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Consumer Analysis of Restaurant Industry

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Published: Wed, 28 Feb 2018

Abstract

The aim of the study was to examine customers’ definition of quality when it comes to restaurant services and the preferences and opinions in restaurants choice. The study was also to find out if the customers have idea of the existence of the ABC restaurant in specific. The study was specifically carried out in a restaurant called the ABC restaurant in the city Chennai in India. Chennai is a city in the Southern coast of India. ABC is an adult person restaurant and thus a self administered questionnaire was filled in by willing customer. This study was a qualitative study, whose focus was to determine the preferences of Restaurant industry customers in Chennai city, India. These are the factors that contribute to the customer’s satisfaction in restaurants, it only through knows the customers need that can make it better to enhance better services. The study utilized questionnaires, which were easy to understand and respond to. The researchers hypothesized that there existed customer’s values and preferences in the larger Chennai area, which affects the Restaurant industries and the affinity of customers to new ideas and technologies within the Restaurants industry. This study was a qualitative study, whose focus was to determine the preferences of Restaurant industry customers in Chennai city, India. The study utilized questionnaires, which were easy to understand and respond to. The study focused on a number of variables as described in the variable description table. The restaurants clients at all have times got a direct personal consideration at a very reasonable price. The customers also obtain the maximum quality of client service available. The employees to the company have undergone an extensive and quality training, a good work place, and incentives in order to build trust in them and thus encourage them to work to achieve not only their goals, but those of the company and the customers. This, in turn, is expected to build customer trust and thus retain them as return customers

The target population was thus set at 384, and was taken as a representative of the total customers in the city, whose totals could not be established. Analyses were performed using SPSS (version 15.0, Chicago, Illinois, USA). Across group comparisons of medians was determined using Kruskal-Wallis tests, while Chi-square analyses was used to examine differences between proportions. Mann-Whitney U tests was used for pair wise comparisons. Multivariate logistic regression, controlling for the confounders was used to examine the association between the different responses given by customers. The reference group was dependent on each other between those who agreed to a situation, those who disagreed and those who were undecided and remained neutral giving no response or not knowing a response to give. Statistical significance was defined as p £ 0.05.

Introduction

Eating habits differs from one region to the other, eating in restaurants or away from homes eating is currently a common phenomenon that is embraced in many communities. Eating in restaurant has evolved from a long way; it goes way from just the mere thought of getting ones fill to a form of recreation. People have always gone out to the restaurants and eating places to quench their hunger and desire for food, in the process they always expect to derive pleasure get satisfaction from it all. Restaurants and like forms of investments continuously change the face of the business to catch up with the constantly dynamic customers demands (Olsen & Connolly, 2000). Restaurant owners or managers have always had to make intensive changes that are customer preference oriented. In such a dynamic industry, factors such as quality and technology are very important issues to consider in order staying up put in the very competitive dynamic environment. In the town of Chennai town alone, 459,000 restaurants locations nationally, the direct sale of these restaurants sums up to $32 billion a year and more than $ 0.98 billion a day (Jinsoo Hwang 2010). The restaurant industry has contributed to a great impact to the Indian economy, contributing an average of 1 billion in one year (Tam 2000).

Fine dining is a type of restaurant that offers the finest foods, services and atmospheres within the hospitality industry. The major characteristic with this type of restaurant is its operation price that escalates above any other type of restaurant. The fine dining offers fine menus, fine customer service, fine atmosphere to dine in, thus making it one of the best dining places for the restaurants.

One good example is Afraa restaurant, which is located in Calcutta, India (“Afraa”, 2010). This restaurant offers a best experience near a five star hotel and thus offering an alternative for those who cannot afford a five star hotel. It offers a good career opportunity since it provides for alternative for the revelers who would opt for cozy restaurants bud with less money for high-rated hotels. The future for the industry is promising since many people would appreciate for fast and fine services with good customer atmosphere to compensate for their money.

