Impact of Food and Beverage Quality on Passenger Satisfaction in Indian Railways

Impact of Food and Beverage Quality on Passenger Satisfaction in Indian Railways

Ravi Dandotiya (Chitkara University, Punjab, India), Pranav Aggarwal (Chitkara University, Punjab, India) and Ram Gopal (Chitkara University, Punjab, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCRMM.2020040103
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This study uses disconfirmation theory to evaluate a theoretical model, which explains the relationship of four constructs of the food and beverage quality, namely freshness, taste, presentation, and temperature. In addition, the effect of price on satisfaction is also measured. Food quality has been considered the basic component of customer satisfaction in restaurants, but there are very few studies in railway-related food and beverage quality. The objective of the research is to study the effect of food, beverage quality and price on passenger satisfaction in Indian railways. This study also tries to investigate key attributes related to food and beverage quality, which are important in improving overall satisfaction. The results show that all the food and beverage quality attributes and price significantly affect passenger satisfaction. Subsequent regression analysis exhibits that taste followed by presentation were the most important factors in achieving passenger satisfaction. The managers can focus on the key food and beverage attributes, which brings out the passenger satisfaction.
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Customer satisfaction and service quality are interlinked notions where one is definitely going to affect other; good quality product leads to higher satisfaction (Oliver, 1980; Yuksel & Rimmington, 1998; Hallak et al., 2018). Service quality is a very vast phenomenon and different people have different perceptions about it. Most commonly used definition is that it is supposed to be the study of differences among expectation and perception of a received product or received service (Zeithaml et al., 1988; Grönroos, 1982; Yuksel & Yuksel, 2008).

Two main factors food quality and food service quality are important in the overall customer satisfaction in the vast realm of the hospitality sector - in the food and beverage industry. Both of these complement each other. Success in this industry depends a lot on understanding a customer (Kandampully et al., 2018). Survival requires surveillance and a continuous quality check to ensure customer satisfaction. Satiation always remained the most important in food provision. There is little work reported on this aspect (Muskat et al., 2019), though efforts were made since early 1995 on food quality and customer satisfaction which also affect his behavioral intentions.

Overall food quality, particularly taste and presentation of food, has been claimed to be the key element that affects customer satisfaction and his behavioral expectations (Namkung & Jang, 2007). Chandrashekhar et al. (2006) investigated organoleptic qualities of food pertaining to human senses of sight, touch, smell and taste, and mouth feel may not affect satiation and these affect appetites. Yin et al. (2017) found that taste and aroma alone do not affect satiety value but in combination help in hunger suppression. Price plays a crucial role in deciding while making a choice for buying and it is fully reflected even in daily life (Sinha & Batra, 1999). Rothenberger (2015) investigated the fairness of price directly influences customer satisfaction; whereas perceived price does not impact customer satisfaction in a restaurant atmosphere (Pedraja Iglesias & Jesus Yagüe Guillén, 2004). The perception of fair and economical price has a direct impact on the customer brand association, perception of unfair price results in a greater level of dissatisfaction, bad word of mouth and higher customer complaints (Anderson et al., 1994).

Some methods – termed scales or models - have since been developed by various researchers to evaluate the quality of food and healthfulness in restaurants that would grade the food and beverage for customer satisfaction and his behavioral intentions. Some such models in use are expectancy disconfirmation theory 1980 of Oliver (Yuksel & Rimmington, 1998), model of Grönroos (1982)—to compare the anticipated services, service quality model (Grönroos, 1984), SERVQUAL based on ten parameters to assess the service quality (Parasuraman et al., 1985), SERVQUAL based on five quality parameters Parasuraman et al., (1994), DinEX (Bufquin et al., 2017)—an evaluative scale.

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