Robots at your service: value facilitation and value co-creation in restaurants

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to understand the process of guest-robot value co-creation in the restaurant context. It empirically examines the guest perception of value facilitation by service robots and its impact on guest value co-creation and advocacy intentions. It also investigates the moderating role of interaction comfort in the relationship between service robot value facilitation and guest value co-creation. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed-methods approach was adopted. Ten customers who had dined at a service robot restaurant in China were interviewed in the qualitative study, followed by a quantitative study with 252 restaurant patrons to test the relationships between service robot value facilitation, guest value co-creation, interaction comfort and advocacy intentions. Findings: Guest perceptions of six robot attributes, including role significance, competence, social presence, warmth, autonomy and adaptability, determine service robot value facilitation. Interaction comfort moderates the influence of service robot value facilitation on guest value co-creation. Additionally, guest value co-creation mediates the effect of service robot value facilitation on advocacy intentions. Research limitations/implications: This study offers an understanding of six robot attributes that can improve service robot value facilitation. Nevertheless, the authors collected data from guests who had experience at service robot restaurants. The authors encourage future research to use random sampling methods to ensure study representativeness. Practical implications: This study offers strategic guidance for managers to deploy service robots in frontline roles in restaurants and provides important implications for service robot design to improve their facilitating role in the guest value co-creation process. Originality/value: This study responds to a recent call for research on the role of service robots in the guest value co-creation experience. Unlike prior studies that focused on the adoption or acceptance of service robots, it examines the role of service robots in the value co-creation process (post-adoption stage). Furthermore, it is one of the early studies to identify and empirically examine the service robot attributes that enable value facilitation and foster value co-creation in guest-robot service encounters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2004-2025
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2022


  • Advocacy intentions
  • Restaurants
  • Robot attributes
  • Service robots
  • Value co-creation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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