Purpose – Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many restaurants and catering businesses have introduced or improved online food ordering and delivery services (OFODSs). This study aims to identify service quality expectations about OFODSs, to examine their content and to suggest management strategies to meet these expectations. Design/methodology/approach – Adopting a qualitative method, four focus groups were conducted amongst Italian users of OFODSs. Findings – The results reveal three dimensions of expectations, each comprising two categories that can be set along a continuum: (1) basicness of expectations (ranging from implicit to explicit), (2) accuracy of expectations (ranging from fuzzy to precise) and (3) attainability of expectations (ranging from realistic to unrealistic). Content may refer to technical, social, economic, legal and technological aspects. To meet customer expectations, the following strategies are suggested: customer reassurance, flexibility, continuous improvement, customer education, adaptation to customers’ requirements and monitoring of exceptions. Practical implications – This study provides specific activities in which restaurants and catering businesses could invest to enact the management strategies that emerged from the analysis. Originality/value – This paper proposes a new classification of expectations and framework for improving OFODS quality by managing customer expectations.

Improving online food ordering and delivery service quality by managing customer expectations: evidence from Italy

Angelo Bonfanti
;
Chiara Rossato;Vania Vigolo;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Purpose – Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many restaurants and catering businesses have introduced or improved online food ordering and delivery services (OFODSs). This study aims to identify service quality expectations about OFODSs, to examine their content and to suggest management strategies to meet these expectations. Design/methodology/approach – Adopting a qualitative method, four focus groups were conducted amongst Italian users of OFODSs. Findings – The results reveal three dimensions of expectations, each comprising two categories that can be set along a continuum: (1) basicness of expectations (ranging from implicit to explicit), (2) accuracy of expectations (ranging from fuzzy to precise) and (3) attainability of expectations (ranging from realistic to unrealistic). Content may refer to technical, social, economic, legal and technological aspects. To meet customer expectations, the following strategies are suggested: customer reassurance, flexibility, continuous improvement, customer education, adaptation to customers’ requirements and monitoring of exceptions. Practical implications – This study provides specific activities in which restaurants and catering businesses could invest to enact the management strategies that emerged from the analysis. Originality/value – This paper proposes a new classification of expectations and framework for improving OFODS quality by managing customer expectations.
2023
Customer expectation
Service quality
Digitalisation
Covid-19
Restaurant
Customer satisfaction
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1086470
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