In the current global competitive markets, firms in the hotel and restaurant industry have been actively engaged in adopting strategies that maximize their client retention rates as well as ensuring maximum customer satisfaction. The goal of every restaurant is to maximize its profits as well as its performance so as to satisfy its shareholders. For this reason, restaurants have also identified the need to undertake performance measurements of their business so as to ensure that they are successful in achieving their desired objectives. The process of performance measurement is aimed at producing a balanced scorecard which ensures that every goal of the firm is achieved. Hence, customer satisfaction is one of the elements in the restaurant’s scorecard which must be achieved with the relevant resources available. However, customer satisfaction is achieved if only the restaurants adopt total quality management to ensure quality products and services. It is argued that customers will be satisfied if they are offered their preferred products of high quality at their affordable prices (Barsky, 1992). Apart from price and quality customer satisfaction is also influenced by the cleanliness of the products as well as the restaurant premises. Thus, restaurants strive to achieve all these essential elements in the delivery of their services and products. The study shall take an indepth investigation on customer satisfaction in restaurants located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study will be mainly to explore on customer’s satisfaction in restaurants and in this case we shall take a keen interest in those located in the United Arab Emirates. Hence, the study will be concerned in letting us know how the restaurants in the UAE handle the issue of client satisfaction in their business operations. Consequently, the study shall help us in revealing some of the strategies adopted by restaurants in the UAE to ensure that they accomplish maximum customer satisfaction for their businesses. It is argued that customer satisfaction involves a variety of agents to be achieved, this ranges from the employees, the suppliers as well as the clients.
Thus, this study shall take a predetermined scrutiny so as to find out the interconnectedness of all these elements that result to customer satisfaction in the restaurants. The study shall also be interested in citing out the best practices applied by majority of restaurants in the UAE in helping them to realize customer satisfaction in the highly competitive hotel industry. Finally, the study shall examine the levels of customer satisfaction which have been achieved by restaurants in the UAE and make a comparison with the world’s levels of client satisfaction in the hotel industry. Conversely, the study shall provide recommendations on how to ensure improved customer satisfaction for restaurants in the UAE depending on the nature of the findings.
There has been a widespread urge by many firms and investors to study the behavioral patterns of customers as a way of identifying the decision making process of the customers. For this reason, customer satisfaction has been the main objective of all these studies by firms and investors. The logic behind this is that these firms believe that if they can achieve customer satisfaction then they are guaranteed that the rate of client retention shall also be amplified. If restaurants can maintain a desirable level of client retention then they are assured of increased profits and performance in the industry (Kim, 2000). There exists a thin line between customer satisfaction and service quality in the restaurants. In regard to this, restaurants have increased their input and resources to enhance quality in their service delivery so as to impact their levels of customer satisfaction. In the recent times, most restaurants and other firms in the food service industry have been seen to embrace the concepts of total quality management (TQM) and the balanced scorecard to facilitate customer satisfaction.
However, the majority of these restaurants has also experienced persistent problems while trying to implement TQM and the balanced scorecard in their business operations. Total quality management is adopted by the restaurants to aid in the provision of quality services and products. Quality is directly linked to customer satisfaction and hence the widespread implementation of TQM in the restaurants (Ford & Perry, 2009). The balanced scorecard on the other hand helps to ensure that the objectives of the restaurant are met by measuring the actual performance with the anticipated performance in the restaurant’s scorecard. Other restaurants have also gone ahead to explore widely in the area of customer relationship management. This involves carrying out activities which are meant to generate the greatest business profits by accomplishing the most favorable equilibrium between the restaurant’s investments and client’s satisfaction. Customer relationship management helps in formulating processes and channels where the restaurants can acquire the relevant data about their clients.
This is followed by a critical analysis of this information so as to draw the necessary inferences with regards to quality service and product delivery, client solutions as well as efficient communication with customers (Kimes & Wirtz, 2007). Customer relationship management equips restaurant managers with the necessary forecasting tools to study the market trends and the customer patterns so as to form a basis of the approach to be used in achieving client satisfaction. However, this concept also utilizes technological progress by using web based client relations, database systems and workflows. Restaurants have also been restructuring their supply chain management in order to accrue more customer satisfaction. This is done by enhancing more controls in the flow of products and services from raw materials to the final products ( Lülfs-Baden, 2008). This helps to ensure that quality standards are adhered to and also ensuring improved productivity by making the relevant cost reduction in the supply chain. Along the supply chain the restaurants also control the prices of products as well as the cleanliness so as to ensure that clients would be fully satisfied. This can be effective in achieving higher customer satisfaction for the restaurants in the hotel industry.
This section of the study seeks to provide an outline of the methods to be adopted in carrying out the actual research as well as to give the design of the study. The research methodology to be adopted will be dependent on the nature of the study as well as the data to be collected (Yin, 2003). However, in this case the case study method would be adopted to study the restaurants in the UAE.
- Data Collection Method
In this study, there will be a collection of both primary data and secondary data. In collecting primary data, the study shall utilize the case study method and also the administration of questionnaires to the management, employees and customers of the restaurants. The study shall also make use of the interview method of data collection. This will assist the study to acquire first hand data from the manager of the restaurant. This would form a very strong basis of qualitative analysis.
Sampling in a research offers a range of approaches which help to decrease the quantity of data required for the study by reflecting on data from a sample rather than the whole population (Yin, 2003). However, in this case the researcher expects a normal population since the research shall be dealing with restaurants meaning that data will only be collected from the management and the available customers. Therefore, a non probability sampling approach referred to as convenience sampling can be adopted in the study. This method is desirable due to its attribute of accessibility.
The questionnaires to be used in the study will be structured and not rigid so as to provide more room for open ended questions where respondents would add in their personal opinions based on the restaurants. Hence, they shall provide the important primary data that the study seeks so as to make the research successful.
- Data Analysis
In this research data analysis will be performed by applying fundamental statistical approaches and Ms- Excel shall also be adopted in analyzing the data as well as providing a graphical presentation of the acquired information. This is as a result of the fact that the study will also incorporate qualitative data analysis so as to provide a more detailed study of restaurants in the UAE.
The study seeks to carry out a comprehensive exploration of customer satisfaction’s in restaurants located in the UAE. However, the concept of customer satisfaction is widely influenced by other elements which are directly linked. One of these elements is the service quality offered by the restaurants to the clients. Quality is thought to be the main element that triggers the levels of satisfaction’s amongst different customers in restaurants. However, once customer satisfaction is achieved by the restaurants then they are guaranteed of an increased level of client retention (Barsky, 1992). Consequently, from the literature review it is evident that restaurants have adopted new strategies in their strive to improve customer satisfaction. These strategies include; adoption of TQM and the balanced scorecard, customer relationship management (CRM) and controlling their supply chain management.
Barsky, J. D. (1992). Customer satisfaction in the hotel industry: Meaning and measurement.
Ford, L., McNair, D., & Perry, W. (2009). Exceptional customer service: Exceed customer expectations to build loyalty & boost profits. Avon, Mass: Adams Media.
Kim, H. J. (2000). Impact of employee service orientation on service quality in the restaurant business.
Kimes, S. E., & Wirtz, J. (2007). Customer satisfaction with seating policies in casual-dining restaurants. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research.
Lülfs-Baden, F. (2008). Customer satisfaction in the food sector: Using causal analyses to measure service quality.
Yin, R. K. (2003). Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage.