Quality Management in UK fast-food industry: An analysis on customers expectation and experienced service quality Academic Essay

Introduction and Background Introduction The arguments presented by Gibson (2005) indicate that the fast food industry in UK plays a significant role in both the economic growth and the development of the countrys economy. In Gibson (2005)s view, he states that the quality of services offered to customers determine their satisfaction. Similarly, service quality determines customer perceptions and customer expectations. (Oliver 2007). Oliver (2007) describes service quality as the outcome that arises when a customer compares his or her expectations about a given service to his her perceptions about the service company. The higher the perception of the customer on a company, the higher the expectations of quality services. According to the information provided by Oliver (2007) and Gibson (2005) customer expectation can either be met or not met according to the quality of service offered to the client. This means that a customer will only be satisfied b y a service if their judgment of the service offers pleasurable fulfillment to the customer. Gibson (2005) put forward that if customer expectations are met, then a customer is likely to become loyal to the service and also talk about the service to others in a positive way. deliver of experienced quality service is therefore very important in any organization in accordance to the market demand. The UK fast food industry has overly grown in the past decades. This study will look at quality management in the UK fast food industry with a specific analysis on customers expectation and service quality. Based on the information presented by Zeithaml et al, (2005), in the recent years, more and more interest emerges in quality management. The significance of customers expectation and experienced service quality has increased over the past years. Customer expectation and experienced service quality are indicators of competition not only in the fast food industry but also other industries of the world. (Gibson 2005). Similarly, a customers expectation is considered a key instrument in building the relationship and nature of customer evaluations. In fact, the satisfaction of the quality of service comes from two big research patterns. These patterns are identified by Zeithaml et al, (2005) as customer expectations and perceptions. . Zeithaml et al, (2005) also mentions that experienced quality service and customer expectations go hand in hand in the success of a business. Quality management is therefore determined through the satisfaction of customers through fulfillings their expectations with experienced service quality. According to Andreassen (2001) meeting a customers expectation through proving experienced service quality has various positive impacts. For instance, a customer can be able to repurchase a service. Failure to provide quality service leads to dissatisfaction and disappointment. Very little research has been done on quality management. Even if several past studies have conducted this research, very few of its impacts have been publicized. According to (Schneider and Bowen (2005), the effects of quality management and how to solve them have not been tackled well. Most researchers concentrate on customer satisfaction but forget that service quality and customer expectations have a major impact on satisfying a customer. This paper aims to analyze quality management in UK fast-food industry with special focus on customers expectation and experienced service quality it will mostly concentrate on the imapcts of quality mangemnt on customers and how organisations can meet customer expectation. The study shall also analyze the effects of meeting customer expectation and offering experienced quality services. The study will identify impacts from various fast food joints in UK and the results they draw. The growth of any business or organization is greatly dependent of quality management of the organization. The fast food industry is not an exemption. This industry is seen as a catalyst of economic growth and therefore the success of the indutry is vital to a country both economically and socially. The fast food industry creates employment for both the skilled and unskilled workers. The reason for conducting this research was to find out how to sustain this industry through satisfying customer expectations and offering experienced quality services. This study aims at analyzing the role of service quality in meeting customer expectations in UKs fast food industry. Objectives In order to address this aim, this research recognizes the following objectives. To define service quality To explore the influence of service quality on customer expectations To identify customer expectations in the fast food industry To analyze the influence of meeting customer expectations in the fast food industry What is service quality? What are the influences of service quality on customer expectations? What expectations do customers have in the fast food industry? What is the influence of meeting customer expectations in the fast food industry? In exploring the role of service quality in meeting customer expectations in UKs fast food industry, the study hoped to monitor the growth of the fast food industry in UK by ensuring that customers were satisfied with the services offered. The outcomes of this study will help policy makers and regulators in the fast food industry to convey laws that will help the industry to grow. Again, teachers and practitioners in the field can use this literature as a reference aid, building up based on future research works The sections of the dissertation appear in the following order: Chapter 1: This chapter opens up the study by looking to discuss the background of the study. The chapter also states and defines the problem at hand and looks into the aims and objectives of the study. Similarly, a comprehensive list of how the