Family restaurants are types of restaurants with that have mixed menus and their prices are often fixed. Meals are offered with the dinners seated communally at a table with bench seats. Just like their names, the family restaurants are mostly run by families. One good example is the Brennan family restaurants that are run by family members from Louisiana and New Orleans, with the name, Owen Brennan (“Brennans New Orleans”, 2010). Other than in Orleans where the children of Brennan operate the restaurant, the rest are operated by the Brennan descendants.

The restaurants have opportunities for expansion since just like Brennan the restaurants are operated by family members making it a continuous business entity even with the demise of the founders. The restaurants develop with each generation of new managers and this increases the opportunities for growth.

The managers and restaurant owners have to find a great deal in the marketing strategy in order to stay in the competitive market, considering customer’s satisfaction a basic factor in the success in the industry by maintaining their status in the market. Customer’s service satisfaction has been the major factor in determining the success of failure in the industry. Thus customer satisfaction has always been the crossroad in determination of the success in the industry. Generally customer satisfaction is a crucial factor that is directly proportional to the quality services in the industry. It is common to everyone to get quality services for their spent money. A reputable high quality restaurants or any other kind of business will always.

In the studies conducted by the U.S. department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure survey, the sum up cost of food constitutes one third of all expenses, while half of the food expenses is spent in food away from home.

Creativity and innovations is the major determinant and influential factors that determines the success and growth of the management of the service industry hence leading to a significant increase in the economic growth. Creativity has always been the back bone secret in the restaurant business and this can always be determined by the direct proportion relation to the sale output. The more the creative offers the more the sales output experienced in the restaurants. It thus very important to identify the quality perceived factors that will have a strong effect on the customer’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction as well.

The aim of this research is to find out the factors that customers consider for their restaurant preference choices. The study was also to find out customers opinions and definition of quality services in the restaurants industry. The study was specifically carried out in a restaurant called the ABC restaurant in the city Chennai in India. Chennai is a city in the Southern coast of India.

India is a country with many various religious groups as well besides the ethnic groups. The religion differentiation is also a major determinant in the food patterns in the country. The Hindu which is the dominant religion, do not allow the followers to take meat. As far as I know cows are considered sacred and are worshiped among the Hindu religion. The high castle Hindu is strict vegetarians and they don’t feed on meat products as far as eggs.

The lower castle is not very strict and could feed on meat but not beef. Pork is not also any part of their meal as pigs are considered unholy and are always reared in very dirty environment. The Islam community in India does not feed on pork due to religious issues.

The rest of the population which comprises of the Christians, Jews, Sikh and the Pagans do not have such religious regulations and they feed on meat and its products. Rice is a staple food in India for more than half of the population, and the rice is served with almost every meal. The rest of the populations rely on wheat, which they use to make the famous Indian chapatti. The others staple food is maize, millet and sea foods for those in the southern of India. It is thus evidenced that the Indian food habits depends on the climate, geographical distribution and location and majorly religion plays a major part in food habit patterns in India. The major differentiation is the two groups of feeders, the vegetarians and those who feed on meat.

Indian foods are famous for their delicacies and have an international recognition, the Indian foods are now being incorporated in the international cuisines, and they can as well be found into other ethnic restaurants. The Indian food market is always characterized by a specific trend in their food habits. India is a large continental country with more than one billion people constituting its population.

There are over 17 ethnic groups with more than 30 different spoken languages. This calls for a very wide range of cultures and believes as well as eating habits. Chennai town has undergone urbanization as well as westernization, and like the major urban centers, there are many restaurants and fast foods joints that are a common trend in the homogenized global etiquette.

It has been observed that the mainland of Chennai still holds a unique traditional Indian etiquette. The town’s food industry has grown immensely and there are many investors such as; pizza restaurants, Thai restaurants, multicuisine restaurants Mediterranean restaurants, Japanese restaurants and many other foreign restaurants.

