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Defining food authenticity: An efficient promotion for ethnic restaurants

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elena Chatzopoulou, Professor Matthew GortonORCiD, Dr Sharron Kuznesof



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Authenticity is not only a cornerstone of contemporary marketing, but also crucial in the development of brand identity, differentiation and positioning. To date, research has focussed on perceptions of authenticity in consumers’ patronage of businesses, brands, places and experiences. However, this research takes a “producer” perspective by examining the meaning and construction of authenticity by commercial enterprises, through a qualitative, interpretive examination of restaurants serving mainly Greek food in both the UK and Greece. Restaurateurs (n=11 in the UK and 8 in Greece) were theoretically sampled. Data from in-depth interviews was analysed according to constructivist grounded theory conventions. The results indicated that the core concept linking the restaurateurs was “hospitality”. This was variously achieved by hiring staff of the same ethnicity with the restaurant’s theme, developing a menu, sourcing ingredients and creating an ambiance that reflected the authenticity bias of the restaurateur, which was either indexically or existentially oriented. The strategic implications are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chatzopoulou E, Gorton M, Kuznesof S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: EURAM 2016

Year of Conference: 2016

Online publication date: 01/06/2016

Acceptance date: 30/04/2016

Date deposited: 02/05/2017

Publisher: European Academy of Management