study will flow using the research hypothesis and research questions is availed. The chapter will also attempt to analyze the study by looking at the significance of the study, as well as the implications that they study, and is likely to undergo during the implementation of the study. Chapter 2: This chapter examines the existing literature of the stu, mainly focusing on the theoretical and conceptual framework in an attempt to review the existing literature. It aims at comparing previous works and giving away into solving the left gaps in the study. It shows the agreements, disagreements, similarities or even additions to works by previous authors and researchers Literature review Introduction The aim of this chapter is to discuss the objectives of the research through answering the research questions and analysis of literature already written on the topic. This evaluation of existing literature allows for the identification of the key findings of the existing knowledge, identifying the methodology used as well as the theoretical inputs to the subject. Furthermore, this chapter is set out to analyze customers expectation and service quality in UK fast-food restaurants. Specifically, this paper aims to examine the nature and strength of relationships between customer expectations and service quality. The service sector has gone through rapid growth all over the world. This has in turn led to the deregulation of many services industries leading to intense research with a special interest with quality issues. Success of these industries is highly dependent on high quality service. High quality service therefore leads to customer loyalty, (Oliver 2007), higher profitability (Dulen 2009) and lower cost (Allen & Rao 2009. According to Barrington & Olsen (2007) Service quality has not only called for serious attention from academicians and practitioners, but also renowned researchers. This has also lead to debates over its coinage. However, Bojanic, & Rosen (2008) define service quality as the overall difference between the expectations by a customer and the perceptions of the service experience. It is true to say that every customer has specific dinning expectations according to their social, cultural or even dieting needs. (Dulen, 2009). Dulen (2009) noted that customers are always expending and changing their dining options and expectations. They are always seeking new dining experiences in order to satisfy their changing expectations. The competitive market in the fast food industry has led to strict tactics for the growth of the industry. The fast-food industry in UK has not been an exemption. It has ensured that techniques to ensure Customer satisfaction, service quality and customer retention are put to place. Customers expectation are also put across as an important issue in this industry. Most fast food joints in UK are working hard to ensure customer retention and maximizing share of customers expectations by ensuring quality service is offered. (Allen & Rao 2009). Similarly, according to Andaleeb & Conway (2006), there exists a huge relationship between ccustomer expectations, customer retention and profitability. A successful fast food join is one that puts into consideration factors on service quality and customer expectations. Moreover, service quality expected by customers is different each time they visit a fast food joint. This means that the level of satisfaction is also different thus affecting re-patronage intentions. Most organizations, industries and even individuals agree to the importance of offering their customers with service quality. This is why top management and administrations are always strict on service quality to their clients. (Andaleeb & Conway 2006), (Allen & Rao 2009). the quality of services offered to customers determine their satisfaction. Similarly, service quality determines customer perceptions and customer expectations. (Oliver 2007). This means that the outcome that arises when a customer compares his or her expectations about a given service to his her perceptions about the service company should be phenomenal in order for the customer to say that he or she received quality service. . The higher the perception of the customer on a company, the higher the expectations of quality services For this reason, Barrington & Olsen (2007) state that it is more than important to ensure that you know, understand and fulfill the standards and expectations of the customers. However, according to Dulen (2009), there are no common arrangement or rules that define the content of service quality. Service quality is a diverse technique and varies according to individual customers and fast food joints. Customers have different expectations in the fast-food industry. A fast food joint has its main aim of providing fast food to hungry customers. Bojanic, & Rosen (2008) states that there are five types of a customers expectations. They define this as minimum tolerable expectations, acceptable expectations, experience-based expectations, normative expectations and ideal expectations. Customers Expectations in the fast food industry are used to refer to the customers believe about the capability of the fast food joint. These includes a customers feelings of the kind of service they should receive from the fast food joint. Similarly, Dulen (2009) states that customers expectations are judged according to attitude by the staff, value for their money, quality of services offered and presentation of the services by staff. This factors lead to fulfillment of customer expectations which in turn leads to customer satisfaction. On the other hand, if a customers expectations are not met, then they cause satisfaction. To add on this, Bojanic, & Rosen (2008) agree that customer satisfaction lead to customer loyalty and retention to the fast food joint. In fact, customer satisfaction is brought about by fulfilling the customer expectation especially in terms of services requested or goods products