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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Mhairi Sumner and Bernie Quinn

The purpose of this study is ascertain if the hotel concierge service will continue to be relevant in a technological world where consumers have increasing access to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is ascertain if the hotel concierge service will continue to be relevant in a technological world where consumers have increasing access to information about their destination. To trace the origins of the hotel concierge, their route into the profession and establish whether the profession is geographically localised. Their role within the hotel, working philosophy, core values and characteristics were considered in relation to creating and delivering an experiential service encounter.

Design/methodology/approach

Eleven participants were selected who worked on the concierge desk in four- and five-star hotels in Edinburgh. All were male, aged between 20 and 64 years old; nine were Scottish, six of whom were from Edinburgh, one from Wales and one from England. Six respondents were members of The Golden Keys Society. A qualitative approach was adopted with semi-structured interviews designed around key themes identified in the literature review.

Findings

No feelings of servility or inferiority were documented in the host/guest relationship. Comparisons were made between the contextual setting and the appearance and manner of the respondents with that of a “performance”. The uniform was deemed to facilitate feelings of empowerment analogous to having superpowers. Technology has been adopted by the concierge department as a tool, but is considered to be ancillary to their personal recommendation and network of business and personal contacts and collaborators.

Research limitations/implications

Changes in the demographics of people travelling and discounted rates being offered in four- and five-star hotels has resulted in general perceptions of a less elite clientele. This may have implications for the future of concierge services.

Practical implications

The internet seems to have opened up this profession to enable concierges to effectively operate in a location they are not indigenous to. The personal recommendations that the concierge provides through their own knowledge are used in conjunction with technology, but are not in imminent danger of being replaced by it. It may prove beneficial for the hotel to provide some training for older members of staff to keep up with technological developments. This study could prove useful to service providers who aim to gain competitive advantage by elevating their level of guest service to exceed guest expectations through emulating the personalised service that the concierge can offer.

Social implications

The socio-cultural issues within this study are important. Internet technology is generally perceived to be the panacea of all contemporary communication ills in the twenty-first century. The authors however propose that the concierge is the last bastion of front-line service personnel who are still approached for their individual, sometimes unique, knowledge that cannot be found online.

Originality/value

This study contributes to an area of interest that lacks contemporary research due to the natural gatekeeping that occurs within this “closed” environment.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 November 2018

Bernie Quinn and Claire Seaman

This paper aims to draw together three strands of work currently being carried out at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh to take an overview of food in Scotland and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to draw together three strands of work currently being carried out at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh to take an overview of food in Scotland and on-going local interventions. The provision of “artisan” food, defined here as food that forms part of the established tradition of its local area, usually produced on a relatively small scale, has become prominent in Scotland in recent years and is seen by many as part of a developing food culture that begins to address the Scottish food paradox.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of current research that considers artisanal food production and work that researches small and family enterprises was undertaken.

Findings

Small business support within the UK and indeed tailored support for businesses owned and managed by families is in a developmental phase at present. While there are numerous sources from which businesses can seek support, there are also acknowledged challenges for businesses in identifying the most appropriate sources of support, and the opportunity cost of engaging with business support agencies remains a serious concern for many. Further, much business support prioritises high-growth businesses, effectively de-prioritizing artisanal food producers.

Research limitations/implications

The development and promotion of appropriate business support systems tailored to artisanal food production is an area that would merit further development.

Originality/value

The value of this piece lies in its blending of two distinct areas of work, considering both the challenges faced by artisanal food producers and recent research in family and smaller enterprises.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 49 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Bernie Quinn and Claire Seaman

Abstract

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

Bernie Quinn

To ascertain if the use of attractive staff is common practice within the hospitality industry in Edinburgh.

Abstract

Purpose

To ascertain if the use of attractive staff is common practice within the hospitality industry in Edinburgh.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach by a series of semi‐structured interviews. The researcher took an instinctive humanist approach to this study. A sample of 3, 4 and 5 star hotels, bars and restaurants were included. The focus of the research developed from ascertaining if attractive staff were common place into one that, some organisations use more sophisticated techniques to have customers literally buy‐in to the goods and services on offer.

Findings

Open admission from respondents, that they use attractive staff. However, aesthetic labor is strongly supported by the use of emotional labor as the worker needs to have a certain empathy with the customer. Furthermore, the aesthetic worker is supported by the uniform, the environment in which the service encounter takes place and provides a performance in which the customer actively participates. The highly developed manner that the organisation induces the customer to perceive when in this environment lead the researcher to propose a 007 Dynamic that happens, as the customer takes on an almost “James Bond” like persona.

