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Guest Satisfaction Essay

Guest satisfaction within the Hospitality Industry is very important and essential. Only when a restaurant exhibit satisfactory guest it can be successful for a longer period of time. Guests will only come back and spend more money when the particular establishment supplies their wants and needs. Many aspects can influence the satisfaction of guests. However one main aspect which can influence the satisfaction is the quality of staff members. They represent the restaurant and when they are not good in their job it casts a damning light on the establishment. Guests will not recommend a restaurant which possesses bad staff members who are not polite or motivated. Within the staff quality there are several aspects which should be fulfilled in order to get a guest satisfactory guest. Therefore the main question of this Module Assignment will be “Which sub dimensions of the staff quality influence the guest satisfaction”.

Literature Review
In this assignment we will determine the topic staff quality and the different aspects which are linked with it. In the following Literature Review we will take a closer look on the Service time and the Service quality of staff and the stereotypes within the Hospitality industry. Service time of staff The service time has become an extremely important component of service quality within the hospitality industry. There is a complex relationship between the waiting times and the overall customer satisfaction because this will only be negative assessed when the costumer perceived the waiting time to be longer than what they found to be reasonable. Because most restaurants deliver so much quality in tangible offerings, they can distinguish themselves from their competitors by the quality of service (Allen, 1999). A study was developed to examine two factors in relationship to the waiting times. The first part of the study was the impact of waiting times at various stages of the service process on perceived customer satisfaction. And the second part of the study was: What is the impact of company training activity on service time efficiency.

For the study 8 of the same casual dining’s of one particular chain were
followed. Only in 4 restaurants the managers talked to their staff about the service time issues every day before the shift started. 2 of these restaurants also called out the time between the orders were taken and it left the kitchen. The other 4 restaurants didn’t have a meeting or something about waiting times.

The various stages of waiting time that were studied were:
– Arrival greet: time elapsed before guest was greeted at door – Seating time: lapsed before guest was greeted at the table – Drink Service: wait time after order was taken
– Order time: amount of time lapsed after order was taken
-Check back time: time lapsed after food was received
– Payment time: how long guest waited for change/Credit Card Slip

The results showed that the 4 restaurant that had spoken about the waiting time in all studied stages of waiting were on time and the percentages of the other 4 restaurants were always lower. The two restaurants that also called out the time during the shifts had a table turn (the length of time a guest would occupies a table at the Restaurant) of a very low 40 minutes. The two restaurants that only spoke about it before the shift had a table turn of 48 minutes and the other 4 had a table turn of over 50 minutes!

For the study there were also mystery shoppers who went to the restaurant and after the visit had to give there rating. The mystery shoppers were asked about multiple items although the service times were most heavily rated. The 4 restaurants that spoke about waiting time were considered an excellent rating. The 4 that didn’t speak about waiting time were overall considered a below average rating with improvements needed. Service quality of staff Service quality can be seen as a very important factor when it comes to guest satisfaction (Melih Madanoglu, 2004). Service quality is the consumer’s judgment about an overall superiority or excellence. Itcan be crucial in the overall performance of an organization and enable it to differentiate itself from competitors to gain competitive advantage
(Jannadi, 2001; Stevens et al.,1995). If the guests experience a good service there is a high chance that they will recommend the restaurant where they have eaten to other people. Everything depends on a good relationship between the customer and the staff. Many researchers carry out surveys about the dimensions of service quality and all had different solutions because like Parasuraman says the dimensions of SQ is generic. So it can be said that every dimension has to be adapted to the different restaurant and to the different target group they want to attract (Parasuraman, 1985). However when you look to the different results the researchers got from their surveys there are always some dimensions which appear every time. These words are reliability, staff behavior and their attitude to guests, timeliness and physical quality of the staff.

