; Agnihotri, and Chaturvedi, 2018; Cheah, Goh, Isa and Mohaidin, 2018). In this respect, servicescape may play a fundamental role in the customers' assessment of the service and their future practices such as word-of-mouth and re-visiting intentions (Reimer and Kuehn, 2005; Mason and Paggiaro, 2012; Dong and Siu, 2013, Fernandes and Neves, 2014; Durna, Dedeoglu and Balikçioglu, 2015; Lap-Kwong, 2017). The significance of servicescape is outlined in four vital jobs. First, servicescape sends an image about the service to customers. Second, it can energize the proficiency of customers' and employees’ activities. Third, it clarifies what parts of the servicescape they are welcome in. Finally, it distinguishes an organization from others and provides it a strong competitive benefit (Puspita, 2015).

From one side, Bitner (1992) as a beginner suggested three dimensions; ambient conditions, spatial layout and functionality, and signs, symbols and artifacts. According to Bitner, the three dimensions of servicescape are considered specific environmental cues; visual cues (color, lighting, space and function, personal artifacts and plants, and layout and design), auditory cues (music and noise) and olfactory cues (Bitner, 1992). From other side, servicescape was classified into two stages; the first stage is called a communicative staging which refers to how the service environment is presented and interpreted. It includes personnel and cultural elements of the service setting; the second stage is called a substantive staging of a servicescape which includes both the background atmospherics and the physical facilities (Arnould, Price and Tierney, 1998). Furthermore, according to Namasivayam and Lin (2008), servicescape involves comfort and layout accessibility, cleanliness, electronic equipment, and the aesthetic dimension.  This study aims to investigate the influence of the restaurants' servicescape (DINESCAPE) on customers' behavioral intentions; intentions to revisit and word-of-mouth.



Bitner (1992) defined DINESCAPE as the man-made physical and human surroundings in restaurants. Ryu and Jang (2007) used DINESCAPE as a measurement of servicescape for the dining area of restaurants; it incorporates six dimensions: layout accessibility, aesthetics, ambience, lighting, table settings, and service staff (Ryu and Han, 2011; Cheah et al., 2018).  DINESCAPE has a likeness to the well known term “servicescape”; however, it is restricted to inside dining areas. In addition, DINESCAPE does not consider the outer environment such as parking or other aspects of the internal environment such as restrooms (Ryu, 2005). This study focuses on layout accessibility, facility aesthetics, ambience, lighting, table setting and service staff as DINESCAPE dimensions. 

2.2 DINESCAPE Dimensions

2.2.1 Layout Accessibility

Layout accessibility represents the convenience of furnishings and equipment, service areas, and lobbies and their well organizing (Bitner, 1992; Awasthi and Suvivastava, 2014). A successful layout provides a simple access and exit, and makes advantageous service areas such as concessions, bathrooms, and gift stands easier to find (Wakefield and Blodgett, 1999; Ogbuji, Onuoha, and Abdul, 2016).  Facility layout is necessary in many service organizations since they can provide more comfort to their customers. Conversely, unsuccessful layout makes people feel contracted; it may have a direct effect on their quality perceptions, excitement levels, and it may also have indirect effect on their desire to return and their loyalty (Shashikala and Suresh, 2013).

2.2.2 Aesthetics

As indicated by Lam, Chan, Fong, and Lo (2011), facility aesthetics implies auxiliary and internal design, and decor that assume a job in the charm of the service area. Aesthetic variables are essential for service organization because they influence its feel (Shashikala and Suresh, 2013).  Ryu and Jang (2008) proposed that facility aesthetics like artistic creations/pictures, plant, flowers, furniture, color and wall décor influence both delight and excitement feelings of consumer. Other aesthetic variables may incorporate the encompassing external environment, parking and visibility of the facility (Shashikala and Suresh, 2013). Facility aesthetics are imperative apparatuses to differentiate restaurants from its competitors. There is a significant relationship between aesthetic factor and consumer loyalty (Shashikala and Suresh, 2013).

2.2.3 Ambience

Ambience incorporates background characteristics such as color, music, aroma, temperature, lighting and noise which mostly affect the five senses (Jang and Namkung, 2009; Kwabena, Mabel, Inusah and 2011; Cheah et al., 2018). Ambient conditions impact customers' views towards the organization (Baker, 1987). Restaurant ambience has a positive influence on customers' behavioral intentions (Heung and Gu, 2012; Ryu et al., 2012).

