Asia Cafe Research

9 September 2016

More recently, they have become less ubiquitous due to growing affluence in the urban populations of Malaysia. They are increasingly being replaced by food courts, which are indoor, air conditioned versions of hawker centres located in shopping malls and other commercial venues. In many cases, food court was built partly to address the problem of unhygienic food preparation by unlicensed street hawkers. Therefore food court was initiated in the 1990s and they became popular in shopping malls, business centres, entertainment centre, tourist areas and airports. . 1. 2 Asia Cafe Company Asia Cafe food court, located at the site of a former cinema in Jalan SS15/8, Subang Jaya, has 70 stalls offering local and international cuisine as well as an Internet cafe and recreational pool centre. According to Mr. Yeo, the Asia Cafe assistant manager, it is the first venture with such combination in Malaysia by Datuk Cheah Suan Lee, 44, and his wife, Datin June Khoo Ewe See, 43, following the couple’s success in opening a chain of restaurants offering Malaysian dishes in the United States.

Asia Cafe was open since January 16 2005, which can seat 3,000 people and has a parking area that can accommodate about 100 cars, is open from 7am to 4am daily. 1. 2 Problem Statement Food courts are becoming more popular in Malaysia because it offers a variety of inexpensive food under one roof. Food court patrons are increasing since 1990s and are expected to have higher growth, propelled by the consumer’s changing lifestyle of eating-out. In today’s society, due to dual careers, consumers have less time preparing food at home.

Asia Cafe Research Essay Example

Nowadays, people tend to eat outside to save time and effort, yet they are looking for variety and quality at an affordable price. They provide an opportunity to Asia Cafe to increase their sales with the growing consumption. Largely due to the high competition in Malaysia, hawkers and food court operators are strategising in terms of food quality, food varieties, value of meals, environment and amenities of restaurant. According to the survey conducted by Stanton et al. (2002), there are more than 80,500 food service businesses operating in Malaysian market.

Positive customer satisfaction level is found to be dominant cause for customer patronage. In order to gain competitive advantage over competitors, Asia Cafe needs to have more comprehensive understanding of the various factors that influence customer satisfaction. 1. 3 Research Objectives The main purpose of this study attempts to elaborate that food court factors that influence the customer satisfaction. It is increasingly important for food operators to understand what they offer to satisfy patrons, given the more competitive environment.

Hence, the research objectives are: 1. To investigate the demographic characteristics of patrons in Asia Cafe. 2. To determine which factors have a significant influence on the customer satisfaction in Asia Cafe. 1. 4 Research Questions The study intends to seek answers to the following research questions: a) What are the demographic characteristics of the patrons of Asia Cafe? b) Does the quality of food, quality of service, value of meal, ambience and amenities offered by Asia Cafe significantly influence the customer satisfaction? . 5 Significance of Study The results of this research is useful to help Asia Cafe management better understand which factors have the most significant influence on its target customer satisfaction. The management would be able to identify the factors that they could improve on. More effective strategies can be executed to increase customer satisfaction and thus encouraging them to return. In the long run, the customer loyalty can be maintained and potentially bring a massive revenue into Asia Cafe.

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2. Introduction This part contains the literature review that had been conducted for this research in the past. The following are literature review providing readers brief understanding on customer satisfaction and factors influencing customer satisfaction. 1. Customer Satisfaction Customer satisfaction is a person’s feeling of pleasure or disappointment resulting comparing a product’s perceived performance or outcome in relation to his or her expectation (Armstrong and Kotler, 2000).

Customer satisfaction is a very important factor in obtaining and maintaining customer loyalty which refers to customer’s likelihood to return and their willingness to engage in a partnership with the company (Bowen and Shoemaker, 2003; Shoemaker and Lewis, 1999; Robinson et al. , 2005). Loyal customers are more likely to form a communal relationship with the company (Shoemaker and Lewis 1999; Robinson et al. , 2005) Therefore, it is extremely important for the business to attain customer loyalty by satisfying customers to be successful in their long term business as the competition is getting fierce.

As a result, it is necessary for restaurants to understand the factors influencing customer satisfaction. 2. Previous studies on factors influencing customer satisfaction and loyalty toward restaurants 1. Quality of food Some of previous findings suggest that the quality of food is key determinants in consumer satisfaction and loyalty (Clark and Wood, 1998, Jang and Matilla, 2005). It is known that quality of food and fresh ingredients have already been rated as the most important reasons why customers return to a restaurant (Brumback, 1998; Soriano, 2002).