Eating away from home has then become an increasingly ingrained in the culture of the Chennai dwellers (2003 Restaurant Industry Forecast). It is thus worth having a research study that determines the consumer behavior in the food and service industry in this town.

The study was designed to try to determine if the customers or the consumer’s preference on restaurants choices was based on the quality services offered in the restaurants, and any other factors that affect customer’s relations to a restaurant service provider. This study also was to try to reveal the kind of information sources that act as influential factors in customers choices of restaurants.

ABC restaurant is a start up business organization that was aimed at providing, catering services for the vegetarian at the Chennai town; Chennai town has developed from a slumbering fishing town, to the current prestigious city. Being a budget rather than a luxury restaurant, ABC was aimed at providing the services to people in low and middle-income people throughout the Chennai, as they come to the city. Restaurant business is an old industry within the entire Indian subcontinent, but which is highly competitive yet profitable industry. This shall illustrate the markets segments of ABC restaurant and the strategies to be employed to target, attract and retain customers in order to create a solid stream of annual revenue within the business scope. The Restaurant shall not be just like any other common Restaurant within the city and beyond. Its unique focus of creating quality and affordable services with a new preference in the market shall give the company an added competitive advantage over the competitors. This is to be affected by providing the customers with a new outlet that is both highly affordable compared to other existing Restaurants, quality foodstuffs in addition to other services not common in budget Restaurants in the area (Brotherton, 2009). This shall fill a long-standing need in the area, where customers have for a long time been seeking for quality services at affordable prices (Baum, 2010). Traditionally, this area has been having only three competitors, all of whom provide their services at extremely high prices, yet their services are not of high quality. The restaurant has always aimed at targeting the people who normally want to get these services yet they cannot due to high prices charged by the existing Restaurants in the area (Baum, 2010). This study paper is to discuss about the South Indians relation to factors that affect value in a restaurant business through the management strategies and logistics. As such, the paper will dwell on product distribution and implementation of marketing strategy as well as include a plan for the implementation and launching of these restaurant services and products. After this, the paper will dwell on the development of measurements and control metrics that is to help the organization after its launch. All these aspects of management represent the last phase of management for the company and as such all the management and operational goals for the company will be realized.

Literature review

India is famous for its delicacies, and its image has already been approved internationally. The people of India love fine food not limited to local foods. The acceptability to foreign cuisine is very high. The more important thing is that one study found that the general consumers comprising 75% of general consumers in ethnic restaurants, (Crimm, 2000).

The hospitality industry boasts as one of the highest revenue earners due to its diverse affiliation with many other industries in the both local and international market. Tourist attraction and entertainment sites couple with hotels availability to elevate the returns from the sector. Hotel industry entails various subdivisions, all which contribute to the growth and definition of the processes in the industry. One of the sectors in the hotel industry is the restaurant, which encompasses sub-sectors like fine-dining restaurants, on-site food services, and family restaurants among others. The other is the lodging sector that includes resort properties, conference hotels, and luxury hotels among others. The travel and tourism field encompasses cruise lines, destination management firms, and airlines among others. Clubs, leisure and gaming industries are also inclusive to the hospitality industry with their sub-sectors being the casinos, country clubs and theme parks among others.

Ethnic restaurants offer dishes that are not familiar in a particular locality. India is a large sub continental country with more than one billion people constituting its population. There are nearly 100 5-star Restaurants in India. These are state-of-art Restaurants which offer world-class services to the revelers. In addition, there are over 100 other 4-star Restaurants in the city. These hotels are strategically positioned in areas within easy reach by the revelers. The 5-star Restaurant in the coast of India is considered as the most prestigious Restaurant in the sub continent.

This therefore makes the Restaurant to be a favorite spot for the wealthy people from around the world. Executive business meetings are also held in this Restaurant. Therefore, the tourists who frequent Chennai town in search of luxurious services find many pleasant places to get good quality services. The most plausible characteristic that influences the buyers are price, quality and pleasant aspects of the goods being purchased. Luxury visits to restaurants is therefore an issue that has been on the rise especially from among the western countries. Privacy, recreation and health issues are other considerations that are made by the tourists.