bought. This is measured hand in hand with the money paid for the services. Meeting a clients expectations is not only important for the image of an organization but also for the gaining of profits. (Gr??nroos 2006). Oliver (2007) in his study describes that customers expectations play important role in gauging customer satisfaction. Customer is satisfaction leads to higher market position. Oliver (2007) further states that the rate of satisfaction by a customer in a fast food joint is overly dependent on the feedback from the expectations by the customer. Different from the views of Oliver (2007), Dulen (2009) indicates that the UK fast food industry has a lot of expectation from their customers. It is therefore the responsibility of the industry to keep up with the different needs, and demands of their customers in order to ensure that they customer expectations are met. Customers in UK demand for clean and quality environment to eat in. they also call for high quality food in terms of taste, presentation and overall look. For this reason Lee (2005) states that customers in UK determine the fate of the fast food industry through laying out their expectations and expecting the industry to fulfill this expectations. Different from the views of Oliver (2007), Dulen (2009) also states that customers expectations may also be in terms of location, physical environment and atmosphere. Fast food joints are expected to have a conducive environment that can be used in ensuring that customers are relaxed as they grab their snacks of food and drinks. A noisy environment that I disorganized and rowdy may tend to lower the customers expectations. This may similarly affects the customers pleasure. (Allen & Rao, 2009). Hair et.al (2006) states that customers in the fast-food joint want to receive what they expect. The relationship between customer expectations and the quality of service is a controversial issue. However it is evident from researchers like Keiser (2008) that customer expectations and service quality are extremely interrelated. A customer will only hope to get expected services. High service quality lead to high level of customer satisfaction through meeting the clients expectations. However, a customers expectations are influenced by various factors. These factors are discussed by Kim et.al (2009) as the price of service or food products, individual factors, emotions as well as situational factors. This basically means that fulfillings a customers expectations is not basically relied to service quality. Similarly, Kivela& Reece (2000) study about the relationships between service quality and customer expectations and conclude that the two aspects interrelate when it comes to the context of food services. They noted that customer expectation were influenced by the impact of the staff, food prices and quality. A deeper look into the fast food industry in UK revealed that service quality precursor customer expectations. This means that customer satisfaction emanated from service quality. (Lehtinen & Lehtinen 2008) The signs of fulfillment of expectations were also discovered by Ladhari (2008) as responsiveness and retentiveness of the customer. The quality of food, services, prices, values, and atmosphere play a significant influence on the expectation of a customer. Furthermore Lee (2005) noted that the quality of food in terms of variety, taste, presentation, and the safety of the food, tabled together with reliability of the services and employees lead great influence on customer expectations. Meeting a customers needs and wants through quality service delivery ensures that quality management is well executed in the UK fast food industry. Marketer and fast food managers strive to ensure that services delivered at the fast food industries are in line to a customers expectations and thus fulfills their needs, wans and demands in accordance to the money paid for the services. (Lee 2005). Lee (2005) also suggest that the quality of services determine a customers expectations. If a customer is used to getting good quality services in a fast food joint, then his or her expectations are high. This means that the fast food industry has to keep up with the trend. A failure to keep up with this would in turn lead to dissatisfaction of the customer. On the other hand, authors Schneider and Bowen (2005) state that quality management is greatly determined by the attitude of the customer, as well as the perceptions the customers has of service quality. Similar, the attitude of employees and staff management in an organization would affect service quality. It is therefore than important to ensure that you know, understand and fulfill the standards and expectations of the customers. Despite the fact that there are no common arrangement or rules that define the content of service quality. Service quality should be diverse to ensure that there is mutual benefit between individual customers and fast food joints. (Schneider and Bowen 2005) According to Eskildsson (2008) various attempts have been made to increasing quality services from customer expectations in the UK fast food industry. Research from Zeithaml et al, (2005) also show that the fast food industry in UK has failed in one way or the other to satisfy customer expectations. Consequently, to ensure that experienced service qualities are offered to customers expectation. Quality management is therefore discussed in accordance to how customers expectations are met. In Todays market tends, quality management and customer satisfaction is not only important for marketing an organization, but also in ensuring that customers can trust and be loyal to the industry. (Schneider and Bowen 2005) Meeting the expectation of customers calls for ensuring that high qualities of brand are offered in the fast-food industry. The level of customer satisfaction is measured according to their levels of expectations. Therefore, customer satisfaction is literally referred to in terms of meeting