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This paper aims to review existing restaurant classifications within the literature in the restaurant management field. The authors discuss intra-industry ramifications of…
This paper aims to review existing restaurant classifications within the literature in the restaurant management field. The authors discuss intra-industry ramifications of the limited use of recognized typologies and the need to prescriptively guide the description of restaurant context in the literature to communicate the internal and external validity of findings.
Restaurant categories from accepted typologies are used as keywords to collect 345 empirical studies from ten relevant journals serving the global restaurant management discipline. Content analysis of titles, abstracts and methodology sections is used to examine three propositions regarding the standardization, rationalization and efficiency of restaurant classification in imparting restaurant context in published works.
Findings show inconsistent use of existing typologies and limited use of effective restaurant descriptors to inform users about the situational context in which data were gathered or hypotheses were tested. There is a general preference for categories commonly associated with those of the National Restaurant Association.
Researchers should standardize descriptions of restaurants in manuscript titles, abstracts and methods sections, thereby enhancing integration of international research, the ability to conduct macro-level industry studies, and communication of findings to practitioners for operational use.
Recommendations are offered to optimize the use of restaurant classification so that the content of empirical studies may be more effectively accessed, digested and compared, thereby enhancing the communication of advances in the restaurant management body of knowledge to practitioners and other researchers.