The individuals who frequent the country are after prestigious goods restaurants. There are many venues that are frequented by tourists in India. Age and marital status are other issues that are influence the rate with tourists frequent the city. India is mostly frequented by married individuals and older persons. The younger people frequent the city less often due to the issue of income. The older people seem to have more income than the younger people and this causes the significant gap between the numbers of people frequenting the city.

Currently there are several categories of hotels within the catering and hospitality industry in India. For instance Fine dining is a type of restaurant that offers the finest foods, services and atmospheres within the hospitality industry. The major characteristic with this type of restaurant is its operation price that escalates above any other type of restaurant. The fine dining offers fine menus, fine customer service, fine atmosphere to dine in, thus making it one of the best dining places for the restaurants.

One good example is Afraa restaurant, which is located in Calcutta, India (“Afraa”, 2010). This restaurant offers a best experience near a five star hotel and thus offering an alternative for those who cannot afford a five star hotel. It offers a good career opportunity since it provides for alternative for the revelers who would opt for cozy restaurants bud with less money for high-rated hotels. The future for the industry is promising since many people would appreciate for fast and fine services with good customer atmosphere to compensate for their money.

Family restaurants are types of restaurants with that have mixed menus and their prices are often fixed. Meals are offered with the dinners seated communally at a table with bench seats. Just like their names, the family restaurants are mostly run by families. One good example is the Brennan family restaurants that are run by family members from Louisiana and New Orleans, with the name, Owen Brennan (“Brennans New Orleans”, 2010). Other than in Orleans where the children of Brennan operate the restaurant, the rest are operated by the Brennan descendants.

The restaurants have opportunities for expansion since just like Brennan the restaurants are operated by family members making it a continuous business entity even with the demise of the founders. The restaurants develop with each generation of new managers and this increases the opportunities for growth.

There are over 17 ethnic groups with more than 30 different spoken languages. This calls for a very wide range of cultures and believes as well as eating habits. Hindu believes and cultures have played a significant role in influencing the food trends in India. A sub continental interaction of various cultures such as the Mongols and the Britain has also played a significant role in blending in the Indian cuisines. (Zee-Yuu, 2010). A significant blend of European cooking and foods was introduced into the Indian cuisines during the colonial period. The spice trade between India and Europe has seen a significant blend of the Indian and European foods.

There is a distinctive difference in the in the Indian foods compared to the rest of the world, this is exhibited in their different cooking methods and taste, which is contributed by a vast blend of different cultures and over a period of time of years. Cultures have always fallen victims of civilization; food is no exception to this circumstance.

The Indian food has been influenced by various forms of civilization which have lead to their current form and overall development. Indian foods have always been characterized by the extensive use of spices. From the Northern to the extensive Southern coast of India, spices have always formed a generous part of their food. The spices used have always been attributed to their healing and medicinal abilities and properties as well as their nutritional properties. The traditional Indian foods are always characterized by one main course. Instead of a variety of courses, the meals are always served around one main course meal which is rice or wheat product bread which is served with a variety of savory dishes.

Indians love cottage cheese. This is always a common delicacy which is usually prepared with gravy, fried and added over pilafs. Most of the Indian foods are prepared in vegetable oils like sunflower oil, mustard oil and groundnut oil. According to other studies, Indian restaurants serve approximately 2.5 million customers every week, and the popularity of the Indian delicacy ha lead to researches that found that there are two Indian restaurants to ever one Chinese restaurant (Saren, 2007).

Indian foods have always been characterized largely by their geographical location. In the Coastal region, this is the South India, fish and coconuts products have been their food components. The southern Indian foods of Tamil Nadu, application of tamarind is used to distinct and impact the sourness to the foods. Sea foods form the staple food for the residents of Andaman and Nicobar, Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

Before the venture by investors into the southern India, the area was inhabited by indigenous tribes, due to their little interaction by other tribes, fish, fruits and vegetables were their diets. Currently, it is notable that a very big population of the southern population is vegetarians. As a result several accommodative recipes have been invented. The southern has a mixture of both vegetarians as well as non vegetarians. As a result the southern India has present very adorable menus for both the vegetarians and non vegetarians.

