a.) Taking meals in restaurant is a common phenomena for most people especially so those who work in cities. It is also a common phenomenon with me as I am used to taking meals in different restaurants depending on where I am at the particular time. As it was just a lunchtime meal I wanted to be served with a simple two course meal. I went to one of the well known restaurant which offers meals in two-courses and three courses. I have visited the restaurant many times. I was served with an appetizer –soup and then a buffet in quick succession.
b.) I do marketing work which involves a lot of movements. Therefore, I am used to taking lunchtime meals in restaurants. I choose restaurants which are serving the meals which I like. There are a number of reasons which informed my choice of the restaurant and the meals. I have known the restaurant for a long time. I have also taken meals in the restaurant many times and in different occasions therefore I fully understand the kind of services that I can get from the restaurant.
The first reason that informed me to choose the restaurant is that it is its location and appearance. The restaurant is located in the middle of the city. The city is very active business wise and thus the restaurant is located in a better place of access for the busy people, I being one of these people. The restaurant has good colors which are appealing to the eyes. The aesthetic value of the restaurant draws me to it. Also my presence in the city at that time gave me a reason to go and take a meal in the restaurant. I was with my friend who had visited the city for the first time; she had heard a about the services of the restaurant and needed to experience them. She requested me to accompany to accompany her to the restaurant.
The second reason why I chose the restaurant is that it has been in existence for a long time. It is one of the oldest yet one of the liked restaurants in many. The fact that it is old and yet it attracts many people means that the restaurant is experienced in offering services to its customers. It has a good reputation in the restaurant industry. The reputation or image has been built by the nature and quality of products and services that customers receive. Each and every customer, even those who visit the restaurant for the first time often find reasons to keep visiting the restaurant. Also the restaurant has a big range of services. There is a big rage or variety of meals being served in the restaurant. The diversity in meals always offers me an option for the kind of meal that I like at any time I visit the restaurant. The restaurant offers both two course and three course meals. Unlike other restaurants which have only certain services or which specialize in only a given line of service, the restaurant has been so efficient in offering multiple services.
The size of the restaurant is very appealing. It is very spacious. It has the capacity to accommodate big crowds of people. It also offers private meal rooms for people who want to have private business chats and discussions over meals. Therefore, the restaurant was favorable for us as we wanted to have a small chat. It is very convenient especially during the busy lunchtime hours where many people are taking meals. In such times it is hard to find space in the restaurants that are not spacious. Owing to the size of the restaurant, space is always available even at busiest times of service.
The level of cleanliness is this restaurant is very outstanding. It is rated as one of the cleanest restaurants in the city. As a place which serves meals, cleanliness is one of the core factors and consideration for customers. Cleanliness is a big factor of attraction to this restaurant and is the reason why I accepted to accompany my friend to the restaurant.
The last factor of attraction to this restaurant is its pricing. The restaurant management has managed to maintain lower prices for the services. Unlike other restaurants, this restaurant has managed to offer their services at reduced prices. They have kept low prices while at the same time keeping quality standards in service. It is one of the cheapest restaurants in the city yet its services are rated as one of the best service providers in the restaurant.
The speed of customer service is very high. It has many staffs or waiters. It is well prepared to handle the big number of customers. Customers get attended to as soon as they enter the restaurant. Most people like such services where they know that they will get attention as fast as possible. It is more favorable for both busy people and even for people who do not need fast services.
Security at the restaurant is very appealing. It has a huge parking space that is well guarded with security officers. Customers do not need to pay for parking services. Moreover, the parked vehicles are well guarded hence safe. There are surveillance cameras all over the parking area. Each person entering the restaurant has to be searched before entering the restaurant. Inside the restaurant, there are glasses all over the walls with surveillance cameras positioned in different places. Alarm systems have also been installed in the restaurants. This assures customers of their security giving them a reason to sit comfortably and enjoy their meals.
The restaurant has a good system of entertaining their customers. It has live bands throughout the day. The bands are in every floor all the three floors of the restaurant. Each floor has a different kind of music band thus customers choose the floor with the band playing the kind of music that is pleasing to them. The restaurant also has high definition screens mounted all over with entertaining programs running on the TVs.
c.) This is a place I have been visiting for quite often therefore as usual i have my own expectations of the service I am going to get from the restaurant. I was expecting to get a warm welcome from the waiters. I wanted to get into and book for a private service table where I would get to have a little chat with my friend. I also expected good meals and quick service from the staffs. I also expected to get so many people in the restaurant. I also expected to be entertained with music as we took the meals. I knew and was expecting to pay only 30 dollars for the meal I was going to eat. On entering a restaurant any person would expect to see a number of activities happening. Expectations are molded around certain experiences that a person has had concerning either the place or the product and service the person is seeking for.
a.) Perceptions are mostly shaped by the real experience of either a good or service or in general, the experience that a person gets as he consumes a given good or service. Preformed opinion can greatly influence the perception about a given service provider or company and its products and services. Perceptions inform future decisions of customers on products and services being given by a firm. Negative perceptions may result in the loss of customers or a reduction in the flow of customers. Perceptions lead to attitude formation mostly on the part of customers. The business must always strive to see that the customers have positive perceptions of their products and service. A restaurant for instance has to ensure that it is offering quality services to its clients. This is because it deals directly with the customers. Restaurants also do handle very sensitive products – prepare and serve ready food to customers. Therefore, a lot of issues include health issues and hygiene has to be given a big priority.
