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How “quality” determines customer satisfaction: Evidence from the mystery shoppers’ evaluation

Chih-Hsing Liu (Department of Leisure & Recreation Administration, Research Center of Tourism School, Ming Chuan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan)
Sheng-Fang Chou (Department of Hospitality Management, Research Center of Tourism School, Ming Chuan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan)
Bernard Gan (School of Organization and Management, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Jin-Hua Tu (Graduate Institute of Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality Management, National Chiayi University, Chiayi, Taiwan)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 10 August 2015

5299

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a research framework to explain the relationship between overall restaurant quality and customer satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

To test this model, the authors deploy 48 mystery shoppers to evaluate 496 Taiwanese restaurants. Further, the authors performed two different regression models and performing the Baron and Kenny (1986) procedure to test the hypotheses.

Findings

This study investigates whether restaurants are susceptible to the quality and level of restaurant service, and the restaurant’s physical atmosphere. Further, this study investigates whether these two constructs are likely to improve customers’ perception of restaurant quality, and whether such a strategy may also lead to customers’ satisfaction and facilities word-of-mouth recommendations.

Practical implications

The evidence suggests that the construct of “restaurant service” and “physical atmosphere” are strong determinant of improving customers’ perception of overall quality of restaurant. That is, there is a tendency to innovate when restaurant managers prioritize customers’ satisfaction. Further, managers who believe that service and physical atmosphere issues are top priorities will also improve the overall quality in their restaurants.

Originality/value

Measuring the relationships between Michelin star evaluation criteria via a large observation sample is rare in the present literature. As far as the authors know, this is the first paper to exam the relationships between Michelin star evaluation criteria.

Keywords

Citation

Liu, C.-H., Chou, S.-F., Gan, B. and Tu, J.-H. (2015), "How “quality” determines customer satisfaction: Evidence from the mystery shoppers’ evaluation", The TQM Journal, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 576-590. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-01-2013-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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