Rockin’ Rubies is a well known national chain restaurant with a loyal customer base, which is known for its business style atmosphere and family dining flair. In the past year, the corporation has seen a marked decline in sales. The decline in sales is exponentially increasing as every fiscal quarter passes by. The reason for the decline in sales is unknown to the corporation at this time. The restaurant has not changed locations or menu options within the past several years. The theorized root cause of the problem is poor customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is the key to customer retention, new customer development and increased sales for the corporation. The objective of the research is to determine whether or not customer satisfaction is the issue, and if so, to define what customer satisfaction means to Rockin’ Rubies clientele, and develop a plan for improvement and increased sales. The research team has defined the problem, outlined the focus of the research, and thoroughly reviewed the 10 articles on customer satisfaction that encompassed the research literature. The team then determined the design and methodology of the plan to investigate the hypothesis, using 11 key indicators derived from the research literature. A survey was developed and distributed via various media outlets and several focus groups were orchestrated. There has been a high level of participant response to the research inquiries. While the data is currently under review by the team of six researchers, the expected outcome is that the original hypothesis of poor customer satisfaction will be confirmed. The team is also proactively developing a list of recommendations to improve the overall satisfaction of Rockin’ Rubies customers and ultimately increase profits to the corporation’s bottom line.
The research for this report is focusing on customer satisfaction within the restaurant business. The restaurant is Rockin’ Rubies; Rockin’ Rubies was established in 1995 and is an American style restaurant chain with over 500 locations throughout the United States. Rockin’ Rubies is known for a business style atmosphere and family dining flair. While dinning at Rockin’ Rubies it would not be uncommon to see a business meeting at one table and a family celebrating a birthday across the room. The reason the research is currently being conducted on customer satisfaction is due to the decrease in sales. The sales are down in the last quarter 2008, compared to third quarter 2008, and compared to last quarter 2007. Management of Rockin’ Rubies is concerned and has requested help to determine the cause of the decrease in sales. The hypothesis is that an increase in customer satisfaction will lead to an increase in repeat customers, which will lead to an increase in sales (Gupta, McLaughlin, Gomez, 2007). Customer satisfaction is crucial in retaining the current customers and luring new customers into the restaurants, thus increasing sales. This paper will discuss potential ways to increase and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. The process used to create the data from customer surveys and focus groups from current as well as potential customers will be explained. The data will be analyzed to determine if sales have decreased due to customer satisfaction and describe the steps recommended to management in order to increase customer satisfaction thus increasing sales. Statement of the Problem
Sales are down in last quarter 2008 compared to third quarter 2008, and compared to last quarter 2007, for Rockin’ Rubies restaurant chains and management has expressed a concern. The menu and locations of the restaurants have remained the same and do not appear to be the cause of the decrease in sales. The focus is now on customer satisfaction. Research must be done in order to determine if this is the cause of the decrease in sales....