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Restaurant Service Failure in a Digital Era: An Investigation of the e-WOM Impact on Irish Millennials’ Dining Experiences

Vintea, Andreea Roxana (2018) Restaurant Service Failure in a Digital Era: An Investigation of the e-WOM Impact on Irish Millennials’ Dining Experiences. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Purpose:
The purpose of this study is twofold: to develop an understanding of Millennials' impact on the Irish restaurant industry, in a digital era and to investigate what are their service recovery expectations when the service fails to meet their required standards.

Design/Methodology/Approach:
Exploratory in nature, this research was constructed under the interpretivist philosophy using an inductive approach.

Primary data were collected using a qualitative method - focus group discussions which contained (5 participants for each of the 3 focus groups completed).

The sample encompassed 6-Irish, 4-Russians, 2-French, 2-Indians and 1-Estonian.

Using a thematically approach, data analysis exposed valid insights about the Millenials' opinions towards the impact of e-WOM on their overall dining experiences and attitudes regarding restaurant service failures.

Findings:
In a digital era, e-WOM was found as the utmost influencer for the restaurants' services, as having the power not only to sway their perceptions of 'quality' but as well, to shape their behavioural characteristics.

With few exceptions, findings emphasised a higher tendency for satisfactory experiences to be shared online compared with the unsatisfactory ones. The common thread was attributable to their inner desire of sharing positivity as opposed to negativity, where Millennials' dining experiences per se, were shared in the virtual space only in extreme cases. Thus, a mediocre experience where pre-determined expectations pair with service delivery does not trigger any kind of emotions.

The most frequently mentioned concern linked with the attitudes of the restaurants' personnel who were required to acknowledge their mistakes, apologize and take responsibility for the issue. Participants sought additional support in finding a solution for the occurrence in a polite and respectful manner. In terms of outcomes or results, findings proved that Millennials requested adequate compensations to match their financial loss and replacement of the meal.

Originality/Value:
This Dissertation brings value to the existing services marketing literature concentrated around hospitality industry and business practitioners, by revealing findings from an Irish Millennial perspective, around e-WOM influences, both a positive and a negative on their 'dining experiences'. Moreover, they study informs about behavioural characteristics and general services recovery expectations when experiencing a less favourable situation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Customer Service
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Hospitality Industry
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2018 15:00
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2018 15:00
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/3398

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