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Improving Service Quality Standards in UK Retail

Research Based On For Levy Restaurant

1.1. Introduction

Most of the companies engaged in service businesses are making their best efforts in order to improve their service quality with a view to satisfy their customers, especially in regards with the retail catering industry (Brady and Cronin, 2001). By providing better quality services, organizations will be in a position to increase the level of profits, satisfaction as well as loyalty from the potential customers. Customers are the mainstay for almost every organization, especially for the companies engaged in service and retail sector. If these firms are capable of rendering efficient services to their potential customers than surely they will make their consumers feel contended. This will in turn going to increase the sales as well as profits of the firms. Thus, it can be attributed that satisfaction of customers and profits of the companies go side by side. Thus, it is important on the part of management to concentrate on improving the quality of services. The subsequent research report deals with analyzing the factors that helps in improving the quality of services with special reference to Levy restaurant, which was popular earlier by the name of Letheby & Christopher Ltd.

In the present research, both primary and secondary research methods are being used by the researcher. The primary research will be conducted by making use of survey method. For the purpose of conducting survey, a questionnaire will be prepared, which will distributed to various employees and customers of the company. Employees are being included in the survey because through them researcher will be able to have access on internal information regarding various processes of the company. 200 customers as well as 50 employees will be approached by the researcher. They will be approached during the time of event randomly. In addition to this, the researcher has made use of dimensional sampling in order to select the appropriate samples from the whole population. Thus, the total number of respondents in this study will be 250.

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1.2. Company Background

The current research is being undertaken in Levy restaurant. It was earlier known as Letheby & Christopher Ltd. The company provides premium quality vending and food services to major sports and entertainment venues at a number of locations in the UK. These locations comprise the Millennium stadium, Reading Football Club, Wembley Arena, Henley Regatta, West Ham United Football Club, Edgbaston Cricket Ground and Henley Festival. Out of all these locations, the present research will focus only on Wembley Arena, which is situated in north-west London (Brady and Cronin, 2001).
The case company falls under the umbrella of well established catering conglomerate in the UK known as the Compass Group. As per the Levy’s financial annual sales report, the company is being earning steady profits since the year 2005. However they have also come across with various challenges during duration of this length. The company is facing such difficulties, probably because of their negligence of some of the important aspects of service quality. They are overlooking several issues related to service quality such as assuring, maintaining and controlling. Thus, it becomes crucial on the part of organization to uncover these problems so as to achieve higher standards of service quality. . [this should be in next section, but needs to be a lot more specific about possible problems. Again, the ref here cannot possibly be relevant. It is basically dishonest to stick in refs that bear no relation to the text, so please stop it.

1.3. Relevance of the research for Levy restaurant

Having been an employee of Compass group for over six years now, I currently hold the role of floor manager at several of their sites. Being in any organization for extended period of time, it makes it easier for me to clearly visualize the faults of the company, if any. Based on my own experience and also interviews with the Assistant General Manager and Staffing Manager of levy restaurant at Wembley arena, the following areas of weaknesses are being identified and these are underestimating and overlooking several aspects within the business like controlling and assuring service quality, customer satisfaction, lack of direct customer feedback, lack of feedback from management to employees and possible product development (Shkira and Gabeta, 2013).

Levy’s restaurant had a belief that by defining and developing quality service standards, any catering company can achieve the long term success. Further, the company also takes into consideration quality practices and standards so as to maintain the satisfaction level of the customers. Each and every guest of the restaurant is greeted by warm welcome, heartfelt invitation to return and they are also served with pride by the employee’s of the hotel. All these service qualities make the customers satisfied and propel them to visit the restaurant repeatedly. Attributing from the above it can be said that service quality plays a major role in catering company.

