Full Length Research Paper
A study on exploring the relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty in the fast food industry: With relationship inertia as a mediator Ching Chan Cheng1, Shao-I Chiu2, Hsiu-Yuan Hu3* and Ya-Yuan Chang4 Department of Food and Beverage Management, Taipei College of Maritime Technology, No.212, Yen Ping N. Rd., Sec. 9, Taipei City, Taiwan. 2 The Center for General Education, Taipei College of Maritime Technology, No.212, Yen Ping N. Road, Sec. 9, Taipei City, Taiwan. 3 Department of Food Technology and Marketing Management, Taipei College of Maritime Technology, No.212, Yen Ping N. Road, Sec. 9, Taipei City, Taiwan. 4 Department of Business administration, National Chung Hsing University, No. 250, Kuo Kuang Road, Taichung City, Taiwan. Accepted 19 November, 2010
The impact of negative news on fast food industry customers is often short and weak. Therefore, this study suspects whether other important variables exist in fast food industry consumer behavior patterns to support this result. This study tries to combine variables that are related to fast food industry characteristics, such as consumption frequency, perceived price and convenience, to propose an integrated model of customer satisfaction and loyalty in the fast food industry, and apply relationship inertia as the mediator to discover the major factors that impact customer satisfaction and loyalty in the fast food industry. This study has collected 594 effective questionnaires and applied structural equation modeling (SEM) to verify the various path relations of the study model. The study result found that in addition to being positively impacted by customer satisfaction, customer loyalty will be impacted by customer relationship inertia more. In the relationship of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, customer relationship inertia plays a key mediator. In addition, perceived price has a negative impact on customer satisfaction and relationship inertia. Convenience will enhance customer satisfaction. Consumption frequency will enhance customer relationship inertia. Finally, this study expects to provide the study result to the fast food industry as a reference for enhancing the customer loyalty strategy. Key words: Customer satisfaction, relationship inertia, customer loyalty, convenience, perceived price. INTRODUCTION The enhancement of national income and the change of consumption habits have resulted in the rapid growth of the market scale in the service industry. In 2008, the average ratio of the global service industry accounted for over 60% of the overall Gross National Product (GNP), the average ration for major developed countries reached over 70%, and at the same time Taiwan also reached 73.2% (Central Intelligence Agency, 2009).Taking Taiwan as an example, the total turnover of food retail was NT$261.4 billion in 2001, NT$302.7 billion in 2006, and NT$321.7 billion in 2009 (Ministry of Economic Affairs, R.O.C., 2010). This indicates that the business scale of food retail has the gradual growth trend every year in Taiwan, and its market competition will inevitably become more intense. The fast food industry is the representative food retailer type in various countries. The overall fast food market in the US is expected to grow in the coming years and will cross the US$170 billion mark by 2010 (RNCOS, 2009).
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Cheng et al.
The fast food industry in Asia’s major countries, such as China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan can also create a production value over US$1 billion every year (Report buyer, 2009). However, occasionally, there will be some negative food safety events, such as the frying oil containing...