Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, and Behavioral Intentions in Fast-Food Restaurants

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IJQSS 1,1

Service quality, customer satisfaction, and behavioral intentions in fast-food restaurants Hong Qin and Victor R. Prybutok
Information Technology and Decision Sciences Department, College of Business Administration, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA Abstract
Purpose – This study aims to explore the potential dimensions of service quality, and examine the relationship among service quality, food quality, perceived value, customer satisfaction and behavioral intentions in fast-food restaurants (FFRs). Design/methodology/approach – The construct reliability and validity was assessed using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. Structural equation modeling was employed to estimate the relationship among service quality, customer satisfaction, and behavioral intentions. Findings – Results indicated that five dimensions were significant: tangibles, reliability/ responsiveness, recovery, assurance, and empathy. Service quality and food quality were two main determinants of customer satisfaction. The insignificance of perceived value is potentially due to the homogeneous nature of the construct within the FFR group rather than the importance of the perceived value construct within food service. Originality/value – The FFR success model, using the original five in the SERVPERF scale and another new dimension “recovery” to measure service quality, was empirically examined in the fast food industry. Several potential antecedents of satisfaction, including service quality, food quality and perceived value were also tested. Keywords Consumer behaviour, Customer satisfaction, Fast foods, Customer services quality Paper type Research paper

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International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences Vol. 1 No. 1, 2009 pp. 78-95 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1756-669X DOI 10.1108/17566690910945886

1. Introduction Customers’ evaluations of the service quality are critical to service firms that aim to improve their marketing strategies (Cronin and Taylor, 1992; Jain and Gupta, 2004; Ofir and Simonson, 2001). Firms that provide superior service quality also have a more satisfied customer base (Aaker and Jacobson, 1994; Gilbert et al., 2004; Gilbert and Veloutsou, 2006). Customer satisfaction is viewed as influencing repurchase intentions and behavior, which, in turn, leads to an organization’s future revenue and profits. As a result of the direct link with profits, the issue of service quality and customer satisfaction has become a focus of the hospitality industries. More and more companies are compelled to assess and improve their service quality in an effort to attract customers (Gilbert and Veloutsou, 2006). There are some academic studies to address the service quality and customer satisfaction in fast-food restaurants (FFRs) (Brady et al., 2001; Gilbert et al., 2004; Kara et al., 1995; Lee and Ulgado, 1997; Qin and Prybutok, 2008); however, most of the studies are limited to the relationship between customer satisfaction and service quality.

Some other potential determinants of customer satisfaction such as food quality and perceived value are ignored. Furthermore, to the best of our knowledge, very few studies have examined the recovery ability of FFRs, much less of its effect on the perceived service quality or customer satisfaction. Understanding the interplay between the recovery mechanism and customer behavioral intentions is important, because better recoveries increase the customer’s propensity to return to the same service provider whereas ineffective service recovery may reinforce the customer’s dissatisfaction with the service (Harris et al., 2006). However, service recovery is not considered in the well-known SERVPERF model even though some findings suggest that recovery dominates formation of customer satisfaction and behavioral intentions (Spreng et al., 1995)....
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