Dissertation Writing Example — 11

Hwang & Jinlin (2010) reference customer satisfaction in the restaurant industry leading to restaurant sales, and deals with the factors that most strongly influence customer satisfaction in the restaurant setting.  This article references a study that used AnswerTree methodology to determine what the differences are between satisfied and dissatisfied customers. The basic findings of this study reveal three perceived quality factors that influence customer satisfaction and also three perceived quality factors that influence customer dissatisfaction.  The three qualities that most determine if a customer is going to be satisfied seem to be good value, tasty food, and the cleanliness of the restaurant.  The three qualities that seem to determine if a customer is going to be dissatisfied are value, the taste of the food, and the employees’ knowledge of the menu items.  The purpose of this study is to look at these determining factors to provide meaningful information for owners of restaurants to keep their customers satisfied and make sure that they keep coming back.  The AnswerTree method of research lets the researcher look at specific groups of people to determine their levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction.  This article also references the correlation between satisfied customers, dissatisfied customers, and customers who return to a specific restaurant (Hwang & Jinlin, 2010).

Zee-Sun & Pysarchika (2010) deal with helping multinational companies accurately identify many different factors that impact new food products that are used by Indian customers specifically.  The study begins with the increased amount of consumer targeting of Indian markets both in general and in specific as to the food markets.  This study also helps to identify the attitudinal and product attribute factors with regards to this expanding market.  The methods used in this study are applied integrated decision utility theories, and by using these methods, the researchers set out to determine how product familiarity influences product purchases, both decisions and intentions, that are based on values.  The results of this study seem to indicate that familiarity greatly influences the expected value that will be received, the perceived value that is actually received, and the intent to purchase a particular product, specifically in the Indian market where the study groupings focused.  The study also seemed to indicate that purchase intentions are only influenced by a consumer expectation of value.  This article also deals with many forms of marketing and talks about how this information can be used for marketing purposes.  Another factor that this article delves into is the westernization of many traditional Indian societies, and the economic impacts due to this westernization (Zee-Sun & Pysarchika, 2010).

Frisbee & Madeira (1986) tested the hypothesis that restaurant meals are conveniences rather than luxuries, and the study group consists of Canadian households that have two people earning money for the household expenses.  This article examines results that seem to indicate that restaurant food expenditures in this demographic support the hypothesis that many households rely on restaurant food as a convenience, rather than thinking of it as a luxury for their household.  The basic results of this study show that there is a positive relationship between the proportions of money spends on food that is allocated to discretionary meals at a restaurant and average wage rates that equal the value of time of both wage earners in the household. This study also shows a negative relationship between unearned income and the expenditures of restaurant food.  According to this article, both results support the hypothesis.  The formal hypothesis that is being tested with this study is that if meals from a restaurant are considered conveniences rather than luxuries, then the economic value of a home cooked meal becomes greater depending on the income of the wage earners, and so therefore eating at home becomes less cost effective than the cost involved with eating out (Frisbee & Madeira, 1986). 

Su (2011) initiated a study on the roles of service innovation and customer experience in ethnic restaurants.  The purposes of the research for this study are threefold, including 1.To understand the degree of service innovation influencing customers’ behavioral intention in ethnic restaurants; 2.) To explore the relationship of service innovation and customer experience in ethnic restaurants; and 3.) To explore the mediating effect of customer service experience on service innovation and behavioral intention in ethnic restaurants.  Data for this study was collected in the form of questionnaires that were distributed to ten different types of ethnic restaurants, yielding 322 samples for the study.  The results of the testing suggest that service innovation has a profound effect on both behavioral intention and customer intention.  The statistical methods of testing include descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, correlation analysis, and hierarchal regression.  Statistics also seem to indicate a correlation between service innovation and the supporting of customer intention.  The article also delves into theoretical and practical implications of the results of the study, and suggests methods of future research as well as limitations of that potential research.  The article also suggests that this data would be particularly useful in helping establishments with marketing (Su, 2009).