All of these aspects have to be fulfilled to get a satisfied customer. Guests want to have a staff member who is nice, self-confident and friendly (behavior). Furthermore they want to see waiters/waitresses who like their job and are blessed to have them as guests (attitude). They also appreciate it to get their food and there drinks in an adequate time (timeliness). Finally customers feeling more comfortable when they have employees, who care for personal hygiene, have the right clothes and smell nicely. Stereotypes in the hospitality Customers will form their judgment based on the employee’s personal appearances, the customer’s pre-established expectations, and the environment in which the interaction occurs (Lockwood & Jones, 1989). When there isn’t much information about these mentioned aspects, the customers will form impressions of the restaurant by looking to the staff members (observable cues). Race, sex, age, occupations and physical attractiveness are examples of these observable cues. These may connote differences in status and competence to observers (Berger et al., 1977). This is all about stereotypes and this plays an important role in human judgment. Stereotyping is the process of ascribing characteristics to people on the basis of their group memberships (Oakes et al., 1994). Selecting the best employees for service encounters is critically important for customer satisfaction and, ultimately, an organization’s success but how to do this when customers base their perceptions on stereotypes? The research of H.-F. Luoh & S.-H. Tsaur analyzed the effects of gender stereotypes on the perceived service qualityunder favorable and unfavorable service quality conditions in fine dining restaurants. The results showed that under favorable service quality conditions, the respondents’ perceived service quality with regards to a female server on tangibles, reliability, assurance, and empathy dimensions was better than that of a male server. On the other hand, under unfavorable service quality conditions, there were no statistical differences in the respondent’s perceived service quality on the service rendered by a female server or a male server (H.-F. Luoh & S.-H. Tsaur). Another form of stereotyping is the fact that people expect better service from someone of the same sex simply because they feel they might be more comfortable interacting with them (Fisher et al., 1997).


Sub questions
For specifying the main question of this research paper which is “Which sub dimensions influence the guest satisfaction”, three sub questions were phrased. These sub questions were phrased after making the mind-map and analyzing the literature review. 1. Does the behavior of staff members influence the guest satisfaction? 2. Does the Appearance of staff influence guest satisfaction? 3. Does the speed of staff have an influence on the guest satisfaction?

This chapter provides information about how the study was carried out. It dealt with the subject from which the data were collected, the tool which was used in collecting the data and how this tool was used for the subject from which the data were collected (sample, instrument and procedure). Sample This research study is carried out by 55 students of the Stenden University Hotel School. To collect the data for the study, the students have visited 16 different restaurants. Two of these restaurants were pizzerias and two were sushi restaurants. 15 of the restaurants are located in the city of Leeuwarden. Only one is located in another city called Sneek. The price range of the restaurants lies between
the 8,50 € and 36,25 €. Some of the restaurants were visited by more than two people at the same time. Because of this fact a table is presented beside the text which shows the different restaurants and how many people have visited each of them. Instrument The instrument which was used for the study was a questionnaire with a Likert-scale from 1-10. The questionnaire focused on different points. Those points are Hygiene, General behavior, attitude, speed of staff service, language, posture, gesture, knowledge, appearance and presentation and general satisfaction. The questionnaire shows also other aspects: The gender of the server, the gender of the student and the average spending per person in the restaurant. Procedure All the 55 students chose a restaurant of their interest. The questionnaire with the Likert-scale from 1-10 was brought to the restaurant. The students filled in the questionnaire during or after the dinner in a discrete manner. It has to happen like this because staff of the restaurant should not get influenced by the fact that they were observed. After every of the 55 students had dinner in the restaurant of his/her choice, all the questionnaires were collected. All the answers of the questionnaires were put in a clear table in excel.

