Consumer Reactions to Different Robotic Servers in Theme Parks


Consumer research; Loyalty; Robotic functions; Robotic qualities; Theme parks


Purpose: This study aims to understand the theme park visitors' perceived robotic qualities featured in four different robots, assess their robotic functions and consumers' loyalty toward four different robotic server types.

Design/methodology/approach: A structured online survey of 399 respondents measured and compared consumer perceptions related to qualities and functions of robots in a theme park context and consumers' behavioral intentions in four different robotic scenarios – anime, cartoon-like, human-like and animal-like robots in theme parks. Survey data were collected on an online platform and analyzed by SPSS.

Findings: The results showed some expected differences in robotic qualities among the different robot-type scenarios, but similar reactions overall. The findings also provided insight into the type of robots that consumers prefer and showed a little more preference toward human-like robotic servers.

Research limitations/implications: The study was restricted to several robotic scenarios in North American theme parks. Future qualitative and quantitative studies should look in more detail at theme park visitors' participation in the robotic service delivery process, the robots' mobility and interactions with fellow visitors.

Practical implications: The findings can guide practitioners on robots' looks, qualities and functionalities to consider for introducing to their patrons to create more interactive environments and experiences.

Originality/value: The study revealed some new knowledge about consumer expectations for robotic servers in theme parks. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that compares different robot types on their perceived appearance, qualities and functionality, or consumers' behavioral tendencies in the context of theme parks.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Milman, A., & Tasci, A. D. A. (2022). Consumer reactions to different robotic servers in theme parks. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Technology, 13(2), 314–332. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTT-03-2021-0102

Document Type




Source Title

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology






Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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