Kim, Hertzman, and Jung-Jin(2010) studied the interactions between college students and fast food restaurants and services.  It uses the data that the top three fast food restaurants in the United States are McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s, and uses surveys from 499 college students which measured the levels of satisfaction that each college student felt with each of these fast food restaurants.  The results of this study seem to indicate that the best way for fast food restaurants to hold the interest and the business of college students is to provide outstanding food quality value and practical value.  The surveys also indicated that the highest level of satisfaction among college students was Wendy’s over McDonalds and Burger King.  The purpose of this study is to help managers and executives in the fast food industry focus on the essentials of targeting their key demographics- namely college students.  The surveys indicate that a higher emphasis must be placed on value and quality to attract business from college students.  The surveys also indicate that in general, most college students are quite satisfied with the choices of fast food restaurants, the prices offered at each of these fast food restaurants, and the selection of food available at each of these fast food restaurants (Kim, Hertzman, and Jung-Jin, 2010).

Geissler (2010) suggests that offering catered food at work that is more healthy than other types of food offerings will increase the overall general health of workers and therefore their productivity.  It suggests that the catering industry as a whole has grown tremendously over the last few years, and that a recent emerging trend towards healthy eating among consumers should also translate into the workplace.  This article suggests researching the viability of having caterers extend their services beyond simply working with events, charities, and groups, but also providing healthy food into the office.  For this study, a service concept test was provided to 36 companies in reference to having catering services that specialize in healthy foods serving each of these businesses.  The findings from these surveys at these businesses seem to indicate that the trend of healthy eating is extending into the workplace, and that overall the companies that responded to the surveys seemed to have a favorable attitude towards employing catering services that offered a healthy selection of foods for their employees.  The results of this survey also seem to indicate that businesses could potentially be a promising target market for different caterers that offer healthy food selections (Geissler, 2010).













Ching-Shu Su (2011) ‘The role of service innovation and customer experience in          ethnic restaurants’. The Service industries journal, 31(3), pp.425-     440[online] available from            http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02642060902829302[Accessed 6th Feb 2011] 

Frisbee, W & Madeira, K.  (1986).  Restaurant Meals – Convenience Goods or       Luxuries?The Service Industries JournalVolume 6, Issue 2, 1986, Pages        172 – 192.

Geissler, Gary L.(2010) ‘Healthy Food at Work? An Examination of a Proposed    Catering ServiceConcept’, Journal of Food Products Marketing, 16: 4, 350     — 360.

Gregory, Susan and Kim, Joohyang.  (2005) ‘Restaurant choice’, Journal of           foodservice business, 7(1), pp. 81-95[online] available from   http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J369v07n01_06 [Accessed 8th Feb 2011]                    

Hwang, Jinsoo and Zhao, Jinlin.  (2010) ‘Factors Influencing Customer       Satisfaction           or Dissatisfaction in the Restaurant Business Using AnswerTree Methodology’, Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality          & Tourism, 11: 2, 93 — 110.

Kim, Yen-Soon, Hertzman, Jean and Hwang, Jung-Jin(2010) ‘College Students      and Quick-ServiceRestaurants: How Students Perceive Restaurant Food   and Services’, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 13: 4, 346—        359.

Mahadevan, Meena and Blair, Dorothy.  (2009) ‘Changes in Food Habits of South         Indian Hindu BrahminImmigrants in State College, PA’, Ecology of Food      and Nutrition, 48: 5, 404 — 432.  

MeenaMahadevan, Dorothy Blair (2007), ‘Changes in food habits of south Indian         Hindu Brahmin immigrants in state college, PA’.  Ecology of food and         nutrition, 48(5), pp.404-432, Informaworld [online] available from:            http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03670240903170533[Accessed 18th Jan          2011]

Skålén, Per.  (2009). ‘Service marketing and subjectivity: the shaping of              customer-oriented employees’, Journal of Marketing Management, 25: 7,        795 —809.

Su, Ching-Shu.  (2011) ‘The role of service innovation and customer experience in ethnic restaurants’, The Service Industries Journal, 31: 3, 425 — 440,         First published on: 12 October 2010 (iFirst)               

Walter, U, Edvardsson, B, & Ostrom, A.  (2010).  Drivers of customers’ service     experiences: a study in the restaurant industry.  Managing Service Quality    Vol. 20 No. 3, 2010 pp. 236-258

Yen-Soon Kim, Jean Hertzman, and Jung-Jin Hwang, (2010) ‘College students      and quick-service restaurants: How students perceive restaurant food and       services’, Journal of foodservice business research, 13(4), pp. 346-    359[online] available from                         

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15378020.2010.524536 [Accessed 7th Feb     2011]

Yun, Zee-Sun and Pysarchik, Dawn Thorndyke(2010) ‘Indian Consumers’ Value-   Based New Food Product Adoption’, Journal of Food Products Marketing,           16(4), pp. 398-41 [online] available from       http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10454446.2010.509248 [accessed 9th Feb           2011]

Zee-Sun Yuna; Dawn Thorndyke Pysarchika.  Indian Consumers’ Value-Based                New Food Product AdoptionJournal of Food Products MarketingVolume 16, Issue 4, 2010, Pages 398 – 417.

