Customer expectations versus perceptions of service performance in the foodservice industry

Nick Johns (The Research Centre, City College Norwich, Norwich, UK)
Antony Howard (The Hotel School, City College Norwich, Norwich, UK)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Publication date: 1 August 1998


This study examines qualitative and quantitative differences between service expectations and perceived performance in the foodservice industry, using the profile accumulation technique. Parallel series of data were obtained for service performance perceptions from actual customers at two pizza restaurants. The three sets of data were compared qualitatively and quantitatively. Results showed that customers structured their perceptions of the service into a common set of elements (termed aspects) and attached quality attributes to each of these elements. The three data series exhibited very similar dimensionalities in terms of both aspects and attributes of the service. Attributes were identified as satisfiers or dissatisfiers. In order to gain insight about their structure they were separately recoded using four different authors’ lists of quality dimensions. The significance of their quantitative differences for positive and negative disconfirmation was also examined. Aspects and attributes were used to calculate matrices of quality metrics referring to both the “aspects” dimensions provided by respondents and the dimension lists of the four authors. The work demonstrates that it is possible to obtain and analyse customers’ expectations and perceptions without making pre‐assumptions about them, and will therefore be of interest to managers and marketers of restaurants and other services.



Johns, N. and Howard, A. (1998), "Customer expectations versus perceptions of service performance in the foodservice industry", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 248-265.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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