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Title: Measuring restaurant service quality in East London, South Africa : a comparison of restaurant customer expectations and perceptions.
Authors: Mhlanga, Oswald.
School of Hospitality Management
Keywords: South Africa.;Restaurant service quality.;Customer expectations.;Customer perceptions.;Customer satisfaction.
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: AfricaJournals
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to measure service quality in restaurants in East London, South Africa. The aims were to: (a) asses customers’ expectations and perceptions of service quality and to (b) establish the significance of difference between perceived and expected service quality. The empirical research was conducted using primary data. The questionnaire was based on Markovic, Raspor and Šegaric’s (2010) research. In order to meet study objectives, descriptive statistical analysis was conducted. The empirical results show that overall, the expectation score was higher than the perception scores, which indicates low level of service quality. The results further show that the most important expectation item was “error-free served order” whilst “clean dining area” was the most important perception item. The attribute “service in the promised time”, had the widest statistically significant gap thereby representing serious shortfalls for restaurant service quality. Generally, the findings contribute to the development of a service excellence approach that helps identify customers’ requirements (i.e. expectations) and secure performance improvement in restaurant service. Improving restaurant service quality in South Africa will, in turn, not only increase customer satisfaction and strengthen customer loyalty, but also improve restaurants’ reputation and lead to enhanced sustainability.
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