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Dissertation Writing Example — 10

Indian Culture and Cuisine

The country of India offers an exciting array of offerings—from its very interesting culture, and way of life of the people, down to the kinds of food it showcases. India’s food is categorized into three classifications—Tamas Satva, Rajas, and Sattva. Thamas actually resembles indulgence, Sattva on the other hand signifies balance, and Rajas is associated to passion. The lifestyle of the person determines as to what kind of food he/ she is to consume. To make it more concrete and definitive, an example can be helpful. Like the case of a King, he has the role of defending his country that is why the kind of food that he should take is the one that gives him the passion and the aggressiveness to stand against the enemies.  However, when one opts to have his life in sought for self-realization, Sattvic diet or Food classified as Sattva would be the best to consume to gain and maintain balance and keep one’s mind at peace.  On the other hand, in the case of Thamasic food, it should only be taken in when needed or required on occasions and special events. These Thamasic diets are also know as static foods like alcohol. This has been the main reason why drinking is not widely practiced by Hindus.

The vast scope of Cuisine of the country is brought about by the introduction of Spices and herbs which are sophisticatedly and subtly seasoned in Indian foods. Each classification of Indian menus are typified by the variety of dish assortments employed with different techniques of cooking. It must be noted that Indian dishes which are traditional in nature include goat, fish, chicken, lamb, and other meat with the exception of cows, a large percentage of the food in the country is vegetarian.  The country of India is widely famous for its adherence in using spices and herbs in every food at hand playing significant part in common and ordinary life most especially during festivals. Varying from different regions, cuisines of the country greatly mirror down the kind of cultural variation and demographical stratification the country has. In the general sense, there are five classifications of the country’s cuisines: eastern, northern, western, and north-eastern food.  However, despite of the differences and distinctions of the country’s food; some lights of unity is also visible. One of these is the varied application of spices and herbs which serves as one of the fundamentals in preparing Indian food. These spices and herb are utilized to improve the tastiness and flavor of every Indian dish to yield a palatable taste aroma. With India’s cuisines as influenced by numerous cultural denominations which include the Mughals, Persians, and Colonists from Europe, Indian dishes serve a particular group which is deeply rooted from history and culture. One of the famous specialized dishes include the tandoori dishes, which are actually a chicken tikka seasoned with Indian spices and ingredients.

All throughout the world, Indian cuisines are widely known and popular. This has something to do with the history of the country as India had its spices and herbs which were made as trade commodities. Due to the dominance of Arab traders in the region, European explorers and trader opted for new routes leading to new discoveries. The curry has been discovered and become so famous across Asia, it actually originated in India which created the popular pan-Asian dish.  Some Indian cuisines thatare considered staples include atta — whole wheat flour, rice, and pulses varieties.  The most important among the Indian staples are the red lentil or called by its native name as masoor, Bengal gram or Channa, yellow pea or pigeon pea or toor in the native dialect, black gram or urad, and green gram which is called as moong in the Indian language. Pulses can actually be prepared as a whole. An example of this is the dhuli moong or dhuli urad. Channa and moong are some of the pulses which can be processed into a besan or flour.

