The impact of demographic similarity on customers in a service setting

Erin Cavusgil, Serdar Yayla, Omer Cem Kutlubay, Sengun Yeniyurt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Consumers share the physical environment with other consumers in various service settings. The presence of other consumers is a critical part of the service experience and can influence consumer behavior. What is the underlying impact of fellow customers in service settings? To address this research question, we examine how the demographic (age, race, gender, and income) similarity of other consumers in a service setting impacts one's attitude and behavior. Specifically, we examine consumers’: (i) intention to return, and (ii) expenditure. Analysis of a large database (216,082 consumer visits to 236 restaurant brands in the United States and Canada) suggest that age, gender and income similarity between the focal customer and other customers increases intention to return. Furthermore, results indicate that age and income similarity among customers increases customer expenditure. However, race and gender similarity among customers decreases customer expenditure. Theoretical and managerial implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


  • Age similarity
  • Customer expenditure
  • Demographic similarity
  • Gender similarity
  • Income similarity
  • Intent to return
  • Race similarity


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