Research limitations/implications

A relatively small sample but is perhaps indicative of contemporary hospitality industry common practices.

Practical implications

Hospitality management are using less highly “hard” skilled employees and focusing more on the “soft” skills of new workers.

Originality/value

Customers are susceptible to subliminal messaging from staff appearance, their empathy and environment.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Charlotte Maberly and Donald Reid

The purpose of this paper is to outline the curriculum of the UK’s first MSc in Gastronomy. The programme supports an interdisciplinary approach to understanding food not…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline the curriculum of the UK’s first MSc in Gastronomy. The programme supports an interdisciplinary approach to understanding food not yet commonly found in academia or beyond. However, it is increasingly recognized that such a perspective, as fostered by the MSc Gastronomy, may be key in effectively addressing complex contemporary problems within food culture and food systems.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a viewpoint paper that explains the rationale behind the chosen definition of Gastronomy, the context that inspired creation of the programme, an outline of the programme structure and justification of content.

Findings

The underpinning philosophy stems from a conviction that to address problems of corrupt food systems and problematic societal foodways, a more comprehensive understanding of food is needed. The programme seeks to cultivate this with a truly interdisciplinary approach to the study of food culture and food systems. This approach is recognized as an underrepresented area in academia where the study of food currently tends to be compartmentalized; a reductionist approach also mirrored within politics, commerce and our everyday lives. The MSc Gastronomy investigates how to foster and make commonplace, a more holistic and realistic understanding of food.

Originality/value

The MSc Gastronomy has been shaped by an understanding that a more comprehensive knowledge of food is required if contemporary problems within the food system are to be effectively addressed. To achieve this, the programme adopts an interdisciplinary approach to studying food only upheld by a small number of other academic institutions. It is the first of its kind in the UK, responding most closely to the specific cultural and political dynamics of Scotland’s food culture.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Fanny V. Dobrenova, Ralf Terlutter and Sonja Grabner-Kräuter

This paper aims to examine the effects of qualifying language, functional ingredient, ingredient familiarity and inferences of manipulative intent (IMI) on the likelihood…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effects of qualifying language, functional ingredient, ingredient familiarity and inferences of manipulative intent (IMI) on the likelihood that consumers make stimulus-based inferences about the level of scientific support for health claims on food.

Design/methodology/approach

An advertisement copy test for a fictitious product bearing a caries risk-reduction claim has been conducted. The test design comprises three claim conditions, each corresponding to one of the sufficient levels of support for nutrient-health relations within the World Health Organization (WHO)-framework.

Findings

The claim conditions have affected the likelihood of making stimulus-based inferences, which is lower for high-level-of-support claims as opposed to low-level-of-support and moderate-level-of-support claims. No effect of ingredient familiarity has been observed. The effect of the functional ingredient featured is significant at the 10 per cent-level. IMI has a negative effect on the likelihood of making a stimulus-based inference.

Research limitations/implications

The survey relies on a demographically homogeneous sample.

Practical implications

Examining the likelihood of stimulus-based inferences about health claim substantiation is essential for assessing the effectiveness of claim formulations and for addressing resulting miscommunication.

Originality/value

The current paper addresses the research gap on consumer ability to identify the level of support for health claims within the European context.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Kittipong Boonme, Bartlomiej Hanus, Victor R. Prybutok, Daniel A. Peak and Christopher Ryan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of visual information cues such as a heart icon vs the calories and fat content on the selection of healthy food…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of visual information cues such as a heart icon vs the calories and fat content on the selection of healthy food in fast-food restaurants (FFRs).

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey design providing a fast-food menu was implemented to collect responses from the participants. The survey respondents were recruited from a large South-western university in the USA. The research model was tested using logistic regression.

Findings

Data analysis shows that visual information plays a significant role in healthy food selection in FFRs. The authors findings show that the heart icons have a statistically significant effect on food choices, while calories and fat content information did not affect the participants’ selections vs no information.