Color has an effective role to deliver agreeable feelings among customers, as it is one of the clear visual cues in the servicescape (Wardono, Hibino and Koyama, 2012). Utilizing different colors promote changeable personal moods and emotions (Lin, 2004). In a restaurant, colors of the dining area’s walls, pictures/paintings, plants/flowers, tableware, linens, floor coverings, and furniture can all play an important part in delivering an image and in creating an overall aesthetic impression (Han and Ryu, 2009).

Music also has different effects on customer satisfaction and relaxation of business places (Mattila and Wirtz, 2001; Heide and Grønhaug, 2009; Lin and Worthley, 2012). Restaurant managers should change background music, and alter its volume, type (classical or jazz), and tempo (slow to fast) to meet customer's preferences, and to make them feel pleased and relaxed (Ryu and Jang, 2007).

Aroma may also have an impact on a customer's decisions to revisit an organization. It has been suggested that ambient scent may influence the customer's mood or emotion (Jinfeng and Zhilong, 2009; Ryu et al., 2012). In addition, internal temperature of the organization affects several human responses including thermal comfort, perceived air quality and performance at work (Kolb, Gockel and Werth, 2012). Moreover, noise influence negatively on customers' evaluation of the offered service (Lin, 2004). Managing noise in restaurants is one of the serious challenges for management; it affects the customers' experience and staff member's efficiency as well. Restaurants can design sound proof wall, use fabrics and other soft material furnishings, putting rubber caps on chair's legs to control noise to an acceptable level (Scott, 2018).

2.2.4 Lighting

Lighting should be designed in harmony with furnishings and other different extras in organizations. The reasonable lighting gives increasingly lovely climate and impacts the customers' view of physical, passionate, mental and spiritual characteristic of the place (Kurtichand and Eakin, 1993).  Proper lighting plays a key role in creating “wow factor in restaurants (Hussain and Ali, 2015). Likewise, it is imperative for a restaurant owner to consider lighting design presented by the architect or designer. It is clear that the auxiliary design of an organization will be increasingly upgraded by utilizing distinctive lighting devices and frameworks (Ciani, 2010).

2.2.5 Table settings

Table setting is the principal thing that the restaurant customers see at the table.  It tells individuals that you think they are imperative enough to invest additional exertion for them (Ryu and Han, 2011). Restaurants can use high quality china, glassware, and linen to influence their customers' impression of service quality (Ryu and Jang, 2007; Liua et al., 2019). Additionally, putting flowers or candles on tables can make customers feel glad and relaxed. Moreover, the way in which the tables are arranged, with a clean table cloth, folded napkins, and replenished salt and pepper shakers, can make customers feel that they are in an elegant environment (Ryu and Han, 2011). Besides, dining equipment and table's linen influence customers' emotional states (Tuzunkan and Albayrak, 2016; Liua et al., 2019).


2.2.6 Service staff

In the eyes of the customer, employees are viewed as a major factor that influences their pleasure and excitement states. Subsequently, restaurants should consider the employees’ style while contracting them (Ryu and Jang, 2007). In addition, management should consider the way that employees should think, feel and act toward the customers (Tiapana, 2009).  Moreover, Nadia and Zekeriya (2013) called organizations to foster customized customer relationship programs, and to maintain a good customer employee relations; these are social cues that highly influence customers' behavioral intentions, in terms of future loyalty and word-of-mouth.

2.3 Behavioral intentions

The concept of behavioral intentions is defined as “the degree to which a person has formulated conscious plans to perform or not perform some specified future behavior” (Warshaw and Davis, 1985). Behavioral intentions are viewed as a step prior actual purchase of products or services (Zeithaml Berry and Parasuraman, 1996). Behavioral intentions are considered a core factor in customer relationship marketing, that predict customer’s future behavior (Lee, 2011; Mamman, Ogunbado and Abu-Bakr, 2016). Consequently, behavioral intention may be represented in the customer's willingness to revisit and his/her positive evaluation of the organization. The more positive the customer’s experience, the more likely he or she is willing to reuse the service (Liang and Zhang, 2012).

