Self-Protective Dining Behavior: An Investigation on Consumer’s Use of Online Food Delivery Service

Pearl M.C. Lin, Chih Hung Wu, Chin Yi Fang, Wai Ching Wilson Au*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to investigate how consumer’s use of online food delivery (OFD) services is driven by its self-protective nature. Drawing on protection motivation theory, the unified theory of use and acceptance of technology, and diffusion of innovation theory, an integrated model was tested with 1,000 empirical data points to explain consumers’ OFD use during the pandemic. Results confirmed the self-protective nature of OFD use by uncovering a significant positive effect of fear of COVID-19 on consumers’ OFD ordering frequency. Perceived vulnerability contributed more strongly to an individual’s fear of COVID-19 than perceived severity in dining activities. These findings theoretically expand the current understanding of OFD services and provide practical implications for OFD platforms, restaurateurs, and governments.

Translated title of the contribution自我保护性用餐行为: 消费者使用在线食品外卖服务的调查
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-402
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • COVID-19
  • Fear of COVID-19
  • online food delivery
  • protection motivation theory
  • self-protective behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Linguistics and Language


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