The paper investigates the effect that the country image of an ethnic restaurant plays on consumers attitudes and intention to patronize it. Using a multi-cue approach, the study verifies the effect that the image of Italy as a country, of its cuisine and of the perceived quality of Italian restaurants exerts on consumers intention to patronize them, mediated by attitude and controlling for some demographic variables. Although the richness of the country of origin literature, studies on services are limited in comparison with the ones focused on tangible products.The survey was administered to a sample of Spanish customers of Italian restaurants located in Spain and applying SEM. Results support all the postulated hypotheses. Scientific and managerial implications are derived.
Keywords: Country image, ethnic restaurants, Italian cuisine, intention to patronize, Spain, structural equation modeling