Behavioral intentions can be split into economic and social behaviors. Economic behaviors are customers' behaviors that affect the financial aspects of the firm, such as whether the customer will repeat his/her purchase, whether he/she will pay more for the service and whether he/she will switch to another organization. Social behavioral intentions are customers' behaviors that affect their responses of other existing and potential customers of the firm, such as complaint behaviors and word-of-mouth (BendallLyon and Powers, 2004). In many studies, positive word-of-mouth and revisit intentions are used to measure behavioral intentions (Theodorakis and Alexandris, 2008; Ozdemir and Hewett, 2010).  Positive word-of-mouth refers to “any positive communication about a service firm’s offerings” (Ng, David and Dagger, 2011).  Intention to revisit refers to a customer’s tendency of repatronage a business (Lam et al., 2011). Zeithaml et al., (1996) compiled a list of specific favorable behavioral intentions, including loyalty, switching intentions, willingness to pay more, external response, and internal response.


3.1 Hypotheses and the Conceptual Framework

Figure 1: The Conceptual Framework of the Study

Based on the conceptual framework (figure 1) which was developed from reviewing the existing literatures, the following hypotheses were supposed:

H1: There is a significant relationship between DINESCAPE and customers' behavioral intentions.

H2: There is a significant relationship between DINESCAPE and intention to revisit the restaurant in the future.

H3: There is a significant relationship between DINESCAPE and word-of-mouth.


3.2 Sample and Data Collection

A questionnaire form as data collection tool was used to gather data. 220 questionnaire forms were randomly distributed to 25 fast food restaurants in Alexandria city; 165 questionnaire forms out of 220 were returned and valid to be analyzed. Participants were asked to rate each item using a 5-point Likert Scale of Strongly Disagree (1), Disagree (2), Neutral (3), Agree (4) and Strongly Agree (5).  At the end of the questionnaire, participants were also asked to rate each dimension using a 5-point Likert Scale; not very important (1), not important (2), Neutral (3), important (4) and very important (5). The questionnaire was pilot tested on 10 participants from academic staff and 20 customers; based on their comments, the questionnaire was modified.

3.3 Measurements of the Study Variables

The questionnaire was designed to measure the participants' perceptions of DINESCAPE, and their behavioral intentions. The questionnaire consists of two parts; the first part includes demographic characteristics of customers, and the second part includes items to measure DINESCAPE and behavioral intentions. In order to measure DINESCAPE, 22 items were adopted from Bitner (1992), Ryu and Han (2011) and Mohi (2012); they were divided into 6 dimensions (layout accessibility, aesthetics, ambience, lighting, table setting and service staff). In order to measure behavioral intention, 7 items were adopted from Zeithaml et al. (1996) and Ryu and Han (2011); four items were used to measure intention to revisit, and three items used to measure word-of-mouth (table 1).

Table 1 Measurements of the Study


Layout accessibility

1.     The layout of dining area gives me enough tangible privacy.

2.     The restaurant layout makes it easy to find what you are looking for

3.     The restaurant layout makes it easy to get to the restrooms.

4.     The restaurant layout makes it easy to get to your seat.

5.     Overall this restaurants layout makes it easy to get where you want to go.

Facility aesthetics

6.     The paintings/pictures of the restaurant are visually attractive.

7.     The colors of the restaurant premises create a warm atmosphere.

8.     The furniture used by the restaurant is of high quality.

9.     The restaurant architecture gives it an attractive character.


10.  The background music in the restaurant makes me feel relaxed.

11.  The restaurant plays pleasing music.

12.  The air aroma within the restaurant premises is enticing.

13.  The temperature inside the restaurant premises is comfortable.


14.  The lighting of the restaurant creates a warm atmosphere.

15.  The lighting in the dining area makes me feel welcome.

16.  The lighting within the restaurant creates a comfortable atmosphere.

Table setting

17.  The restaurant has good quality tableware (e.g., glasses, plates, and cutlery).

18.  The restaurant has an attractive and neat table linen (e.g., tablecloths, napkins).

19.  The restaurant has attractive table accessories (e.g., salt and peppershakers, and table numbers).

Service staff

20.  The service staff is attractive.

21.  The service staff looks classy.

22.  The service staff looks elegant.

II.    Behavioral intentions

Intention to revisit

23.  I would like to revisit this restaurant in the near future.

24.  If had to decide again, then I would choose this restaurant again.

25.  I would more frequently visit this restaurant.

26.   This restaurant would be my first choice over other restaurants.


27.  I will say positive things about this hotel to other people.

28.  I will recommend this restaurant to someone who seeks my advice.

29.  I will encourage friends and relatives to do business with this restaurant.

4.     Data Analysis

4.1  Reliability Analysis

Reliability analysis (table 2) was used to check the reliability of research variables. Cronbach’s Alpha coefficients were found quiet high ranging from 0.783 to 0.907 for all the constructs; exceeding the 0.7 recommended by Nunnally (1978). The validity of the scale was tested with confirmatory factor analysis and all variables were confirmed.

