Thai Food in Malaysia: Diagnosing Restaurant Operators’ and Patrons Acceptance Levels

Nurul Aishah N Zakaria, Mohd Salehuddin Mohd Zahari, Zulhan Othman, Syuhirdy Mat Noor, Mohd Zain Kutut


This empirical study investigates the extent that the Malaysian restaurant operators and customers accept the Thai food. Any changes in customers’ eating patterns of the local cuisines are also evaluated. Restaurant operators and customers in three Malaysia northern states (Perlis, Kedah and Penang) were selected as a sample. Both restaurant operators and customers saw a trend towards Thai foods which are becoming well accepted in this country. Nevertheless, the popularity of Thai food is not to the extent of outshining the local food. Thai foods were found to be not consumed everyday by the local people, but rather as an option or alternative or as part of leisure dining. Another remarkable finding is that respondents seemed to agree that Thai food is internationally popular than the Malaysian food. This indication has significant implications to the related authorities as to why Malaysian food is not as popular as Thai food internationally in spite of having a distinctive flavour and diversity of taste.

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