Quality of food is evaluated by several variables such as menu variety, tastiness of food, food consistency (Kivela, 2000); Soriano also agreed to Kivela in terms of the importance of menu which is a great selling tool for the restaurant sector (Bowen and Morris, 1995; Soriano, 2002). Generally, the restaurants offer a wide variety of options from which to choose and so enable customers to determine the menu which lead them to offer quality service (Iglesias and Guillen, 2004). 2. Price According to Teboul (1991), the price to be paid for a service determines, in the customer’s mind, the level of quality to be demanded.

As dining out is an integral part of Malaysian’s lifestyles, in these kind of situations, experienced consumers have raised their expectations with regard to quality, good service and environment, while seeking a better value for their money (Klara, 2001; Soriano, 2002). Apart from that, previous research highlights that restaurant managers must know the so-called internal reference price of their potential customers, which can be measured through the mean price that they expect to pay for the service offered by their restaurants (Pedraja and Yague, 2002 ). 3. Service

The results of previous study also showed that service are strong contributory factors for customer satisfaction which leads to return patronage (Kivela et al. , 2000). Service is evaluated by four variables such as friendly polite and helpful staff, attentive staff, staff greeting customers, and staff who is willing to serve (Kivela et al. , 2000). Based on the research done by Iglesias and Guillen (2004), the relationship between the restaurant staff and the clientele means that there is a high potential for variability in the service, given that service quality can vary from one employee to another, from one customer to another, etc.

In the last decade, customers have also been increasingly concerned about the quality of service when choosing restaurants. However, it is normally very difficult to satisfy every single customer and form long-lasting customer relationships. To overcome that, service staff can be hired or retrained on the basis of interpersonal skills, and relationship work can be explicitly encouraged by others and the employees themselves (Kivela et al. , 2000). 4. Place Retail atmosphere is often distinguished in terms of the amount and types of effect perceived within an environment (Turley and Chebat, 2002).

In a service context, the environment is a key intangible that helps distinguish successful from the unsuccessful service firms that achieve customer satisfaction (Laroche et al. , 2001). Consumers often find that environments filled with prestige-oriented goods are intrinsically rewarding which the research supports a positive relationship between service quality and consumer satisfaction, as better service equates to better performance, an increased likelihood of fulfilled expectations, and correspondingly higher levels of satisfaction (Caruana et al. , 2000; Babbin et al. , 2005).

Kivela suggested that parking convenience also can be very influential factors for consumers to choose restaurant (Kivela et al. , 2000). For example, in Hong Kong, there are almost no on-street parking facilities, and off-street parking is often expensive. Many restaurants, however, offer valet parking and will either contribute towards the cost of parking, for example the first hour, or in some cases will pay for the parking bill. As a result, many diners in Hong Kong are particularly are satisfied with the parking service and swayed to return to the restaurants (Kivela et al. , 2000).

To gain a competitive advantage in today’s market, offering good food and good service is not enough factors to satisfy customers various needs but restaurants need to offer meals that has good value in a favourable ambience (Soriano, 2002) while other researchers found that some form of Internet activity would be an amenity to increase customers satisfaction (Susskind and Chan, 2000; Soriano, 2002). In sum, quality of food, quality of service, value of meal, ambience and amenities of the restaurants are some important variables that may significantly influence customer satisfaction of the restaurant industry. CHAPTER 3

METHODOLOGY 3. Introduction This chapter explains the research design, data collection method, sampling plan, research questions, hypotheses, measurement of variables, and data analysis plan. 1. Research Design The researchers decided to use both exploratory and descriptive research. Qualitative data was collected by using depth interview and quantitative data using survey. 3. 2 Data Collection Method 3. 2. 1 Depth interview Data collected through in-depth interview provide background information on Asia Cafe and its founder. Prior to the interview, permission was obtained to have the whole interview audio recorded.

The interviewee acknowledged that the interview would be used for research purpose only. A one hour in-depth interview was conducted with Mr. Yeo, the assistant manager of Asia Cafe. The manager’s office was chosen as the location. An interviewer’s outline was developed by the researchers (see Appendix A). The questions asked were based on the company’s background and issues related to customer satisfaction. At the end of the interview, the company stamp and the manager’s signature were obtained to show proof of permission to conduct the survey.

