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Title: Customer experiences and return patronage in restaurants at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Authors: Mhlanga, Oswald.
School of Hospitality Management
Keywords: Mixed-methods.;Airport restaurants.;Restaurant sales.;Customer experiences.
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: AfricaJournals
Abstract: Considering the fact that OR Tambo International Airport is the biggest and busiest airport in Africa, restaurant sales at the airport have been relatively low, with restaurants realising below-industryaverage revenue. The purpose of the study was to gain insight into restaurant customers’ experiences and return patronage in an airport context. A mixed-methods research design was utilised. The views of restaurateurs and airport managers were explored (qualitative) and 602 customers from 16 restaurants situated at the airport completed questionnaires (quantitative). Analysis of variance, correlation analysis and regression analysis were performed to reach the objectives of the study. The research found a relationship between female restaurant guests and return patronage. Furthermore, ‘reliability,’ and ‘empathy,’ were the most important attributes contributing to customers’ restaurant experiences whilst ‘responsiveness,’ and ‘empathy’ significantly impacted on customers’ intention to return to the restaurants. To improve customer experiences, restaurateurs should make use of social and/or economic rewards. The findings could inform restaurateurs of a range of strategic implications which could be useful for marketing endeavours aimed at enhancing customer loyalty and the bottomline.
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