Evaluation of Service Quality Dimension at Al Dente Primo Restorante
Critically evaluate the service management strategies of a fine dining restaurant in the form of an academic report. To complete the task, you will be required to apply your theoretical knowledge to a hypothetical restaurant in the Sydney city’s central business district.
The report is prepared for reviewing the current state of management strategies and service operations of a restaurant chain Al Dente Primo Restorante in Australia. This particular restaurant operates in five of its city based outlets and with the evolving needs of customers, they are facing some challenges in its service design. It is ascertained from the case study that restaurant provides immaculate service to its targeted customers and has a monthly rotating menu. Due to increased competition in restaurant business in Australia, the management is concerned about service quality, as they perceive that the quality standard id deteriorating compared to other players in the market (Dehury & Sahoo, 2016). In this report, service quality dimension of flagship restaurant is evaluated along with the analysis of existing management strategies. Report also incorporates discussion on recommendation on new service management strategies for Al Dente for improving standards of service quality.
Evaluation of key service dimensions:
It is essential for organization to understand the perception of their quality of services that are being delivered and the way they are evaluated by customers. Service quality dimensions demonstrated at the flagship restaurant is evaluated by the application of service quality model that explores the case and effect relationship between variables involved in service. The gap in the management of service quality of restaurant is SERVQUAL model that deals with the identification of five dimensions such as reliability, tangibles, responsiveness, assurance and empathy (Berry et al., 1985).
Reliability- This particular dimension deals with the ability of restaurant to deliver the promised services accurately and dependably. Feedback provided from customers is the illustration of the fact that quality of foods served is average and is not worthy of the price charged from customers (Arvola & Holmlid, 2016). Moreover, management expects a high rate of table turnover but the dining facilities lacks in terms of limited seats available that make customers visiting to wait for loner time. Therefore, the service offered Al Dente is not reliable as evaluated from customer feedback.
Tangibles- The tangibles of restaurant service are related to physical facilities, appearance of personnel and equipment. Analysis of customer feedback from depicts that employees are arrogant at the greet table service. Staffs serving foods to customers could barely speak English and they are not attentive. Waiters serving food were not acquainted with the knowhow of serving customers. While only few customers highly recommended restaurant service by point staffs to be amazingly attentive. Feedback from some senior employees doubted recruitment system of organization as it lacks in employing right people with the right fit for job. Persons not having experience in customer services are hired and these results in poor tangibles of restaurant business (Dabholkar, 2015). Moreover, the infrastructural facilities of restaurant and can accommodate only sixty people in one particular time.
Management Strategies for Service Operations
Responsiveness- It is about willingness of service providers to provide customers with prompt service and help when they require by properly assisting them. Waiters and ground staffs of Al Dente are not responsiveness as evaluated from employees and customer feedback. Lack of communication between the evening team and day managers left customers annoyed. This disappointed the customers because of lack of coordination made them unclear about the pre paid and the amount to be paid by customers (Teo, 2017). This made employees appear unresponsiveness to customers. On other hand, one feedback by particular customers viewed that staffs were amazingly attentive and they took efforts to meticulously explain every items presented on the dish. Employees provided feedback that staffs did not have experience in creating guest experience as the empowerment and trust policy of management did not provide guidance on creating such experience (Grenha et al., 2017).
Assurance- This particular dimension deals with the courtesy and knowledge of employees so that they are capable of inspiring confidence and trust among employees. Al Dente entrusts customers with immaculate service, but with increasing competitors in the restaurant industry this particular service standard is perceived to be slipping. Feedback from employees suggests that there exist some personality conflicts between Evening manger and day managers that leads to lack of inspiration and trust among employees. Gap between employees acts as barriers in getting suitable suggestions from the management of restaurant (Calabretta et al., 2016).
Empathy- Empathy is about understanding and providing service to customers individually. Caring for customers and giving them, adequate attention on individual basis is the empathy dimension of service quality model. Al Dente lacks in this particular dimension and the reason is attributable to existing flaws in the recruitment and training and employee development system. There exist apparent difference between expected delivery on art of each employees and training provides and resources available. Creativity and motivation of employees is limited by the prevalence of bureaucracy in restaurant (Fargnoli et al. 2014).
The existing service management strategies of Al Dente can be analyzed and identified by the application of the concept of fish bone analysis that helps in establishing cause an effect relationship. Fish bone analysis is a tool for analyzing the process of business and its effectiveness (Dehury & Sahoo, 2016). Several factors in the service process of restaurant might be related to cause and effect. The inside picture of particular issue faced by restaurant is revealed using fish bone analysis. All the factors that lead to poor performance of restaurant are considered. Referring to the given case study, fish bone analysis is done for the potential situation such as complaints of customers.
Fish Bone Analysis of Issues Faced by Restaurant
Fish bone analysis of issues faced by restaurant:
(Source: Created by author)
The major problems faced by Al Dente is associated with its service and quality standard. Fish bone analysis is employed for ascertaining the factors that are making restaurant inefficient in serving quality food to their customers. It has been analyzed from the case study that the operation process of restaurant is quite inefficient in terms of food served and service given by waiters (Grant et al., 2016). The evaluation of the service standard of restaurant is done into categories such as personnel, food quality, poor facilities, equipment, procedures and others.