The researchers recorded the interview using a tape recorder, and later transcribe it. 3. 2. 2Survey A pilot study of 10 students was conducted to pre-test the questionnaire (see Appendix B). The pre-testing was important to detect any ambiguity or bias in the questions. The survey was conducted using self-administered questionnaire. Respondents at Asia Cafe were asked to complete a questionnaire on the spot, which would last three to five minutes per respondent. 3. 3 Sampling The target population was any college students or working adults who were patronizing Asia Cafe.

Convenience sample was carried out on 200 respondents who were most conveniently available at Asia Cafe. 100 questionnaires were distributed in the afternoon session and another 100 questionnaires were distributed in the evening session. 3. 5 Hypotheses To answer the second research question, five hypotheses were developed from the literature review. H1:The quality of food by Asia Cafe significantly influences the customer satisfaction. H2:The quality of service by Asia Cafe significantly influences the customer satisfaction. H3:The value of meal by Asia Cafe significantly influences the customer satisfaction.

H4:The ambience of Asia Cafe significantly influences the customer satisfaction. H5:The amenities of Asia Cafe significantly influence the customer satisfaction. 3. 6 Measurement of Variables The survey questionnaire was developed by the group members (see Appendix B). The questionnaire contains 33 questions in total, which can be categorised into 3 main sections. In section A, five nominal-scaled questions were set to obtain demographic characteristics of respondents, such as gender, race, marital status, highest qualification, and employment status.

Ordinal scales were used for another two demographic variables such as age and monthly salary/allowance. Section B consists of four nominal-scaled questions on respondent’s preferred kind of food at Asia Cafe, visit frequency, visit time, and how respondents get to know about Asia Cafe. A seven –point interval scale was used to rate the overall satisfaction level of Asia Cafe. In section C, 21 seven-point Likert-scaled questions were used to identify respondent’s opinions towards the five independent variables (quality of food, quality of service, value of meal, ambience and amenities).

REFERENCES: 1. Andaleeb, S. and Conway, C. (2006) Customer satisfaction in the restaurant industry: an examination of the transaction-specific model. Journal of Services Marketing. 20 (1) 3-11, online, date accessed 24 November 2006, Available from: http://www. emeraldinsight. com 2. Armstrong, G. and Kotler, P. (2000) Marketing an introduction, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, Inc. 3. Babbin, B. et al (2005), Modeling consumer satisfaction and word-of-mouth: restaurant patronage in Korea, Journal of Services Marketing,19(3), online, date ccessed 18 January 2007, Available from: http://hermia. meraldinsight. com 4. Clark, M. and Wood, R. (1998), Consumer loyalty in the restaurant industry – a preliminary exploration of the issues, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 10(4), online, date accessed 15 January 2007, Available from: http://hermia. emeraldinsight. com 5. Iglesias, M. and Guillen, M. (2004), Perceived quality and price: their impact on the satisfaction of restaurant customers, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 16(6), online, date accessed 18 January 2007,Available from: http://hermia. emeraldinsight. om 6. Jang, D. and Mattila, A. (2005), An examination of restaurant loyalty programs: what kinds of rewards do customers prefer? , International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, online, date accessed 10 December 2006,Available from: http://hermia. emeraldinsight. com 7. Kivela, J. et al. (1999), Consumer research in the restaurant environment. Part 3: analysis, findings and conclusions, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management ,online, date accessed 15 January 2007, Available from: http://www. emeraldinsight. com 8. Pedraja, M. Yague, M. J. (2002), “The components of total perceived price: an empirical analysis in restaurant services”, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 1-22. 9. Robinson, C. et al (2005), Recreating cheers: an analysis of relationship marketing as an effective marketing technique for quick-service restaurants, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 17(7), online, date accessed 1 December 2006,Available from: http://hermia. emeraldinsight. com 10. Solomon M. R. , 2006, Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having and Being. 7th ed. New Jersey, Pearson-Prentice Hall. 11. Soriano, D. (2002), Customers’ expectations factors in restaurants the situation in Spain, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 19(8/9), online, date accessed on 1 December 2006, Available from: http://www. emeraldinsight. com 12. Teboul, J. (1991), Managing Quality Dynamics, Prentice-Hall, London. 13. Turley, L. , Chebat, J. -C. (2002), “Linking retail strategy, atmospheric design and shopping behaviour”, Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 18 No. 1-2, pp. 125-44. APPENDIX A Interviewer’s Outline . When was Asia Cafe established? 2. Why it is called Asia Cafe? 3. What is the main concept of Asia Cafe? 4. Where does the concept come from? 5. Have you ever been involved in food industry before? 6. Who are the target markets of Asia Cafe? 7. What is the main reason for choosing Subang Jaya as business location? 8. How did you see the opportunities to open a food court in SS15? 9. How Asia Cafe business has been running since it was opened? 10. Do you have any future business plans on to open more branches? APPENDIX B QUESTIONNAIRE Dear Sir / Madam,

