Research question and research method
In this study, the research question will be: among males and females, who are the main customers in a fast-food restaurant? In an attempt to answer this question, the researcher will use the observational method. This will be done during lunch hour when the fast-food restaurant is likely to receive many customers.
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This study can be best described as inductive research. This is because the study begins with observation of the eating patterns among the different genders. From the observations, a tentative hypothesis shall then be formulated leading to a generalized theory. Therefore, since the study will start from the specific observation to generalization, it qualifies to be inductive research.
This study employed a purposive sampling technique. This was critical because of the specificity of the study. The study was to observe the gender that formed the majority of the customer base in respect to fast foods. In this case, it was important to select a predetermined restaurant that specializes in fast foods for the purpose of the study.
Operationalization of variables
The two variables that will be studied include fast foods and gender. In this respect, fast foods will be the independent variable whereas gender will be the dependent variable. In operationalizing the gender variable, the study will take note of the number of people based on gender that comes to the restaurant and order for fast foods.
Therefore, the number of females and males that order for fast foods shall be noted down to establish the gender that forms the largest share of the market base for fast foods. The study will take note of those who take their food within the restaurant premise, as opposed to those who took take-a ways. This is because the researcher could not ascertain the actual consumers of the fast foods purchased by those who opted not to take their meal within the restaurant premise.
During the study, I did not encounter any aspect of the reactive effect. This can be attributed to the fact I sat at the furthest corner in the restaurant where I was not joined by any other person. I chose this table as it provided me with a good view of those coming to the restaurant.
The form of participant observation
In this study, I used covert participation. This is because I sat at my table and ordered food just like any other customer. I ate as I took my notes, and other customers did not realize that they were subjects of my study.
The ethical issue that was present in my study is that I did not have consent from the participants in my study. This is because I did not seek any permission from the subjects before proceeding with the study.
Variation of time and setting
The findings of this study could have been different if I was to change the setting and time. In respect to time, I could not have recorded significant results if I chose another time because it is during lunch hour that the restaurants get many customers. Changing the setting could also affect the finding. This is because if I was to conduct the study in a normal restaurant serving various foods, it could be difficult to observe the kind of food taken by each person.
From the observations, it can be theorized that the female fraternity forms the bulk of fast foods customers.
Generalization of the findings
The findings of this study can be generalized to the larger population. However, this can only apply to the youthful population and those in early adulthood. This is because those who frequented the fast-food restaurant were teenagers and young adults.
Observation field notes
Most of the people who took fast foods were females. Out of the fifty three people who visited the fast food restaurant, thirty nine were female, and fourteen were males. Also, it was noted that most of males who took fast foods were in the company of females. In this respect, nine of the males were in the company of females. It could be speculated that they were influenced by the females to take fast foods. Three of the other five males came in as a group, and they seemed to be college students.
The remaining two males came to the restaurant independently. On the part of the females, they came to the restaurant in groups of twos, threes, and fours. Some were accompanied by males while others were in the company of fellow females. On average, those who frequented the fast food restaurant were relatively young individuals. During the one hour observation, I paid little attention to those who came for take-a ways, all of whom were females.