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Simon Were, Moses Miricho and Vincent Maranga
The purpose of this study was to investigate restaurant clientele tipping behavior and its inspiration on foodservice empathy within two- and three-star hotels in Kisumu…
The purpose of this study was to investigate restaurant clientele tipping behavior and its inspiration on foodservice empathy within two- and three-star hotels in Kisumu County, Kenya. This was with the objective of analyzing the tipping effect on restaurant food service quality with an emphasis on Parasuraman, Zeithmal and Barry's empathy as a key dimension of quality in accordance to the SERVQUAL model.
For the purpose of this study, food service empathy was investigated in relation to the influence of tipping on restaurant food service quality. Further, a census of all the two and three star-rated hotels within Kisumu County was carried out. The study applied descriptive research design in the investigation on the tipping behavior and its inspiration on foodservice empathy. Moreover, simple random sampling was employed in the selection of clients since it yielded a sample that is representative of the population. Additionally, the study employed the use of questionnaires for collection of data, which were coded, analyzed and presented in frequencies, tables and graphs.
The study findings reveal that there is a significant relationship between rewards upon perception of service and food service empathy but failed to find a significant relation between incentives for improved future service as well as the social norms and foodservice empathy. However, in general, the study established a significant relationship between tipping and foodservice empathy in the sampled hotels in Kenya. Thus, in summary, at 95% confidence level, the study concluded that there is a significant relationship between tipping and foodservice empathy.
This study was restricted on two and three-star hotels within Kisumu County in Kenya with a sample size of 384 respondents, which would otherwise limit the degree to which the findings were applied. Consequently, the study sought to collect data from restaurant clients although the access and, therefore, direct interaction were denied by some of the hotels. Further, this study employed a survey approach in the collection of data from restaurant clients in two and three-star hotels. Accordingly, there was minimal local and regional research literature available on the study topic.
Tipping in the context of the broad global service industry, including hospitality's restaurant food service, is as old as Roman times. However, tipping is practiced differently across the world with some countries practicing while other countries not practicing the act of tipping. For that reason, tipping is not regulated in some of the countries including Kenya and therefore the lack of policy. Nonetheless, tipping is perceived to be the genesis of food service failures as a result of discriminatory restaurant food service in addition to increasing costs of eating out. This study therefore sought to investigate restaurant tipping behavior and its inspiration on foodservice empathy. The study results might be applied in policy formulation in order to curb the negative effect of tipping on food service empathy.
Minimal studies have been instituted and published in the area of tipping and service quality relationship with an emphasis on each of Parasuraman, Zeithmal and Berry's dimensions of quality. This research survey, therefore, sought to collect data from restaurant clients in two and three-star hotels within Kisumu County in Kenya and therefore investigated restaurant clientele tipping behavior and its inspiration on food service empathy.