Restaurant hygiene attributes and consumers’ fear of COVID-19: does psychological distress matter?

Umar Iqbal Siddiqi, Naeem Akhtar, Tahir Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Restaurant unhygienic affairs have concerned consumers and policy makers alike since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. The current study incorporates restaurant hygiene attributes—consumers-use spaces, personal hygiene of staff, workplace hygiene— and their association with consumers’ fear of COVID-19 (CFC). Moreover, how CFC educes consumers’ psychological distress (CSD) and the consequent behavioral reactions—preventive behavior (PB) and revisit intention (RI)— has been examined. Furthermore, perceived vulnerability (PV) employed as a moderator between hygiene attributes and CFC. Data collected from 407 respondents via Chinese online platform was analyzed in SPSS 25.0 and AMOS 24.0. Results showed significant association between hygiene attributes and CFC. Similarly, CFC significantly engenders CSD, which consequently effects PB. Contrarily to our hypothesis, CSD positively developed RI. Lastly, PV moderated the relationships between antecedents and CFC. Findings add to the literature of health management, consumer psychology, and service management with practical relevance, followed by limitations and potential future avenues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102972
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Early online date11 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer behavior
  • Fear of COVID-19
  • Hygiene attribute
  • Psychological distress


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