Wheels to Meals: Measuring the Impact of Micromobility on Restaurant Demand

37 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2021 Last revised: 13 Jun 2022

See all articles by Kyeongbin Kim

Kyeongbin Kim

Emory University - Department of Marketing

Daniel McCarthy

Emory University - Department of Marketing

Date Written: June 10, 2022

Abstract

Dockless shared micromobility services have grown substantially in recent years, but their impact upon consumer demand has remained largely unstudied. The authors estimate how the largest and fastest growing segment of this market -- the dockless electric scooter ('e-scooter') sharing industry -- impacts spending in one of the largest segments of the local economy, the restaurant industry. Using data covering 391 companies in 98 U.S. cities, the authors find that the introduction of e-scooters in a city significantly impacts restaurant spending, increasing treated individuals' spending by approximately 4.4%, driving incremental spending of at least $10.2 million annually across all cities that first allowed e-scooters to operate over summer 2018. Impact varies by restaurant subcategory, with a strong positive effect upon fast food restaurant spending, and an insignificant effect upon sitdown restaurant spending. E-scooter entry has a larger impact upon companies with higher revenues selling at lower prices. It facilitates discovery of new restaurants from prospective customers and repeat business from already-acquired customers. We infer an insignificant effect for non-restaurant in-store spending, implying the positive effects we observe in the restaurant industry are not offset by negative effects at local businesses outside of it.

Keywords: micromobility, sharing economy, electric scooters

Suggested Citation

Kim, Kyeongbin and McCarthy, Daniel, Wheels to Meals: Measuring the Impact of Micromobility on Restaurant Demand (June 10, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3802082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3802082

Kyeongbin Kim (Contact Author)

Emory University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Goizueta Business School
1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Daniel McCarthy

Emory University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Goizueta Business School
1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

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