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Title: Influence of social media on customer experiences in restaurants: a South African study.
Authors: Mhlanga, Oswald.
School of Hospitality Management
Keywords: Customers.;Restaurants.;Social media.;Experiences.;Statistical analysis.;South Africa.
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Tourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of social media on customers' experiences in restaurants in South Africa. Using the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality as a case study area, structured survey questionnaires were distributed at selected formal full-service restaurants to customers. The data analysis consisted of the experiences of respondents with different social media types and t-tests. The results indicated that on a 5 point Likert scale, customers who used Instagram in the 35 to 44 year age group recorded the highest mean experience score (4.69) whilst customers who used Instagram who were above 65 years of age recorded the lowest mean experience score (3.78). Customers who used Facebook and Instagram rated experiences of food and beverage, service, ambience levels and overall experiences significantly different (p<0.05). Customers who used You Tube rated experiences of service quality significantly different (p<0.05). Th ere were no significant differences (p<0.05) in the means calculated for customers who used Twitter, Trip advisor and other social media types. Consequently, restaurant customer experiences for food and beverage, service and ambience were influenced by Facebook and Instagram. The study concludes that, while social media usage continues to grow in South Africa, restaurateurs should market restaurants on any social media type but put more emphasis on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube because these social media types currently play a substantial role in influencing customers' experiences.
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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