Most curries in the country are cooked using a vegetable oil. However, western and northern India, the most popular way of cooking curries is through peanut oil; while mustard oil is usually utilized in eastern part of the country. On the other hand, on the western part especially in Kerala, coconut oils are prevalently used, and the south usually used sesame oil or gingelly in the native tongue. At the present context, soybean oil and oil from sunflower has been in its wide use in the entire country replacing the formerly widely used Vanaspati ghee—or termed as hydrogenated vegetable oil.  Chili pepper is one of the spices that is mostly used in Indian cuisines. Other seasonings also include black mustard seed or raj, cumin or jeera, fenugreek or methi, turmeric or haldi, asafetida or hing, coriander or dhania, ginger or adrak,and garlic or leshun in the native term. Garam masala is one of the spices mixes which is widely known and popular. This is actually a powder made from five combinations of dried spices which include clove cardamom, and cinnamon.  Another sweet spice which is similar to the one mentioned earlier is Goda Masala widely known in the region of Maharashtra. Moreover, Indian cuisines also make use of leaves like bay leaf or tejpat, fenugreek leaf, mint leaf, and coriander leaf. Another leaf that is also utilized in the enhancements of Indian flavors is the curry leaves and roots which is famous in the Southern region of India.  The country of India is definitely a place of various cultures, practices, beliefs, and food. With the kind of regional division the country has, it offers a variety of dishes which are sure to be mouth-watering and flavorful even to foreign palates.

Walter, Edvardsson, & Ostrom (2010) deal with the identification, portrayal, and analysis of the frequent drivers or customer service experiences, and describes these experiences in the customers’ own words.  In this study, 122 interviews were conducted, and 195 narratives both favorable and unfavorable based on actual customer experiences were designed for a critical incident technique study.  Data from these interviews and narratives were analyzed using an inductive process and then the results were determined from extracts of the narratives.  The study findings describe the interactions of customers’ favorable and unfavorable experiences with customer service drivers, and also show the social interactions in these encounters, the core service in these encounters, and the physical context of each of these encounters.  Limitations to this research might include the fact that most customer experiences are more processes than experiences, and therefore these dynamic relationships and interactions involve both the drivers and the customers as co-producers.  Also the context of the study was limited to customers who are Swedish and customer interactions that take place entirely within a restaurant setting.  The implications of the study suggest that great efforts need to be made on the part of managers to make sure that all facets of the customer service interaction are examined and understood (Walter, Edvardsson, & Ostrom, 2010).

The study that this articles writes about involved 122 interviews and 195 narratives about good and bad customer service experiences.  In this study, the researchers were trying to determine what constitutes a favorable or unfavorable customer service experience, and also looks at the identification, portrayal, and analysis of frequent drivers of customer service experiences.  The experiences are written in the words of the customers who participated in this study.  These interviews and narratives regarding customer service experiences were analyzed for what data they contained using an inductive process, and then the exact results were extrapolated from the narratives.  The findings of the study describe both favorable and unfavorable customer/customer service driver interactions.  These results also reference the social interactions in these encounters, both positive and negative, the core service issues in these encounters, both positive and negative, and the physical context of all of the encounters included in the narratives.  This article also states that limitations to this type of research might be that most of the time experiences between customers and customer service drivers are more typical as processes than simple experiences, and so because these relationships are so dynamic and changing, both the customers service drivers and the customers are co-producers of the experience (Walter, Edvardsson, & Ostrom, 2010).

Mahadevan and Blair (2009) conducted a study about food choices and eating habits of south Indian Brahmin immigrants that are attending State College in Pennsylvania.  This article references the cultural and religious dietary restrictions adhered to by many south Indian Brahmin immigrants.  In the study that the article references, the factors were examined that could influence changes to these religious and cultural dietary strictures, and these changes were examined with twenty-eight participants.  The testing that the participants experienced were semi-structured interviews based on the PRECEDE framework that asked about food and eating habits.  Observations by the participants and about the participants were also factored into the results of this study.  Many points of the article also deal with the levels of food acculturation among the participants of the study, and how they represent a larger acculturation taking place.  In general, the participants of the study reported that their experiences and lifestyles at State College represented a “delicate balance” between their cultural experiences and traditions, trying to balance fitting in with their peers in regards to eating habits and practices, and dealing with a large selection of north Indian cuisine available in the area, rather than south Indian cuisine that would more be a part of their culture.  This article talks about a study that was conducted to examine the factors that influence changes in the eating habits and food choices of south Indian Brahmin immigrants who are attending State College in Pennsylvania.  The study conducted tested twenty-eight participants in a semi-structured interview setting about their eating habits and food habits.  These interviews were based on the PRECEDE framework, and participant observations were also factored into the results.  The data analysis of this study used grounded theory generated themes to discover the level of food acculturation among the participants.  The participants reported that their experiences in adjusting to life at State College were a “delicate balance” in keeping up with the traditions of their south Indian heritage, adapting to a town that offers north Indian cuisine more frequently than south Indian cuisine, and in simply trying to blend in with the eating habits of their classmates.  This article also focuses a great deal on the changes in Asian Indian population in the United States, and the cultural differences in each regional population of Asian Indians.  It hits four major points-modification of a vegetarian lifestyle, the changes in meal patterns, changes to the degree of usage of ethnic foods, and the changes of frequency in use of foods of other cultures available in America (Mahadevan & Blair, 2009).

