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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1996

Peter Jones and Emma Peppiatt

Investigates the extent to which there is a gap between customers’ perception of waiting time compared with the actual waiting time and, whether this gap could be reduced…

Abstract

Investigates the extent to which there is a gap between customers’ perception of waiting time compared with the actual waiting time and, whether this gap could be reduced. Maister originally identified eight propositions based around the idea that the perception of waiting lines are modified by a range of factors. Although other studies have discussed Maister’s propositions by identifying the level of management control and customers’ perceptions of waiting lines, rarely has the basic idea ‐ that perceived and actual wait times may be different ‐ been empirically tested. Reviews those studies which have compared actual waiting time with perceived waiting time, before going on to report on the first known UK study. The research involved an experimental study into two of Maister’s propositions involving 300 members of the general public. Tests a control group of 100 people queueing in a small retail food outlet to identify whether there is a significant difference between perceived and actual waiting times. Repeats the measurement on two further random samples of 100 people. Then discusses the implications of this study, and the earlier studies, with respect to a revision of Maister’s original eight propositions. Concludes with a review of how queue management may be carried out more effectively in relation to matching more closely actual and perceived waiting times.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

Emma Zijlstra and Mark P. Mobach

The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of an office canteen layout on operations, specifically on customer behaviour before checkout, waiting times, and congestion.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of an office canteen layout on operations, specifically on customer behaviour before checkout, waiting times, and congestion.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study was made in the context of discovery and exemplification. The sample was not randomly obtained: the method of recruitment was purposive and convenient. Two Dutch office canteens were selected based on their motivation to participate in the study. A small exploratory study aiming to report on current practices and to inform on possibilities for future research and intervention. With direct observations the behaviour, waiting times, and congestion of 47 customers were analyzed. Customer behaviour was reported qualitatively, waiting times and congestion were reported quantitatively.

Findings

Canteens where customers can move freely before checkout queue, allow them to move away from congestion towards food products and to have more favourable waiting times than customers in canteens with layouts requiring a strict order and line‐up for self‐service and checkout.

Practical implications

The results contribute to the managerial repertoire of facilities managers by illuminating latent positive influences of facility layout on operations, which can stimulate the design of better facilities.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the understanding of how facilities are interwoven with operations. It also informs on possibilities for future research in this area, for instance, combining approaches that originate from facilities management and operations management. This may lead to future research to recommend specific designs or behaviour‐inducing layouts for increased operational enhancements.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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