Service quality in the fast-food franchise industry in Gauteng

Chané Naudé, Prof Alfred Henrico, Prof Louis Van Staden

Volume 18 | Issue 2 pp. 150-165


The problem presented in the study was the observation that the service quality offered by all franchises did not align with customers’ expectations and experiences, which has a negative impact on the sustainability and competitiveness of fast-food franchises. The observation indicates a gap between what customers are expecting and experiencing. To address the gap, the study aimed to identify the service quality gaps in the fast-food franchise industry in South Africa’s Gauteng Province along with the dimensions that need to be managed.
To gather the necessary data interpretations, a quantitative research approach was implemented in this study with a combination of exploratory and descriptive research designs. Descriptive research was conducted in the form of a structured, self-administered questionnaire. The empirical results and findings indicated that respondents often have higher service quality expectations compared to experiences; moreover, changes in any of the dimensions would have large effects in the same direction in the other dimensions. The results further indicated that the service quality of the fast-food franchises in Gauteng is low and, subsequently, their customer satisfaction is influenced negatively.
Based on the results, it is recommended that greater managerial focus should be placed on increasing the service quality reliability dimension (largest gap) and less managerial effort on the tangibles dimension (smallest gap). This study accentuates that the success of the fast-food franchise depends on the level of customer satisfaction, which can induce loyalty and maintain and increase profits that will ensure the survival and success of a fast-food franchise.

Keywords: Customer expectations, customer experiences, franchise, management, service quality

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