Skålén (2009) conducted a study involving a theory that the right combination of disciplinary powers and pastoral powers in a customer-oriented workplace environment can help front-line employees better becomes proactive in their customer dealings, rather than reactive.  It also talks about how to create subjectivity and accountability in your front-line employees by utilizing a combination of these disciplinary powers and pastoral powers.  One of the major premises of the article is that having customer-oriented employees that are more proactive in their customer dealings, rather than reactive in their customer dealings is favorable.  In this article, this specific test case is analyzed by using Foucault’s ideas of disciplinary and pastoral powers, and then continues to state that using the principles of service marketing practice, front-line employees dealing with customers will become more subjective in the execution of their duties.  The case study that this article deals with involves a service firm that draws on practices of service marketing routinely to make and enforce management and policy guidelines for an organization.  This article concludes that based on the study, service marketing research will help an organization form better general management practices that will better train employees and improve customer-oriented service interactions.   This article focuses on service marketing practices, and how they contribute to customer-orienting employee subjectivity, as well as what extent they contribute to this subjectivity.  This article reports on a specific case study of a service firm that draws on service marketing practices as a routine part of the management of the organization.  This article analyzes this case by using Foucault’s ideas of pastoral and disciplinary power, and then states that by using the principles of service marketing practice, employees, especially front-line employees, will become more proactive in the subjectivity of their jobs.  This article also suggests that front-line employees become more knowledgeable about their jobs and rates of proactive customer interactions by employing the disciplinary power of service marketing practices.  This also suggests that these disciplinary powers help employees to become less reactive in their interactions with customers and more proactive in customer service.  The article then follows with the theory that after the disciplinary powers have been applied, pastoral powers will help employees to draw on their existing knowledge and further engender the subjectivity of front-line employees as more proactive.  The conclusion drawn in this article is that service marketing research should help an organization form general management practices that can be maintained by their employees (Skålén, 2009).

Gregory and Kim (2005) examine whether knowing about a restaurant or not knowing about a restaurant influences a customer’s decision on whether or not to eat there.  The basic question that this study set out to answer is how much the role of information about a particular restaurant factored into the choices that customers make about where to eat.  This study was conducted by handing out self-administered questionnaires to adult patrons of several different restaurants.  Four questions were developed by the researchers to try and answer this question of the role of information.  The first question was “What are the differences in consumers’ restaurant choice preferences when they have or do not have prior information about a restaurant?”  The second question was “What kinds of information sources are influential in restaurant selection?”  The third question was “What demographic variables coupled with or without information impact choice?”  And the fourth question was “How does the frequency of dining out affect choice when the patron does or does not have prior knowledge about the restaurant?”  The results of the testing suggest that receiving information from friends or family was one of the most important factors, and that also people who more frequently dine out place a greater importance of having information about a restaurant  (Gregory & Kim, 2005).

The article focuses on the role of information about a particular restaurant to help patrons choose which restaurant that they want to frequent.  This study wanted to examine the impact of how information given to a potential customer about a restaurant changed or influenced the decision to eat at that restaurant.  The methods used in the study were self-administered questionnaires that were handed out to adult patrons at different restaurants.  There seemed to be a great difference in the importance of location and food quality in choosing a place to eat based on lack of information or availability.  The study also shows that the most important sources of information were from relatives or friends who recommended the particular restaurant.  Another factor that had a profound impact on choosing a particular restaurant was the lack of information about that restaurant coupled with variables of a demographic nature. This study also suggests that the more often that people surveyed dine out at various restaurants, the more importance that they place on having information about value for their money.  Four questions were developed to test these variables: 1. What are the differences in consumers’ restaurant choice preferences when they have or do not have prior information about a restaurant; 2. What kinds of information sources are influential in restaurant selection; 3. What demographic variables coupled with or with\out information impact choice; and 4. How does the frequency of dining out affect choice when the patron does or does not have prior knowledge about the restaurant? (Gregory & Kim, 2005).

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