Originality/value

Dietary choices and obesity are a serious social concern. This study provides support for the effect of a heart icon symbol on food choice in fast-food selection. The implication is that labelling FFR menus with symbols such as our heart icon will have a positive impact on healthy food selection vs the more usual inclusion of calorie and fat information.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Peter Björk and Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen

The purpose of this article is to focus on travellers’ perceptions of culinary-gastronomic sensations as experiences and how these relate to the locality. The aim of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to focus on travellers’ perceptions of culinary-gastronomic sensations as experiences and how these relate to the locality. The aim of the study is to explore the factors that contribute to travellers’ culinary-gastronomic dining experiences with an emphasis on the local food markets.

Design/methodology/approach

One-hundred and fifty-eight prospective travelers at an annual fair in Helsinki completed a self-administered survey questionnaire. On the questionnaire, the respondents were asked to rate the importance of 17 items related to eating and food experiences when deciding on a destination for their next leisure trip.

Findings

The findings reveal a frequency distribution of the sample characteristics and travel behavior, the respondents’ use of food and eating experiences as evaluative criteria when choosing travel destinations and latent factors of food and eating experiences. Based on an explorative factor analysis using a varimax abstraction method, the study concludes that eating and food experiences are influenced by the overall service (i.e. the food and where it is served and the dining setting and how it is served). The factors show that culinary-gastronomic food experiences are founded on local, original and authentic food that represents the local food culture.

Practical implications

The study attempts to provide insights into aspects to consider for promotional activities related to local food and, ultimately, as a means for destination branding. The Finnish sample has a casual attitude to food, where new but also rather mundane experiences are sought. Accordingly, slow food preparation and atmospherics contribute to local food experiences that may lure travelers to revisit certain locations.

Originality/value

Local food as a means of culinary-gastronomic sensations deserves scholarly attention, as many questions related to its consumption by tourists remain unanswered. Accordingly, the topic of the current study is truly timely and this research contributes by studying a rather unchartered issue.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Gianluca Stefani, Alessio Cavicchi and Donato Romano

The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of information on origin, “typicalness”, production method and flavour on the willingness to pay and the sensorial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of information on origin, “typicalness”, production method and flavour on the willingness to pay and the sensorial appreciation of Tuscan sanguinaccio (Italian Salami).

Design/methodology/approach

The goal of the study was to explore how differences between willingness to pay and sensorial appreciation (measured using a hedonic score) for the three types are influenced by the nature of the sensorial and non-sensorial information available to the consumer. To evaluate reaction to sensorial information, typical information regimes used in works on degree of disconfirmation (Schifferstein, 2001) were adopted, that is, visual examination of the product with indication of the name and tasting of the labelled product.

Findings

Analysis of the results of the experiments indicates that Mallegato and Biroldo have particular characteristics that make it critical to promote them to a vast public. The information on the production methods and ingredients seemed to interact negatively with the sensorial perception of the product after tasting, probably because of the presence of blood and other problematic components (for example, components of the pig head in Biroldo) among the ingredients.

Research limitations/implications

Limited size of the sample and a gastronomic niche product analyzed.

Practical implications

The negative influence of the processed information has to be considered to efficiently communicate the typicalness of these salami products. In fact, whilst for other traditional products, different kinds of information related to process, raw materials, recipes and, more generally, tradition can be jointly used to increase the arousal and the expectation on products quality characteristics, in this case, the communication strategy has to carefully consider the limit of these product components.

Originality/value

For the first time the use of experimental auctions investigate the role of problematic information, such as the presence of blood, on consumers’ preference towards a typical gastronomic product.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Wei Chun Wang and Anthony Worsley

This paper aims to examine the usage patterns of herbs and spices among Australians and to identify how herbs and spices were consumed by respondents from different social…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the usage patterns of herbs and spices among Australians and to identify how herbs and spices were consumed by respondents from different social backgrounds.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 1,023 adult Australians completed an online survey and ranked the frequencies of use of 21 herbs and spices and provided details of their demographics, cooking intentions and household types.

Findings

Latent class analysis was applied and three types of usage patterns were identified, including high use, moderate use and low use of herbs and spices. The usage patterns were associated differentially with several covariates. For example, the chance of being in the high-usage group was positively associated with age, number of adults living in the household and cooking evening meals from scratch, but negatively related to levels of education and possession of cooking or culinary qualifications. Moreover, respondents who cooked their evening meals from scratch and who were not interested in receiving information or advice about making inexpensive but tasty meals were more likely to be in the moderate- rather than the low-usage group.

Originality/value

The identification of groups of users of herbs and spices would enable health communications to be tailored to enhance the use of herbs and spices and reduce the use of other flavouring agent including fat, sugar and salt.

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