To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Perceived service encounter pace and customer satisfaction: An empirical study of restaurant experiences

Breffni M. Noone (The Pennsylvania State University School of Hospitality Management, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)
Sheryl E. Kimes (Cornell‐Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management, Ithaca, New York, USA)
Anna S. Mattila (The Pennsylvania State University School of Hospitality Management, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)
Jochen Wirtz (National University of Singapore, Singapore)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 7 August 2009

Abstract

Purpose

Restaurant operators can process a greater number of customers and increase revenues by reducing service encounter duration during high demand periods. Actions taken to reduce duration may be experienced by customers as an increase in the pace of the service encounter. While achieving a reduction in duration may be appealing from a revenue perspective, will customers' perceptions of the resulting pace of the service encounter negatively impact their satisfaction? The aim of this paper is to propose that, in the context of restaurant experiences that are hedonic and extended in nature, the overall relationship between perceived service encounter pace and satisfaction follows an inverted U‐shape.

Design/methodology/approach

Respondents were asked to recall a recent (i.e. within the last three weeks) restaurant experience, write a description of that experience, and then complete scales that measured their perceptions of pace and satisfaction with the experience.

Findings

The relationship between perceived pace and satisfaction has an inverted U‐shape. This holds both at the level of the overall service encounter and by service stage within the encounter. The effect of perceived pace on satisfaction is moderated by service stage, with a greater tolerance of a faster pace during the post‐process stage than during the pre‐process or in‐process stages.

Practical implications

The results of this study have implications for the application of revenue management strategies for duration control. Management need to consider the negative effect that service encounter pace can have on consumer satisfaction. Service stage should also be factored into strategy development for duration control.

Originality/value

This paper extends the wait time literature, demonstrating that as the perceived pace of the service encounter increases, satisfaction increases, but only up to a point, beyond which it decreases as perceived pace continues to increase.

Keywords

Citation

Noone, B.M., Kimes, S.E., Mattila, A.S. and Wirtz, J. (2009), "Perceived service encounter pace and customer satisfaction: An empirical study of restaurant experiences", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 380-403. https://doi.org/10.1108/09564230910978494

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited