The purpose of this paper is to help fast‐food restaurants successfully penetrate foreign markets and then strengthen their foothold in those markets by identifying cross‐cultural differences in the perceived service quality of fast‐food restaurants; and by examining how those differences affect the globalization of fast‐food restaurant franchises based in the USA and Korea.
This paper develops a set of target performance standards that helps fast‐food restaurants monitor their service delivery process, identify relative weaknesses, and take corrective actions for continuous service improvements in cross‐cultural settings using analytic hierarchy process and competitive gap analysis.
This study reveals that a service attribute considered most important to the fast‐food restaurant customers' impressions of service quality differs from one country (USA) to another (Korea). It was found that US customers valued taste of food most whereas Korean customers valued cleanliness most. Also, it was discovered that Koreans considered employee courtesy far more important for their service impression of service quality than Americans, while they were less concerned about food price than their US counterparts. Furthermore, Koreans tended to be more brand‐conscious than Americans and thus considered word‐of‐mouth reputation more seriously than Americans for restaurant selection.
The current study is limited to the evaluation of comparative service quality of fast‐food restaurants in only two countries (namely the USA and Korea). Thus, this study cannot be generalized to the restaurant customers' perceived service quality in other countries or cultural settings. Also, this paper focuses on the performance aspect of benchmarking rather than the strategic aspect of benchmarking.
Saturated with the US restaurant market selling fast‐serving and cheap meals, a growing number of US fast‐food restaurant franchises began to explore foreign markets to increase world‐wide customer bases. However, it is not easy for them to duplicate their domestic success in foreign soils due to different needs, tastes, and preferences of foreign customers. This paper helps the fast‐food restaurant franchises develop viable market penetration and localization strategies and then provides practical guidelines for enhancing their competitiveness in the emerging foreign markets.
This paper is one of the first to compare the service quality of fast‐food franchises in the USA to that of Korean fast‐food restaurant franchises from the cross‐cultural perspectives.
Min, H. and Min, H. (2013), "Cross‐cultural competitive benchmarking of fast‐food restaurant services", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 212-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/14635771311307687Download as .RIS
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