The amalgamation of the Andhra Pradesh and Deccani styles are always characterized by excessive use of chillies which is always to enrich the taste of foods. The town of Kerala is always characterized by some of its distinct delicacies such as the lamb stew which is taken with appams, idlis, fried prawns of Malabar and the famous fish molie which is taken with rice puttu, rice puttu is a ground rice pawder which is steamed in a bamboo shoot (Pireira, 2003). Another famous item in the coastal India is the sweetened coconut milk; the milk is a traditional drink among the coastal region habitats. Rice is the major staple food that is served with almost every meal, such as meat, fish and lots of green vegetables.

In the eastern of India, the Bngalis style relatily resemble the Coatal region. The Bengali staple food is a combination of rice and fish. The Bengalis feed on the different types of sea fishes. The Bengalis have adopted a special way of cooking; their delicacy is prepared by wrapping the uncooked meal in a pumpkin leaf then cooking it. This method of cooking is known as ‘Hilsa’. The Bengali also has the common bamboo shoot cooking.

The West regions Indians also have a characteristic form of cooking and food habits. The western parts are rather dry and not much likely comparable to the other parts of the sub continents. A variety of dals and pickles form major part of their diets. The western people consume both rice and wheat products in their diets in combination to the vegetables the Portuguese influence in cooking has also been observed in most dishes in the western region. The most common dishes known to the Eastern regions are like the sweet and sour Vindaloo, duck baffae, etc. meal in some of the Western regions cannot be considered complete without fish. Foods in some communities such as the Goans are always sea based; while some of the Eastern communities such as the Gujarati are basically vegetarians.

The Gujarati basic meal is made from wheat flour, used to make the famous Indian chapattis, which I always made according to a families taste and preference of taste and style. The Gujarati diets change seasonally with the availability of vegetable that is in season (Pereira, 2003). During the mango season, mango pulp often makes the major constituent of the meal. This trend is witnessed by the spices used as well, like the garam masala will often be used during the summer period (Pireira, 2003).

The North Indian foods are always prepared around the main course of the meal which is rice. The northern cooking is always influenced by the central India type of cooking. Like the central delicacy of saag is also found in the North as well (Dukart, 1988). Some communities in the North such as the Punjab, Haryana and Utta Pradesh have shown a preference to wheat chapatti consumption over rice. The northern region is commonly characterized with mughlai foods. Generally three quatres of the Northern Indian foods are for vegetarians. As a result to the widespread of the vegetarian population habit, India is well known for its tradition of vegetarianism, ( Dukart, 1988).

The adherence to vegetariasm which is also known as sattvik has made its importance in the South probably because of the Brahmins, where it has gained popularity even among the non-Brahmins who have followed the meritorious lifestyle. The vegetarian nature of the Brahmins were due to different reasons and believes, the Brahmins believed that vegetarianism made their minds pure and to perform various rituals. It is believed that all the Brahmins are vegetarians and thus gives the southern India a reputation of vegetariasm.

With the increase of globalization and exposure, Indian societies are undergoing a significant change that is impacted by Western influences and lifestyles. The food industry in India has had a change in its food consumption patterns (Food Industry, 2006). The Indian foods have been introduced into the outside markets and gained dominance is some places. According to the Britain Food Standard Agency, a value of $3.2 billion is accounted for all eating’s in the Indian restaurants alone in the United Kingdom.

A survey in 2007 showed that Indian food products that could be more than 1200 are already in the United States market since the year 2000. Indian foods have been common in the South East of Asia, this can be contributed for by the fact that the inhabitants’ have a strong Hindu and Buddhist historical background.