Table 2 Reliability Statistics


No of items

Cronbach's Alpha

Layout accessibility



Facility aesthetics









Table setting



Service staff



Intention to revisit



Positive Word-of-mouth



4.2  Descriptive Analysis of the Respondents' Profile

According to the demographic profile of the respondents of this study; 55.3% of them were male and 45.7% were female; 18% were under the age of 35, and 38% is between the age of 35-55, while 27% is over 55 years of age; as for the level of education, 53.4% of the respondents had completed college degree, followed by graduate degree (30.4%) and high school graduates (14.3%,); for the marital status, 62% of them were single while 38% were married. Most of the respondents (75%) had been visited the restaurant more than one time.

4.3  Descriptive Statistics of the Study Variables

The mean values for the dependent and dependent variables are presented in table 3. "Restaurant ambience" and "service staff" recorded the highest mean values (4.21 and 3.90), respectively among the DINESCAPE's dimensions. It was also seen that mean values for "intention to revisit" and "positive word-of-mouth" are high; indicating that participants are satisfied. With regard to the arrangement of the six dimensions of DINESCAPE according to their significance (table 3), it was obvious that the six dimensions (layout accessibility, aesthetics, ambience, lighting, table settings, and service staff) are significant. However, color, aroma, temperature, and other facility aesthetics recorded the first class, followed by ambience, layout accessibility, table setting and lighting. Moreover, it was apparent that there are variances between the participants' perceptions of the DINESCAPE dimensions and their significance.


Table 3 Descriptive Statistics of the Study Variables


The perception

The significance





Layout accessibility





Facility aesthetics















Table setting





Service staff





Intention to revisit





Positive Word-of-mouth





4.4  Correlation Analysis and Testing Hypotheses

Correlation analysis (table 4) was carried out to find out the direction and strength of the relationship between DINESCAPE dimensions (layout accessibility, facility aesthetics, lighting, ambience, table setting and service staff) and behavioral intentions. In this study dimensions of DINESCAPE are independent variables while intention to revisit and word-of-mouth are dependent variables. All correlations are significant at the 0.01 level for a 2-tailed test. Results of Pearson correlation coefficients (p value) range from 0.538 to 0.841. These correlations provide an indication that there are significant and positive relationships between DINESCAPE dimensions and behavioral intentions; intention to revisit and word-of-mouth. This supports the study hypotheses.

Table 4 Correlation Matrix


Behavioral intentions

Intention to revisit

Word of mouth


Layout accessibility



Facility aesthetics









Table setting



Service staff



*Significant at the 0.01 level.


This study confirmed the importance of six dimensions (layout accessibility, aesthetics, ambience, lighting, table settings, and service staff) that many researchers such as Ryu and Jang (2007), Ryu and Han (2011) and Cheah et al. (2018) recommended for DINESCAPE. This is somewhat similar to Shashikala and. Suresh (2013) who revealed that seven DINESCAPE dimensions (ambient factor, aesthetic factor, layout, variety, cleanliness, signs, symbols and artifacts, and social factor) are capable of inducing significant variations in customers' behaviors.

The study confirmed the significance of layout accessibility for the customers' perception of DINESCAPE. This result is consistent with other findings (Ryu and Han, 2011; Mohi, 2012) whose studies showed that restaurant layout positively influences the customers' perceptions. It is also agreed with Zijlstra and Mobach, (2011) who found that layout of a facility has an impact on customers' cognition, emotion and behavior. They called for attractive design and layout to maximize the positive and meaningful impact for the customer. An improved spatial layout would increase customers' patronage (Wakefield and Blodgett, 1999; Ogbuji et al., 2016; Onuoha and Doris, 2017)