For those customers, whose food service experience is limited up to fast food and casual restaurants, the perception of quality experience will be different in comparison with the customers who often support and patronize full-service restaurants. Thus, meeting the expectation of the customers, who have very limited experience of full-service restaurants, will be very difficult and crucial for the catering companies. Unless and until the food production and service standards are established in the company, the customers will be going to experience many levels of quality (James, Evans and Lindsay, 2002).
Any research is generally carried out to add sufficient knowledge to the existing knowledge base and it has some relevance and importance in the contemporary business environment (McBurney and White, 2009). The topic undertaken for the study also has a high degree of significance in the field of retail catering business. In this current competitive market and economic scenario, it becomes really difficult for the catering companies to sustain effective business in the market. In order to meet the specifications of the customers, each and every organization is making their best efforts. Thus, in order to be distinctive, catering companies are required to have some differentiation in their products and services such that they can be identified as different from the crowd. The companies engaged in catering business can achieve this differentiation by offering innovative products and service, through speedy and timely delivery, low pricing and strong marketing strategy (Cronin and Taylor, 1992).

With reference to the above facts the current research report will investigate whether the quality service helps in improving the overall efficiency of the business. Further, it will also evaluate the current service quality process being followed in Levy restaurant (Company Overview of Letheby & Christopher Ltd, n.d). The result and findings of this research will provide assistance to the company in improving their service quality standards as well as will help them in meeting out the expectations of the customers effectively.

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1.4. Academic relevance of research

In any of the research, the literature review part is being defined as a process, which analyzes the relevant past theories and data in regards with the subject of the research. It is also used by the researcher in order to comprehend the critical points of current information available about the topic (Fisher, 2007). This review is being performed with a view to investigate various secondary sources. Many previous researches were being done by various authors such as Oliver and Cronin and Taylor in the year 1980 and 1992 in regards with ‘service quality’ and ‘customer satisfaction’ (Parasuraman, Zeithml and Berry, 2001). They have focused on assessing the difference between the two terms. Another author Gronroos has studied about the two dimensions of quality (Gronroos, 2007). All previous research has mainly emphasized on evaluating the various aspects of service quality.[this is an absurd statement]. Attributing from these facts, the current research dwells into identifying the importance of service quality in Levy Restaurant and various ways through which it can be improved for achieving better overall efficiency of the restaurant.

1.5 Aim and Objectives of research

The main aim of this dissertation is to identify potential improvements in service quality at Levy’s Restaurant and to test whether making these improvements might improve customer satisfaction and increase customer loyalty. The specific objectives are:

  • To review the evidence regarding the relationship between service quality, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, both generally and with specific reference to the restaurant/catering sector.
  • To evaluate the RSQS, SERVQUAL and DINESERV models for measuring customer satisfaction, with the aim of finding the most suitable model to act as a basis for the primary research, modifying the model as necessary for the specific research context. This includes investigating the service quality factors that past research has considered relevant when diners choose and evaluate service in a restaurant/catering context.
  • To conduct a survey of customers of Levy’s restaurant at Wembley Arena at the time of event using the model identified from the literature review, in order to measure customer satisfaction and also to ask questions about customer loyalty towards the company.
  • To make realistic and cost-effective recommendations about what appear to be the priority areas to improve service quality at Levy’s restaurant earlier known as Letheby & Christopher Ltd. at Wembley Arena.


2.1. Introduction

The literature review section of the report helps in providing a brief introduction about the theoretical contributions that have already been done on a specified research problem by various renowned authors. The present report deals with an investigation of whether improvement in the service quality of the company can improve the level of customer satisfaction and increase the customer loyalty. Further, the literature review part of the research will going to review the relationship between service quality, customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. The case company here in this research is Levy restaurant, earlier being known as the Letheby & Christopher Company (Letheby & Christopher, n.d).
Service Quality is being defined as the universal concept. By providing better quality services, organization will be in a position to increase the level of profits, satisfaction as well as loyalty from the potential customers. There exist a positive relationship between the customer satisfaction and profits of the company (Cronin and Taylor, 1992). Thus, it is important on the part of management to concentrate on improving the quality of services. Attributing to this, the consequent review is being conducted to determine various factors that probably lead the company to remain passive in relation with the service quality (Johnston and Clark, 2005). The quality of service can be measured by applying various tools and methods such as gap analysis, SERVQUAL and RSQS model. Here, in this research report SERVQUAL, DINESERV and RSQS model are being evaluated for the purpose of determining the best model that can be used in the primary research In addition to this; the current literature review will also present the importance of service quality in improving the level of customer’s satisfaction and customer loyalty.
Aim and Objectives of this chapter
The literature review part of the dissertation will going to explore various secondary sources related to service quality, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Wide range of academic journals and articles in regards with the quality service and its importance in catering industry will be evaluated by the researcher. In order to fulfill the aim of this chapter, there are various objectives and these are as follows:

  • To review articles and journals that shows the relationship between service quality, customer loyalty and customer satisfaction in regards with the restaurant sector.
  • This chapter will also going to evaluate the importance of service quality in restaurant industry.
  • To explore various secondary sources in order to determine the best model among the RSQS, SERVQUAL and DINESERV model, so that it can act as a basis for the primary research.
  • Further, this section will also going to analyze the importance and role of employees in improving the service quality, which in turn leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

2.2. Service Quality and its relationship between Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty

The word quality is often defined as “conformation to specifications”. However, this phrase can be misleading as well. Quality often means “conformation to customer’s specification”. This phrase reflects the customer’s definition of quality. The two things are central to the modern concept of marketing services i.e. improvement in the quality and adherence to accepted norms of quality (Baker and Cameron, 1996). The quality of services being delivered to the customers results in satisfaction of the customers as well as their retention. Further, service quality also helps in reinforcing the perception of the consumers that the value of services being received is higher than the value being paid for it. There are many important concepts of service quality such as modern quality and quality control. The modern quality concept relates with the better profitability of the concern and on the other hand, quality control concept relates with changing the mind as well as attitude of the customers (Fisher, 2007).
All customers assess the service quality by comparing what they are getting with what they are expecting. In order to earn a reputation of quality, each and every organization is required to meet out the demands of the customers or in other words needs to exceed their expectations. The expectations of the customers majorly cover the five areas these are reliability, responsiveness, tangibles, assurance and empathy.

  • Responsiveness – It is being defined as the willingness in order to provide prompt services and rendering supportive hands to the customers.
  • Tangibles – It is the physical facilities, appearance of the personnel as well as the equipments (Johnston and Clark, 2005).
  • Reliability – Reliability is means the ability of the company to perform the desired services accurately, consistently and dependably.
  • Assurance – The ability, knowledge, skills and courtesy of employees that convey trust and confidence in front of the customers (Gronroos, 2007).
  • Empathy – Empathy means the provision of individualized attention and caring to the customers (Baker and Cameron, 1996).

According to Gronroos, there are mainly two quality dimensions. The first one is functional and the other one is technical quality (Gronroos, 2007). Gronroos has focused on the model, which states the comparison between the expectations of the customers in regards with the services and the experience of services being received by them. This model is widely known as the total perceived service quality model. The first dimension is technical quality. It refers to the outcomes i.e. what customers are getting from the services of the company (Johnston and Clark, 2005). On the other hand, the second dimension is functional quality, which refers to the manner the services are being delivered to the customers. Both these dimensions influence the perception of quality as well as the corporate image of the company in many ways. As per the total perceived service quality model of Gronross, the perceived quality of the services is affected by the experience of quality dimensions that customers adopts in order to evaluate the quality of services. In addition to this, it is also affected by the perceived quality of a given service along with the outcome of the evaluation process (Gronroos, 2007).
Service quality is widely considered as the determinant of customer satisfaction (Baker and Cameron, 1996). This is because of the fact that satisfaction of the customers is generally based on their experience on a particular products and services of the companies they encounter. Oliver (1993) has suggested regarding the relationship of customer satisfaction and service quality. He stated that service quality will always remain antecedent to customer satisfaction irrespective of whether the constructs were transaction-specific or commutative [needs explaining]. If the above defined expectation areas of customers regarding the service quality are satisfied than they feel contented. They will strive to move towards those companies who better satisfy their wants and needs, which will in turn make the, loyal customers. Higher the service qualities, higher will the level of satisfaction, which in turn increases the visit of the customers towards the restaurant. Thus, it can be attributed that there exists a positive relationship between customer satisfaction, service quality and customer loyalty.

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  • Brady, M.K. and Cronin, J.J., 2001. Some new thoughts on conceptualizing perceived service quality: a hierarchical approach. Journal of Marketing. 65. pp. 34-49.
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  • Donald, E., Hutto, Thomas, M. and Shahram, S., 2009. Analysis of reliability using masked system life data. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management. 26(7). pp.723-739.
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