Poor infrastructural facilities- The restaurant is opened only for two meal periods and can accommodate only sixty persons at a time. This means that if more than sixty customers visit at a time, they need to wait for until one table service is completed. Customer feedback provided that, they had to wait for an hour for getting a table and waiting list was the most annoying factors among the customers. It is essential for restaurant to enhance their infrastructure to ensure high rate of table turnover at a given point of time (Lert et al., 2015).
Procedures- The procedures are poorly executed that leads to increased waiting time for customers and late arrival of food on table. Poor execution of the procedures is attributable to the factors such as lack of specification, higher cost and faulty ordering system. Hiring system of employees is doubtful, as there is a difference between training and resources provided to employees and managers expectation from such staff members (Radnor & Bateman, 2016). Therefore, there is fault in the recruitment process of restaurant. Recruitment system of restaurant should be revised and coordination among staffs should be promoted by eliminating existing conflicts.
Personnel- The quality of service delivered by restaurant is completely dependent upon employees and personnel of restaurant. Employees do not behave in professional way and lack experience in customer service (Haddad et al., 2014). Staffs are enthusiastic and friendly but they are not efficient. It has been found from the feedback provided by customers that staffs were not able to deliver service as expected by them and employees’ feedback depicted that ground staffs pain when confronted and cannot answer properly when customers asked something different. Moreover, there exist personality conflict between evening team manager and day manager. There is a lack of employee orientation and relationship between employees (Magsanoc, 2016).
Recommendations for New Service Management Strategies
Equipment- Inefficient table service due to unavailability of space and poor maintenance of service areas (Eggert et al., 2014). Moreover, management of restaurant is not able to acquire and maintain proper equipment. It has been found that restaurant lacks technical support and there is lack of facilities for managing of the available equipment.
Food quality- The quality of food served by restaurant often receives complains in terms of oily and dry foods served. Moreover, price charged for the foods served to customers is not worthy with majority of customers mentioning the same point. It is perceived by customers that foods are overpriced with the flavors ranked on average. Customers experienced bad service regarding adding wrong foods and forgetting of placing orders (Elmualim & Gilder, 2014).
Others- Other problems that have been outlined in the case study is associated with arrogant behavior of ground staffs with the customers and lack of communication among different staff members. Management is not supportive enough to make ground staffs comfortable and they are made to work long hours and are paid below average. All these factors make staffs lose their motivation and enthusiastic about work.
For making improvement in customer service and experience, Al Dente is required to modify their existing service strategies or they should develop their strategies of managing their services. Various ways can be used by restaurant to develop new strategies. In the current scenario, restaurant is facing challenge in terms of maintaining their service quality and the poor feedback from customers regarding the quality of food and behavior of employees.
Al Dente is required to measure and monitor the customer service and this would incorporate feedback from customers by identification of service gaps. Employees play a very crucial role in delivering service to employees and staffs of Al Dente are Al Dente not motivated enough and lacks experience (Radnor & Bateman, 2016). Therefore, appropriate strategies should be taken for motivating and managing service providers.
- Effectiveness communication should be established among ground staffs and middle level managers and between other teams. Some of the strategies that can be used by organization for establishment of communication are conducting annual meetings, briefing by managers, video conferences, company newsletter, informal and regular discussion with the leaders.
- Employees should be involved in performance management. This would enable them to participate in the decision making process.
- Levels of employee discretion should be properly enabled and defined. There are three types of employee discretion that can be used by organization such as routine discretion, creative discretion and deviant discretion. Empowerment and discretion comes with many benefits such as it will assist employees in providing autonomy n their daily task, increasing confidence, self esteem and promoting a culture of management support.
- Mechanical organizational structure should be used in traditional teams for increasing efficiency (Gronroos, 2016).
Employees should focus on dimensions of their core job by using motivational approach for servicing role design. Other strategy that can be used by Al Dente is the proposing the establishment of service quality and customer satisfaction relationship. This would comprise of proposition of two relationships. Customer satisfaction in hospitality industry is affected by service quality. One of the key operational variable of satisfying is customer service (Reason et al., 2015). Overall perception of service of organization is service quality. Therefore, organization should formulate the above strategies for improving the standard of service quality and increase satisfaction of customers.
From the analysis of the given case of hypothetical company, Al Dente, it can be inferred that operations of service and strategies adopted by management is not appropriate for increasing customer satisfactions. Application of service quality model on the operations of restaurant business depicts that the service is not reliable enough and they lack adequate infrastructural facilities. Poor service quality is attributable to many factors associated with the management strategies such as recruitment process and empowerment program of employees. Employees feedback provides with inexperienced ground floor staffs and customers complained about poor quality of foods and higher price. The developed strategies for establishment of relationship between customer satisfaction relationship and service quality will help in addressing the challenges that are faced by organization in the current scenario. Another strategy appointed concerns improvement in empowerment program, adoption of mechanical organizational structure and employee discretion. This would help overcoming the challenges faced by restaurant in service delivery.
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