In the following chapter the results of the quantitative questionnaire for the restaurant visit will be presented. The focus of the questionnaire was laying on the question “Which sub dimensions of the staff quality influence the guest satisfaction”. For answering this question scatter plots and descriptive statistics were used. With the help of these methods it could be found out which sub dimensions were most equally valued and which variable were the most chosen one. The first method is the mode. It can be seen in it that most of the participants valued the sub dimensions of the staff quality which were given in the questionnaire with a high mark, which means that almost all probands were satisfied with the quality of the staff in the restaurant they have chosen. Hygiene, general behaviour, attitude, speed of staff, language and general satisfaction were valued with an 8 and posture, gesture, knowledge and appearance/presentation with a 7. According to this
it can be said that the most participants of the study were more satisfied with the first six sub dimensions which can be seen in the table below than with the 4 sub dimensions which are following (look at table 2). Table 1: Descriptive statistic for the Mode

Hygiene| 8|
General Behaviour| 8|
Attitude| 8|
Speed of staff| 8|
Language| 8|
General Satisfaction| 8|
Posture| 7|
Gesture| 7|
Knowledge| 7|
Appearance and presentation| 7|

The second method which was used for analyzing the data of the questionnaire was the scatter plot. Therefore the different sub dimensions of the questionnaire were taken in relation with the variable “General Satisfaction. From the nine valued variables which were compared, four of them were most significant. Those four were therefore the variables which had the highest relation to “General Satisfaction”.2 The first scatter plot in figure one dealt with the relation “Appearance/presentation” and “General Satisfaction”. The dots which can be seen in it lie very close to each other and to the regression line as well which means that almost all of the participants of the questionnaire valued both variables almost with the same mark. The next scatter plot which belongs to figure 1 focused on the sub dimensions “Posture” and “General Satisfaction”. It is cognizable that the dots of this plot did not lie that close together like they did in the previous relation which means that the participants did not all had the same opinion about both sub dimensions. The ensuing scatter plot showed how similar the probands valued the relation of “General Behaviour” and “General Satisfaction”. Here it can be seen that the dots were further apart than in the other two plots. This finding showed that even more participants than in the other scatter plots valued differently and therefore did not have chosen
the same mark. The last scatter plot in figure 1 concentrated on the combination “Language” and “General Satisfaction”. It pointed out that the dots of this one had the highest spreading of all four scatter plots.

The consequence of this is that only a small amount of the probands valued this relation with the same mark. All in all it can be said that the combination “Appearance/presentation” and “General Satisfaction” are the relation which the probands of the questionnaire valued most equally. Mostly all of them had the same opinion about this proportion and have experienced it in a similar way. On the other hand “Language” and “General Satisfaction” though is the relation which was assessed most differently. The people who filled out the questionnaire had therefore all a different opinion about this combination. Figure 1: Visualization of the four significant variables

In the end it can be said that the reason why the sub dimensions “average spending per person” and the “gender of sever” were not involved in the analysis is that both criteria didn’t give enough information for a meaningful and helpful conclusion.

In the chapter of “Discussion” the findings of the literature review, the results of the questionnaire and therefore also the answer of the three sub questions will be discussed in detail. In the end a few limitations and recommendations on the process and procedure of the research will be named. Students of the Stenden hogeschool carried out a research study about staff quality. All of the students had to form groups and visit a restaurant of their choice. During the visit a questionnaire had to be filled out. This questionnaire consisted of several variables which belong to the topic “staff quality” like “Hygiene”, “General Behaviour” or “knowledge of the staff”. Those sub dimensions had to be assessed with the help of a likert scale from 1 to 10, whereat 10 meant “excellent”. After all that, each group had to formulate a main and three or four sub questions concerning staff quality and guest satisfaction. With the help of those questions the results of the questionnaire had to be analyzed. The main question of this paper was “Which sub dimensions of the staff quality influence the guest satisfaction”. For narrowing down this question a bit
three sub questions were formulated. Those sub questions are “Does the behavior of staff members influence the guest satisfaction?”, “Does the Appearance of staff influence guest satisfaction?” and “Does the speed of staff has an influence on the guest satisfaction?”. In the result chapter it could be seen that especially five sub dimensions influence the thinking of the guests. One of these sub dimensions is “General Behaviour”. After it got taken in relation with “General Satisfaction” it was cognizable that the people who valued “General Behaviour” also assessed “General Satisfaction” almost with the same mark. The mode also showed that “General Behaviour” were valued from almost all of the probands with an 8 which means that all the staff members in the different restaurants behaved in the correct way. This finding expresses therefore that a good behaviour of the staff influences the guest satisfaction in a positive way. It also reinforces the first sub question whether the behaviour of staff members influence the guest satisfaction. Also different researchers of the text “Validating Restaurant Service Quality Dimensions” which was edited in the Literature Review say that a friendly and polite behaviour of the staff members is very important for getting happy and satisfactory guest.

