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The purpose of this study was to investigate the motivations that push consumers to dine out and restaurant attributes that pull diners to a specific restaurant. Surveys were administered to a convenience sample of 559 respondents at a large university in the Southwest of the USA. Crosstabs, ANOVA, Correlations, Factor Analysis and Multiple Regression were employed to explore differences and relationships between variables. Findings identified a profile of diners at casual restaurants. Using the involvement construct, the push-pull motivational framework, and the hedonic and utilitarian motivational framework, results of this study indicate two primary reasons behind the decision to dine out at casual restaurants and six principal attributes that draw customers into these types of restaurants. In addition, diners were categorized into high/medium/low involvement categories and the linkages between involvement levels and motivations were explored. Both hedonic and utilitarian motivations were identified. Furthermore, motivational factors and restaurant attributes were found to predict diner loyalty. This paper provides the restaurant industry with insight and understanding as to what attracts diners into an establishment and what influences decisions behind dining out.