the expectations of the customers. (Lehtinen & Lehtinen 2008) The fast food industry in UK takes a lot of importance in the service industry. This is because the quality of services and products offered in a fast food joint has a great impact in ensuring that a customers expectation are met. In fact authors like Kivela& Reece (2000) state that a fast food joint is reliable for satisfaction of customers and fulfillment of their expectations through providing high quality services. Customer depend upon reliability of services offered in a fast food joint. The information provided by Kim et.al (2009) indicates that if a customer is satisfied with the service quality of a fast food joint, then several factors arise. First and foremost as discussed by Ladhari (2008) customer satisfaction leads to customer loyalty. Customers in UK fast food restaurants tends to be loyal due to the fulfillment of their expectations. If a customer is well served then they tend to return again and again for similar services. Just as discussed by Ladhari (2008), Kim et.al (2009) and Keiser (2008) fulfilling customer expectations turns the customer to a brand ambassador. This means that a happy and fulfilled customer will always pass around the information to friends and colleagues through word of mouth and referrals. Oliver (2007) also states that meeting a customers expectations direct effect on customer loyalty. If a service or a product fulfills the needs and demands of a customer, then the customer is converted to a loyal customer and therefore calling for customer retention. Oliver (2007)s views in his research also conclude that meeting customers expectations leads to Company profitability. This is because the more the customers needs are met, the more they tend to spend their money on the services and goods offered at the fast food joints. (Hair et.al 2006). Similarly Oliver (2007) suggest in his study that fulfilling the customers needs is the core philosophy of implementing marketing techniques and strategies of fast food joints in UK. This techniques are used all over UK by fast food joints in retaining and attracting customers. The purpose of this chapter was to discuss the objectives of the research through by answering the research questions. From the findings of this literature review, it is clear that Customers have different expectations in the fast-food industry. Similarly, it is also clear that service quality is among the major factors that lead to meeting customers expectations. However, service quality is determined by various issues. For instance quality of food, staff attitude, environment etc. Another finding from the research is that High service quality lead to high level of customer satisfaction. The literature also concludes that customer satisfaction is a weapon for high profit margins. The literature, therefore, is critical in analyzing customers expectation and service quality in the fast-food industry in UK. With the primary aim of this study being to analyze the service quality and customers expectations in UKs fast food industry, the research questions have proved to be fundamental in guiding this dissertation. The research questions include: What is service quality? What factors, influence service quality on customer expectations? What expectations do customers have in the fast food industry? What is the influence of meeting customer expectations in the fast food industry? References Allen, D. R., Rao, T. R. 2009. Analysis of customer satisfaction data, Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press. Andaleeb, S. S. & Conway C. 2006. Customer satisfaction in the restaurant industry: an examination of the transaction-specific model. Journal of Services Marketing. 22(3), 26-41 Andreassen K. 2000. Marketing Effectiveness and Customer Retention in the Service Sector. The Service Industries Journal, 19(3), 26-41 Barrington, M. N. & Olsen, M. D. 2007. Concept of service in the hospitality industry. ASQ Quality Press. Bojanic, D. C. & Rosen, L. D. 2008. Measuring service quality in restaurants: an application of the SERVQUAL instrument. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Bowen M. J.2005. Encounter satisfaction versus overall satisfaction versus quality: The customers voice. London, UK: Sage. Dulen, J. 2009. Quality control. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Eskildsson C. H. 2008. Services Marketing: An Asia-Pacific Perspective. Australia: Prentice Hall. Gibson Y. Y. 2005. The relationship between restaurant service quality and consumer loyalty among the elderly. Pearson Prentice Hall Gr??nroos, C. 2006. Service Management and Marketing: Managing the Moments of Truth in Service Competition. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E. & Tatham, R.L. 2006. Multivariate Data Analysis. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River. Keiser, T. C. 2008. Strategies for enhancing service quality. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Kim, W. G. K., Ng, C. Y. N. & Kim, Y. 2009. Influence of institutional DINESERV on customer satisfaction, return intention and word-of-mouth. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River. Kivela, J., Inbakaran, R. & Reece, J. 2000. Customer research in the restaurant environment. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Ladhari, R. 2008. Alternative measures of service quality: a review. Managing Service Quality. ASQ Quality Press. Lee, Y. L & Hing, N. 2005. Measuring quality in restaurant operations: an application of the SERVQUAL instrument. Pearson Prentice Hall. Lehtinen, U. & Lehtinen, J. R. 2008. Service Quality: A Study of Quality Dimensions. Helsinki: Service Management Institute. Oliver, R. L. 2007. Measurement and Evaluation of Satisfaction Processes in Retail Settings. Australia: Prentice Hall. Zeithaml, V. A. 2005. The Behavioral Consequences of Service Quality. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

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