The next sub question was about the sub dimension “Appearance and presentation of staff” and in how far it influences the satisfaction of guests. Concerning the results of the questionnaire, it is cognizable that also this variable influences the guest satisfaction. This conclusion was provable by looking at the relation of “Appearance/presentation” and “General Satisfaction”. The probands of the questionnaire had mostly the same opinion about the “Appearance and presentation of staff” as well as about the “General Satisfaction”. That means that when they have a special opinion about the first sub dimension they transfer it also to their overall satisfaction. In the mode the variable “Appearance/presentation” was assessed with a “7” which means that the majority of the participants were satisfied with this sub dimension. Also the “General Satisfaction” was valued with a high mark so it could be said that the “Appearance and presentation of staff” influenced the satisfaction of the participants in a positive way too. In the literature review the author of the text “Gender Stereotypes and Service
Quality in Customer – Waitperson Encounters” also said that the guests always pay attention to the appearance of the staff members. When they are not dressed adequate or looking cultivate people might think that the food they serve will also be dirty and contaminated. Because of this a neat outward appearance is important for making the guests feel comfortable and giving the feeling that everything is hygienic.

Only when the guests feel comfortable they are satisfied and happy during and the restaurant visit. These findings confirmed therefore the second sub question whether the “Appearance and presentation of staff” influences the guest satisfaction. The last sub question dealt with the variable “speed of staff” and in how far it influences the guest satisfaction. In comparison to the other two sub dimensions, this variable showed another outcome. In the results it was cognizable that only a few of the participants of the questionnaire valued “speed of staff” with the same mark which means that they did not have the same opinion about this sub dimension. Whereas the first two variables were valued almost the same like “General Satisfaction”, “speed of staff” was assessed differently. Because of that this variable does not influence their overall satisfaction that much like “General Behaviour” and “Appearance and presentation of staff” These findings also answer the last sub question whether “speed of staff” influences the guest satisfaction. Although the text called “Validating Restaurant Service Quality Dimensions” which was worked on in the Literature Review had to be expressed that “speed of staff” is important for getting satisfactory guests, it seemed that this variable is not that relevant for the participants of this questionnaire. During the analysis of the results two limitations concerning the questionnaire appeared. The first limitation would be that it is not possible to find out which sub dimensions are most important for the guest satisfaction which is normally one of the most essential questions for interpreting in how far staff quality influences the overall satisfaction of guests within a restaurant. A recommendation would be to formulate another question at the bottom of the questionnaire concerning the importance of the sub dimensions. With this question it would be possible to analyze which aspect is the most important one within staff quality. The second limitation is that only a few people were surveyed. The results would be more reliable if more groups would have had to fill out the questionnaire. It is only
possible to formulate meaningful theses concerning a specific topic if a bigger group will be asked because only then it can be make sure that it is not a coincidence when a participant assesses a variable with a good or bad mark. When a bigger amount of probands value a variable with the same mark it is more probable that it really deserves this assessment.

Andersson, D., Mossberg. (2004). The dining experience: do restaurants satisfy customer needs?. Food Service Technology. 4, 171-177. Louh, Hsiang-Fei, Tsaur, Sheng-Hshiung. (2007). Gender Stereotypes and Service Quality in Customer – Waitperson Encounters. Total Quality Management. 18 (9), 1035-1054. Madanoglu, M. (2004). Validating Restaurant Service Quality Dimensions. Journal of Foodservice Business research. 7(4), 127-147. Tobin, R., Huffman, M.(?) . Examining the Impact of Service Times on Overall Guest Satisfaction Perception in the Casual Dining Environment. FIU Review. 24 (1), 42-48.

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