As it is with this restaurant, we had a very warm welcome from its jovial waiters. We opted to go and book for private table meals but unfortunately we were informed that all of them had been already booked. We were given an option of waiting for the private table for thirty minutes. As we could not wait for that long we opted for the general tables. I was disappointed by the fact that I could not get a private table. This was the first time for all the visits I had made in the restaurant to miss a private table. As usual I was delighted with the reception. The meals were good. We ordered for the meals which took quite a while to come due to be served. We were served after about twenty minutes. We got the meal that we ordered for. The meal was hot, fresh and very tasty. I also noted that the number of waiters was low. There were few waiters. The floor in which were served had no live band to entertains the customers. We took our meals as we conversed. The food was so delicious and my friend liked it. I realized that she was enjoying the meals as we continued to take them. She was also impressed by the services of the level of reception and the attention and concern for customers in such a restaurant which serves so many people. She reiterated this several times as we did several thanks. As we left the restaurant we were issued with a notice. On the notice the restaurant had apologized for slow services to the customers and most of its services had been hired. I appreciated and we entered our car and left.
I did not like the services of the day – no space on in the private table room, any live band and slow service. Generally, I had a good perception of the services of the day. The meals were as are good and the fact that they apologized for slow services made me change the perception the bad impression of the service I had received that day from the restaurant. Different with me was my friend who was fully impressed with all the services she received. She was impressed with the reception, the meals and even the kind of entertainment that is available in the restaurant. She must have formed a positive attitude towards the services hence a good perception of the restaurant. I can guess that she is not used to this kind of services in whichever restaurant she has been visiting.
b.) Apart form a few changes in the manner in which services were offered, I was impressed with the meals. The meal was so tasty that my friend had to remind me again and again as we enjoyed it. Though the number of waiters was low and contrary to my expectations, they were so flexible in receiving customers and orders. The reception experience was standard compared to other times. I also paid the amount of money I was expecting. Therefore, my expectation on price was met. I appreciated way the management responded to the needs and how they care for the customers. I was happy for my friend was fully satisfied by the services.
c.) The restaurant is used to offering good services but as was with the services that I received in that day they to some extend fell short of my expectations. The first incidence concern the absence of space where I m used to sitting. Also the time taken to serve meals was quite long which was unlike the culture of the restaurant. Thirdly there was not enough entertainment with the absence of a live band in hall in hall one where we took lunch from. However the restaurant management is quite efficient and understands its customers well. They ensured that they explained to their customers about the shift in service provision during this particular day. Nonetheless, their response was not timely. They did not utilize customer communicative skills well. They could have informed customers about the temporary shift in service offering before letting them experience the bad service first. On the part of my friend, she was very much satisfied with the entire service – from reception all to service and entertainment. Her preformed opinion and perception of the restaurant was replicated in the service she got. She did not fully understand the operation of the restaurant and the real services that customers are given in the restaurant. Her expectation of the service was guided by the perception of the restaurant which she had formed out of secondary sources of information.
The services sector is fragile businesses to manage. The value of the services is entirely dependent on the customers. Customers are the major consumers of services and in most cases they interact directly with the service providers. The management of customer expectations is quite hard in service organizations or firms. Customers are the first evaluators of the services and are guided by opinions, experience or perceptions. Perceptions may be informed by facts mostly coming out of experience or even opinion some of which may be misguided. Managing service businesses involves not only offering services to customers but also managing the emotions of customers. All these affect the impact either positively or negatively of the expectations of customers about the organization and the kind of services being offered. From the customer experience service discussed in the literature above, we can derive a number of lessons for managers dealing with such organizations (Ford, Michael and Cherrill, pp. 426).
The case above is a typical example of a customer experience in a restaurant. The first thing to note from the case is that getting customers is quite easy but maintaining them is a big challenge to managers. Maintaining customers involves managing their expectations and ensuring that they always have positive perceptions about the organization and its products. In the case, the new customer who was visiting the restaurant for the first time had had a lot about the restaurants. She had formed a positive image about the restaurant and its services. She was eager to visit the restaurant and experience what she had heard about the place. Her general impression of the restaurant was good which influenced her first impression of the services she received from the restaurant. She was moved by the meals and the customer service. She could not discover the flops in services. She was captured by the restaurant. Quality service offering must be one of the key objectives of managerial function in the service industries like the restaurant. Quality service speaks for itself and acts as an incentive to marketing the organization. Clients satisfied by the services end up acting as marketing agents of the company either knowingly or unknowingly (Ford, Michael and Cherrill, pp. 426).
As mentioned, maintaining customers is a difficult exercise for service organizations. One main reason is that customers get used to a certain standard of service from the firm or the organization. Therefore they set their expectations. They expect to get a certain quality of service. They will easily note a difference in quality and even quantity of service that are being offered. This is how I easily noticed the difference in quality and the type of service that I received. My friend who was being introduced to this service for the first time had her own expectations though she could not easily tell the difference as I did. It was her first experience of the service. The management has to know their customers and the means through which to ensure that they maintain quality service. Changes in service offering must be communicated by the management and the circumstances leading to that clearly explained. As is with the service we received from the restaurant, the management failed in executing customer communication. They ought to have made the communication to customers first thing rather than letting us experience the altered service before explaining to us later. This has a potential of tainting the image of the firm offering the service in the eyes of its customers. But as long as customers have been fully captured by service offering, it is not easy to loose them as long as uncertainties are well managed (Reid and David, pp. 147).
With respect to the restaurant and its services, it can be said that the management has done so well in keeping customers. Aspects of quality have been given a great consideration. Moreover the prices of services have been adjusted to meet the needs of customers. Just as it is in economics, customers always seek for best services at a reduced cost.
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