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Quality and value of food is an important factor in retention of loyal and creation of customers in a restaurant especially when targeting tourists.
Tourists sample food in order to gain the real sense of the place they visit; therefore, this has called for development of local and foreign foods in most restaurants as the competitive factor in the business. Food quality has positive association with value of money a customer is willing to spend on food.
Quality of food has positive effects on retention and creation of customers. Food of poor quality keeps off the customers and even the new customers do not return if they encounter poor quality on their first visit. On the other hand, customers remain loyal to a specific restaurant if they experience food of good quality and value for the first time.
Restaurant business is a very competitive industry and to be above our competitors, we have to look at the quality and value of food we are preparing and serving to the customers. Tourist customers look for aspects such as available varieties of food, quality, and value for money for their satisfaction (Clark & Wood 1998). This paper will look comprehensively at the value and good quality of food in creation and retention of customers in a restaurant.
There are many people such as producers, suppliers, storage personnel, preparation and service staff involved directly and indirectly in determining the quality and value of food. Producers being the farmers are involved in producing food.
Preparation of food of good quality means use of ingredients of good quality thus food production by farmers affects directly the quality and value of food. Customers have to get the value for money they are spending on producing food and this is only achieved if the farming materials used are of high quality.
Farmers have to be in touch with requirements and changing tastes at restaurants. For instance, the quality of locally produced meat, vegetables and organic food has been creating extra value as this is desired by tourists and local customers. Suppliers also affect the quality and value of food offered at a restaurant (Crotts & Raschid 2008).
This means they should supply food on time when still fresh as some foods like vegetables are perishable and lose value with time. Thus this calls for the manager to be careful when choosing his suppliers. This ensures availability of quality ingredients whenever needed to avoid losing customers.
According to Crotts & Raschid (2008), food has to be stored properly and safely to ensure it does not lose quality and meets health standards. This calls for the manager to ensure that the restaurant has good storage facilities.
Cold rooms for vegetables should always be well maintained and good hygiene observed when handling food thus the manager should ensure he has employed a qualified and experienced store keeper with knowledge of food handling techniques as this affects directly the quality of food prepared and served to customers.
Food preparation and service
When it comes to food preparation it affects directly the quality and value of food served to the customers. The manager should ensure that he has recruited the right staff with the knowledge and experience in production and preparation of different food items in the menu. This means there should be specialization of roles in the kitchen where by every cook prepares and produces what he/she is good at.
Also, there should be use of specialized tools and equipment during food preparation (Crick & Campbell, 2007). This saves on cost of production as there is minimized wastage of food. With good organization in the kitchen, production and preparation of quality food on time is achievable.
This attracts and retains both local and tourist customers as they are satisfied with the quality of food and get value for money they are spending on food.
The preparation area has to be well arranged to ensure minimized interruptions among the cooks which might cause delay in preparation of food. This ensures there is no mixed flavors’ among different food items thus food served is of the exact flavor as expected by the customer.
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Food should be classified depending on their cooking time to ensure they are well cooked and do not keep customers waiting for long. The manager should always ensure his staff is learning continuously to keep in touch with new menu items in the market and changing methods of preparation. Different food items in the market must be prepared well to compete effectively with other restaurants.
In all the preparation and production units the chef should always check and emphasize on maintenance of good hygiene which can never be neglected when it comes to preparation of quality food.
The manager should employ qualified and experienced waiters for them to offer high standard services to the customers. They should be well trained on hospitality as are the ones who are in direct contact with the customers.
They should cooperate with the team in the preparation section and inform them accurately on demand of different food items on the menu and the expressed desires by the customers to avoid losing customers to other restaurants. This calls for a very effective team work in the restaurant in order to satisfy the customers (Ekinci & Massey 2008).
It has been shown clearly that the quality and value of food are important factors in retention of loyal and creation of new local and tourist customers in a restaurant and thus a manager should pay close attention to these factors in order to be the leading food provider in today’s competitive tourism industry.
Clark, M. A., & Wood, R. C. (1998). Consumer loyalty in the restaurant industry—A preliminary exploration of the issues. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 10 (4), 139-44.
Crick, A., & Campbell, A. (2007). McDonaldization, Mass customization and Customization: An analysis of Jamaica‘s all-inclusive hotel sector. Ideaz, 6, 22-41.
Crotts, J., Pan, B., & Raschid, A.E. (2008). A survey method for identifying key drivers of guest delight. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 20(4), 462-470.
Ekinci, Y., Dawes, P. L., & Massey, G. R. (2008). An extended model of antecedents and consequences of consumer satisfaction for hospitality services. European Journal of Marketing, 42(1/2), 35-68.