Using Social Media to Generate Customer Loyalty: An Explorative Study on How Resturants in Copenhagen Utilise their Social Media Platforms to Generate a Loyal Costumer Base during the Corona Pandemic

Zalán Albert

Student thesis: Master thesis


The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected the hospitality industry in Copenhagen and restaurants have been struggling during this crisis. Pre-coronavirus business models, built around attracting customers from across Denmark or the world, have become inadequate under the existing conditions. Instead, restaurants have become dependent on local customers, thus, customer retention and loyalty play an even more important role than before for restaurants to successfully operate. Social media platforms serve as primary channels for restaurants to connect with customers, therefore this exploratory study aims to understand how restaurants in Copenhagen can utilise their social media platforms to generate customer loyalty that can help them through this crisis. To explore how restaurants can utilise their social media platforms to build customer loyalty, in-depth interviews with ten Copenhagen restaurants were conducted and existing literature was reviewed. Thematic analysis was used to understand and analyse the complex meanings of the collected data. The findings of the study facilitate a better understanding of how restaurants can utilise their social media platforms to generate customer loyalty. Through the critical analysis process, it was found that the restaurants in this study have engaged in a wide variety of loyalty enhancing communication activities on their social media platforms which has helped them in this crisis situation. However, it was also understood that a more comprehensive and strategic approach to social media communications would benefit the restaurants and could strengthen their loyal customer bases. Based on the presented literature and data from the interviews, this research contributes to the development of a more comprehensive social media communications approach for customer loyalty generation that small hospitality enterprises can benefit from.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages85
SupervisorsMeike Janssen