We are students from INTI Subang Jaya College who are currently undertaking B. A (Hons) Marketing in University of Hertfordshire. In order to complete our market research assignment, we are assigned to conduct a questionnaire based on “The factors that influence the customer satisfaction in Asia Cafe, SS 15”. Please assist us by filling up this questionnaire, all the information you provide is only meant for academic purposes and strictly confidential. Thank you for your co-operation. [pic] SECTION A Please answer the questions below and indicate your answer for the following statements. Please tick (where appropriate) 1. What gender are you? [ ] Male [ ] Female 2. What ethnic type are you? [ ] Malay [ ] Chinese [ ] Indian [ ] Others (Please specify)___________________________ 3. Which of the following age group you belong to? [ ] 16-25 [ ] 26-35 [ ] 36-45 [ ] 46-55 [ ] Over 55 4. What is your marital status? [ ] Single [ ] Married [ ] Divorced [ ] Widowed 5. What is your highest qualification? [ ] Secondary [ ] Pre-U [ ] Diploma [ ] Bachelor’s Degree [ ] Master’s Degree [ ] Doctorate . What is your employment status? [ ] Students [ ] Professional [ ] White collar worker [ ] Blue collar worker [ ] Unemployed [ ] Others (Please specify)_______________________ 7. Which of the following represent your monthly salary/allowance? [ ] Less than RM 1,000 [ ] RM1, 001- RM 2,000 [ ] RM 2,001- RM 3,000 [ ] RM 3,001- RM 4,000 [ ] More than RM 4,000 SECTION B Please answer the questions below and indicate your answer for the following statements. (Please tick (where appropriate) 8. What kind of foods do you prefer? ] Chinese cuisine [ ] Indian cuisine [ ] Malay cuisine [ ] Western cuisine [ ] Japanese cuisine [ ] Others (Please specify) _______________________ 9. How often do you patronize Asia cafe? [ ] Everyday [ ] 2 – 3 times a week [ ] Once a week [ ] 2 – 3 times a month [ ] Others (Please specify) _______________________ 10. When do you usually go to Asia Cafe? [ ] Breakfast hour [ ] Lunch hour [ ] Tea time hour [ ] Dinner hour [ ] Supper hour 11. How did you get to know about Asia Cafe? [ ] Newspaper / Magazine ] Friends [ ] Study / Live / Work nearby [ ] Previous visit [ ] Others (Please specify) ______________________ 12. Please rate your OVERALL Satisfaction Level in Asia Cafe. Please circle your answer 1 Extremely Poor 2 Very Poor 3 Fairly Poor 4 Moderate 5 Fairly Good 6 Very Good 7 Excellent SECTION C 13. Please rate the factors that influence your SATISFACTION LEVEL of Asia Cafe (Please tick ( where appropriate) 1 – Extremely Poor 2 – Very Poor 3 – Fairly Poor 4 – Moderate 5 – Fairly Good 6 – Very Good 7 – Excellent Quality of food |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 | |Innovative food |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | |Presentation of food |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | |Food consistency (always taste the same) |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | |Tastiness of food and beverage |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | Quality of service |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 | |Knowledge of food and beverage |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | |Equipment and appearance of employee |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | |Politeness of employee |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | |Waiting time before food / beverage arriving |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | Cost / Value of meal |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 | |Value of beverage |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | |Ambience |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 | |Level of noise |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | |Level of cleanliness | | | | | | | | |Food court’s temperature |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | Amenities |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 |Not applicable | |Washroom | | | | | | | | | |Internet Service | | | | | | | | | |Pool Centre | | | | | | | | | |Large screen projector and TV | | | | | | | | | ( Thank you for your participation. ( ———————– * You may tick more than 1 * You may tick more than 1 * You may tick more than 1

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