A big number of Southern and Northern Indian restaurants have been established in Malaysian and Singapore. Several cuisines have borrowed styles from the Indian cuisine, such cuisines with Indian blend of cookery are like the Filipino, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Thai. The general wide demarcation of food patterns in India persist to date. India has always been a sub continental home for many people and culture over many centuries, and like many other cultures, the Indian cultures have been influenced by foreign elements that have always seeped into the Indian cultures over time.

The Islam infiltration has had a great influence into the Indian society. The Islam revolution created a link between the non-vegetarian and the highly conserved rich graves that were indigenous to the Indian societies; this resulted to the Mughlai cuisine. One good example is Afraa restaurant, which is located in Calcutta, India (“Afraa”, 2010). This restaurant offers a best experience near a five star hotel and thus offering an alternative for those who cannot afford a five star hotel. It offers a good career opportunity since it provides for alternative for the revelers who would opt for cozy restaurants bud with less money for high-rated hotels. The future for the industry is promising since many people would appreciate for fast and fine services with good customer atmosphere to compensate for their money.

Customer’s behaviors can be related to the choice of product, purchase, use of disposition of products and services. Consumer behavior can also be related to experiences the consumed products and services a customer get satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the consumer’s needs and demands. (Solomon, 2000). Three perceived quality factors, good value, tasty food, and employee’s knowledge of the menu mostly affect the customer’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction (Jinsoo Hwang, 2010). Consumer’s satisfaction is regarded as a crucial factor in the competitive industry and customer satisfaction has become a major topic of study in the industry.

There is always no guarantee that a customer will always return to the restaurant a next time unless the customer liked the service offered in the restaurant. If restaurant owners or marketers know which perceived factors have a significant impact on customer satisfaction, they could potentially identify the chief elements of success or failure in a restaurants management. This has contributed to the pro active changes that focus on customer’s satisfaction.

With the increased rate of globalization in business, most business managers are in turn increasingly focusing on the need to keep up with the management and financial requirements for a globalised business organization. Operations management has never been as vital as it is now with the era of globalization, and has therefore become a subject of study, research and practice. By definition, operations management is the management practice that deals with the design and management of business products, services, processes and supply chains (Cunill 2009). Within the scope of business operational management, there is the aspect of consideration of the acquisition, utilization and the development of resources that each firm needs in order to deliver its products to the market place (Chase Aquilano & Jacobs 2003). Operations management, as a business practice, requires applications of strategies aimed at realizing the overall profits for the business. Strategic issues within the scope of operations management for business organizations is inclusive of determination of size and location of the manufacturing sector, determining and deciding the structure of the servicers, the telecommunication networks and designing the technology for the supply chains. One of the major factors of operational management is the application of the five elements of OM; that is quality, cost, speed, flexibility and dependability in order to achieve specific goals in management (Cunill 2009). Hotel chains as well as individual hotels located in various parts of the world have the best example of organizations where operations management works best. Hilton hotels international and the Etap provide some of the best examples of the organizations where operations management is emphasized on, but with different approaches to the five elements of operational management.

Considering the operations management from its five elements as the guiding principles, it is possible to determine the differences and similarities in the management between Etap and Hilton hotels international.

Operations management: budget hotels (Etap) versus luxury hotels (Hilton)

In the early years of hotel industry, the conventional definition of the word hotel was that a hotel is an establishment which provides lodging to persons on payment and on short term basis. The accommodation in the time was merely a room with a bed a cupboard and other items such as a table and washstands (Cunill 2009). However, the modern description of a hotel has evolved over time, and now includes modern facilities as air conditioning, telephone connections, televisions sets, internet connectivity (wireless fidelity-Wi-Fi) and bars with snakes, drinks and other items. However, the modern classification of hotel has created a difference in the type of hotel available in a given place, based on the service provide and the price as well as specific place of location. Although these differences come in most other aspects, the factor of price is the most important one (Cunill 2009).

Currently, the two main varieties or categories of hotels are the budget


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