Asia Cafe Research

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CUSTOMER PERCEPTION AND SATISFACTION OF ASIA CAFÉ
IN SUBANG JAYA
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
1. Introduction
This chapter provides a better understanding of the research topic. This chapter explains the background investigation, problem statement, research objectives, and significance of this study.

1.1 Background of Study

1.1.1Development of food court in Malaysia

Hawker centres sprung up in urban areas following the rapid urbanisation in the 1950s and 1960s. Many hawker centres were poorly managed by their operators, often lacking running water and proper facilities for cleaning. More recently, they have become less ubiquitous due to growing affluence in the urban populations of Malaysia. They are increasingly being replaced by food courts, which are indoor, air conditioned versions of hawker centres located in shopping malls and other commercial venues. In many cases, food court was built partly to address the problem of unhygienic food preparation by unlicensed street hawkers. Therefore food court was initiated in the 1990s and they became popular in shopping malls, business centres, entertainment centre, tourist areas and airports.

1.1.2 Asia Café Company

Asia Café food court, located at the site of a former cinema in Jalan SS15/8, Subang Jaya, has 70 stalls offering local and international cuisine as well as an Internet café and recreational pool centre. According to Mr. Yeo, the Asia Café assistant manager, it is the first venture with such combination in Malaysia by Datuk Cheah Suan Lee, 44, and his wife, Datin June Khoo Ewe See, 43, following the couple’s success in opening a chain of restaurants offering Malaysian dishes in the United States. Asia Café was open since January 16 2005, which can seat 3,000 people and has a parking area that can accommodate about 100 cars, is open from 7am to 4am daily.

1.2 Problem Statement

Food courts are becoming more popular in Malaysia because it offers a variety of inexpensive food under one roof. Food court patrons are increasing since 1990s and are expected to have higher growth, propelled by the consumer’s changing lifestyle of eating-out. In today’s society, due to dual careers, consumers have less time preparing food at home. Nowadays, people tend to eat outside to save time and effort, yet they are looking for variety and quality at an affordable price. They provide an opportunity to Asia Café to increase their sales with the growing consumption.

Largely due to the high competition in Malaysia, hawkers and food court operators are strategising in terms of food quality, food varieties, value of meals, environment and amenities of restaurant. According to the survey conducted by Stanton et al. (2002), there are more than 80,500 food service businesses operating in Malaysian market. Positive customer satisfaction level is found to be dominant cause for customer patronage. In order to gain competitive advantage over competitors, Asia Café needs to have more comprehensive understanding of the various factors that influence customer satisfaction.

1.3 Research Objectives

The main purpose of this study attempts to elaborate that food court factors that influence the customer satisfaction. It is increasingly important for food operators to understand what they offer to satisfy patrons, given the more competitive environment.

Hence, the research objectives are:

1. To investigate the demographic characteristics of patrons in Asia Café.

2. To determine which factors have a significant influence on the customer satisfaction in Asia Café.

1.4 Research Questions

The study intends to seek answers to the following research questions:

a) What are the demographic characteristics of the patrons of Asia Café?

b) Does the quality of food, quality of service, value of meal, ambience and amenities offered by Asia Café significantly influence the customer satisfaction?

1.5 Significance of...
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