This study also confirmed the significance of restaurant ambience, aesthetics and lighting for the customers' perceptions of DINESCAPE quality. These results are consistent with others (Ryu and Jang, 2007; Namasivyam and Lin, 2008; Kwabena et al., 2011; Mohi, 2012; Onuoha and Doris, 2017) who indicated their influences on customers' satisfaction and the subsequent behaviors. Additionally, this study confirmed the significance of table setting as an essential element in the restaurant DINESCAPE. This finding is consistent with that of Ryu and Jang (2008) and Mohi, (2012) who identified that table settings help build a prestigious image for restaurants. Moreover, in this study, service staff was also considered principal for the restaurant DINESCAPE. Previous studies confirmed that well dressed, friendly and empathetic employees are great assets to increase customers' satisfaction and their behavioral intentions (Brown and Lam, 2008; Onuoha and Doris, 2017)

The correlations results of this study supported the study hypotheses of the significant relationship between DINESCAPE and behavioral intentions (H1, H2 and H3). This was consistent with other previous results such as Ryu and Han (2011) who found DINESCAPE as one determinant factor of quick-casual restaurant that influences customers' behavioral intentions. It is also consistent with Ryu et al. (2012) who found that the quality of the physical environment with other essentials, such as the quality of food, and service were significant ingredient for restaurant image that consequently influence behavioral intentions. Moreover, it was consistent with others (Ryu et al., 2012; Ha and Jang, 2012; Durna et al., 2015; Onuoha and Doris, 2017) who found that DINESCAPE in restaurants is a significant sustainable marketing tool that stimulates customers' positive behaviors and their future behavioral intentions and profitability.

Kwong (2017) also indicated that customers' satisfaction of the DINESCAPE leads to their satisfaction of the overall experience; and they will spread positive word-of-mouth to other people accordingly. In particular, the results of this study revealed positive relationships between perceived DINESCAPE and intention to revisit the restaurant in the future (H2), and between perceived DINESCAPE and word-of-mouth (H3). Both of these two hypotheses were supported, this is agreed with previous studies (Bitner, 1992; Mattila and Wirtz, 2001; Countryman and Jang, 2006; Jang and Namkung, 2009; Jen et al., 2011; Yang, 2015).


Mainly, the purpose of this research was to study the influence of restaurants DINESCAPE on their customers' behavioral intentions; intention to revisit and word-of-mouth. The results indicated that quality of DINESCAPE leads to positive word-of-mouth and intention to revisit. Hence, this study called restaurant managers to give continuous considerations and efforts to the issues of restaurant’s DINESCAPE; it should not be left to chance. DINESCAPE should be seen as an essential marketing strategy that should be better managed for sustainable positive customers' behavioral intentions.

Specifically, the study clarified significance of six dimensions or elements for satisfactory DINESCAPE. As a result, many implications for restaurant managers are introduced. First, successful restaurant layout provides an easy access and exit, and makes supplementary service areas such as restrooms easier to find.  It also can affect the final comfort of the customers. Second, restaurants' aesthetics such as paintings/pictures, plant, flowers, furniture, color and wall décor influence both pleasure and arousal emotions of their customers. Third, ambient conditions such as color, music, aroma, temperature, lighting and noise influence customers' perceptions of the organization. Colors of the dining area’s walls, pictures/paintings, plants/flowers, tableware, linens, floor coverings, and furniture can all play an essential part in delivering an image and in creating an overall aesthetic impression. Restaurant managers should change background music and altering its volume, type and tempo to meet customers' preferences, and to make them feel pleased and relaxed. Aroma and internal temperature of restaurants can be used for several human responses including thermal comfort, perceived air quality. Restaurants should also control noise to an acceptable level.

Fourth, restaurant lighting should be in a harmony with furniture and other accessories, and provide more pleasant and welcome atmosphere.  Proper lighting plays a key role in creating “wow factor in restaurants. Fifth, table setting; using high-quality flatware, china, glassware, and linen, putting flowers or candles on tables can make customers feel happy and relaxed. Finally, managers should care about hiring elegant and well dressed employees, they should also consider the way that employees should think, feel and act toward the customers.



Data was collected from respondents who dined in fast-food restaurants. Thus, the generalization of the results cannot be made. For instance, the findings should not be generalized to different types of restaurants. This study focused on six dimensions of DINE SCAPE, future studies may expand this research by adding other elements to the DINESCAPE. 





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