Taking meals in a restaurant is a common phenomenon for most people, especially for those working in towns. It is also a common phenomenon with me because I am used to taking meals in different restaurants depending on my location atany given time. As it was just a lunchtime meal, I wanted to be served with an ordinary two-course meal. I went to one of the well-known restaurants, 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.
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I work as a marketer, and this job involves a lot of movements. Therefore, I am used to taking lunchtime meals in restaurants. I choose restaurants that serve meals I like. There are a number of reasons that inform 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 before,and on different occasions.Therefore, I fully understand the services that I can get from the restaurant.
The first reason that informed me to choose the restaurant is its location and appearance. The restaurant is located in the middle of the city. The city is highly active in terms of business, and the restaurant is located at a better place to allow for access for the busy people like me. The restaurant has bright 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 about the services of the restaurant and needed to experience them firsthand. She requested me 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 the town. The fact that it is old, but attracts many people means that the restaurant has superb experience in offering services to its customers. The restaurant has a strong reputation in the industry. The reputation has been built by nature and quality of products and services that customers receive.
Each and every customer, even those who visit the restaurant for the first time,gets reasons to keep visiting the restaurant. Also, the restaurant has a vast range of services. There is a big range of meals being served in the restaurant. The diversity in meals always offers me an option for the meal that I like, any time I visit the restaurant. The restaurant offers both two-course and three-course meals. Unlike other restaurants that only have certain services or specialise in only a given line of service, the restaurant has been so efficient in offering multiple services.
The size of the restaurant is immensely appealing. It is exceptionally spacious. It has the capacity to accommodate large 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. This is because we wanted to have a small chat. It is exceedingly convenient especially during the busy lunchtime hours, when many people are taking meals. In such times, it is hard to find space in restaurants that are not spacious. Space is always available even at busiest times of service. This is because the restaurant has a big capacity.
The level of cleanliness is this restaurant is extremely outstanding. It is rated as one of the cleanest restaurants in the city. As a place that serves meals, cleanliness is one of the core factors and consideration by customers. Cleanliness is a key factor of attraction to this restaurant, and is the reason why I accepted to accompany my friend to the restaurant.
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The last factor of attraction to this restaurant is its pricing. The restaurant management has managed to maintain lower prices for the products and 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 in town.
The speed of customer service delivery is unusually high because it has many staffs. It is well prepared to handle the high 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 particularly appealing. It has a large 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, and 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, thusgiving them a reason to sit comfortably and enjoy their meals.
The restaurant has a robust system of entertaining their customers. It has live bands throughout the day. The bands are located on the three floors of the restaurant. Each floor has a different music band, thus customers choose the floor with the band playing the music that is pleasant to them. The restaurant also has high definition screens mounted strategically with entertaining programs running on the TVs.
This is a place I have been visiting for quite some time.Therefore, as usual,I have my own expectations of the services I get from the restaurant. I was expecting to get a warm welcome from the waiters. I wanted to get into the restaurant and book for a private service table, where I would have a little chat with my friend. I also expected delicious meals and quick service from the staffs. I also expected to get 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 that I was going to take. On entering a restaurant, a person would expect to see a number of activities happening. Expectations are molded around certain experiences that a person has had concerning the place, product, and service the person is seeking.
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 significantly 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 customers have positive perceptions of their products and service. For instance,a restauranthas to ensure that it is offering quality services to clients. This is because it deals directly with customers. Restaurants also handle highly sensitive products – prepare and serve ready food to customers. Therefore, a lot of issues involve health issues and hygiene has to be given a tremendous priority.
As it is with this restaurant, we had a truly warm welcome from its jovial waiters. We opted to go and book private table-meals. Unfortunately, we were informed that all of them had already been 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 of all the visits I had made to the restaurant to miss a private table. As usual, I was delighted with the reception. The meals were excellent. We ordered for the meals which took quite a while to be served.
We were served after about twenty minutes. We got the meal that we ordered. The meal was hot, fresh, and exceptionally tasty. I also noted that the number of waiters was low. There were few waiters. The floor in which we were served had no live band to entertain us. We took meals as we conversed. The food was so delicious, and my friend liked it. She was also impressed by the services and the level of reception. She also seemed to like the attention and concern for customers in such a restaurant which serves many people. She reiterated this several times. As we left the restaurant, we were issued with a notice. On the notice, the restaurant had apologised for slow services to customers, and most of its services had been hired. I appreciated, and we entered the car and left.
I did not like the services of the day– no space on in the private table room, no live band, and the slow service. I had a clear perception of the services of the day. The meals were good, and the fact that they apologised for slow services made me change the negative perception I had regarding the service I received that day from the restaurant. On the contrary, my friend was fully impressed with the services she received.
She was impressed with the reception, the meals, and even the entertainment that was in the restaurant. She must have formed a positive attitude towards the services.Therefore,she had a clear perception of the restaurant. I can guess that she is not used to this services in whichever restaurant she has been visiting.
Apart from 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 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 the 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.
The restaurant is used to offering superior services, butthe services that I received that day were short of my expectations. The first incidence concerned the absence of space where I am used to sitting. Also, the time taken to serve meals was quite long, which was contrary to the culture of the restaurant. Thirdly, there was not enough entertainment, with the absence of a live band in the hall where we took lunch.
However, the restaurant management is quite efficient and understands its customers well. They ensured that they explained to their customers about the change in service provision during that day. Nonetheless, their response was not timely. They did not utilise customer communicative skills effectively. They could have informed customers about the temporary shift in service offering before letting them experience the lousy service.
On the part of my friend, she was satisfied with the entire service–from reception, tothe service and entertainment. Her pre-formed 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.
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The services sector is fragile businesses to manage. The value of the services is entirely dependent on the customers. Customers are the main consumers of services, and in most cases, they interact directly with the service providers. The management of customer expectations is quite hard in service organisations 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 of the expectations of customers about the organisation and 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 organisations (Ford, Sturman and Heaton, p. 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 an enormous challenge to managers. Maintaining customers involve managing their expectations and ensuring that they always have positive perceptions about the organisation and its products. In the case, the new customer who was visiting the restaurant for the first time experienced a lot of things 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 organisation. Clients satisfied by the services end up acting as marketing agents of the company either knowingly or unknowingly (Ford, Sturman and Heaton, p. 426).
As mentioned, maintaining customers is a difficult exercise for service organisations. One main reason is that customers get used to a certain standard of service from the firm or organisation. 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 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 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 customersfirst rather than letting the clients experience the altered service before explaining. This has the potential of tainting the image of the firm offering the service in the eyes of its customers. As long as customers have been fully captured by service offering, it is not easy to lose them as long as uncertainties are well managed (Reid andBojanic, p. 147).
With respect to the restaurant and its services, it can be said that the management has done quite well in keeping customers. Aspects of quality have been given a serious 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. However, there is need for the management to communicate effectively to the customers. This will ensure that customers are satisfied with the services and goods. Communication about changes in the operations of the restaurant should be made in a timely manner to avoid confusion. This will improve the level of trust that customers have towards the restaurant management.
Ford, Robert, Michael Sturman, and Cherrill Heaton. Managing Quality Service in Hospitality: How Organisations Achieve Excellence in the Guest Experience. Clifton Park, N.Y: Delmar, Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Reid, Robert and David Bojanic. Hospitality Marketing Management. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print.