This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Comparison of Customers' Perceptions of Service Quality between Different Management Forms in Fast Food Restaurants




Cao, Yang

Type of Degree



Nutrition and Food Science


This is an empirical study to assess customer perceptions of service quality in a national-brand fast food restaurant and to explore the differences in the outcomes of service quality between two forms of management, franchising and licensing, both of which are under the control of the same national brand restaurant chain. Moreover, this study has identified whether there are significant differences of perceived service quality among customers. Possible reasons for the disparities between different management forms have been explored. Mixed approaches were applied in this study, both qualitative techniques consisting of interviews and fact sheets, and quantitative techniques including questionnaires. In depth interviews with managers from three different managerial units were conducted. The questionnaire was developed using three sources: interview responses of the managers, the restaurant’s online survey and literature review. The item scales for the questionnaire were developed using DINESERV. Several changes were made to fit this instrument to the fast food restaurant context. Specifically, some questions that did not fit in this study were deleted, such as the questions that asked about the parking areas. Moreover, four food variables were added based on the restaurant’s self-online survey. Additionally, the relationship between demographic information and the overall perceived quality was examined. Confirmatory factor analysis was adopted to check the variables falling into the five dimensions of the SERVQUAL instrument. The reliability of each dimension is examined using Cronbach’s Alpha. From the perspective of different management forms, five dimensions of service quality were compared using ANOVA. The measurement of service quality in the restaurant context will offer insight in understanding the service quality under different management forms.