It’S Not Just What You Eat, But Where You Eat: Regional Perceptions of Authenticity in Mexican Restaurants

Cultural interpenetration, “the exposure of members of one culture (or subculture) to another through direct experience and/or indirectly through the media or the experiences of others,” is a growing trend in the United States (Andreasen, 1990). Cultural exposure is impacted by a variety of “image formation agents” (i.e. direct contact, news and popular culture, etc.) (Gartner, 1993), with ethnic themed restaurants providing another point of contact to experience a foreign culture (Germann Molz, 2003). However, an individual’s determination of the restaurant’s authenticity is influenced by their own set of experiences (Lu and Fine, 1994; Germann Molz, 2003), with one intervening factor being the consumers’ proximity to the host culture. The purpose of this study is to investigate how geography (distance from the host country) mediates individuals’ perceptions of “authentic” Mexican themed restaurants and to identify which information sources influence their beliefs.


Caroline Lego Muñoz and Natalie Wood (2006) ,"It’S Not Just What You Eat, But Where You Eat: Regional Perceptions of Authenticity in Mexican Restaurants", in LA - Latin American Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1, eds. Silvia Gonzalez and David Luna, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 54-55.


Caroline Lego Muñoz, Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA
Natalie Wood, Saint Joseph’s University, USA


LA - Latin American Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1 | 2006

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