The impact of a primary service provider on customer satisfaction and engagement behaviour in dining experience: a cross-national study
The global restaurant industry is flourishing and dining out accounts for a large proportion of family expenditure while competition in the market is also increasing. In order for a restaurant to be sustainable in this fierce market, it is of particular importance to understand what enhances the customers’ dining experience and how to establish and maintain the profitable relationship with customers (Bowden, 2009). One of the outcomes of having a strong relationship with customers for service firms is customer engagement that supports service providers and enhances the service experience for other customers (Kumar et al., 2010; van Doorn et al., 2010; Verleye et al., 2014). The primary purpose of this study is to examine a service provider’s attributes in terms of customer orientation, professional competence and social skills by measuring both their importance (before dining) and perception (after dining), and their impact on customer satisfaction and engagement behaviour of New Zealand and U.S. restaurant diners. In addition, this study investigates whether the structural relationships of interest are differently manifested by restaurant types (i.e. counter service vs. table service) and national differences (i.e. New Zealand and USA).