Influencing Drivers of Value Perception in the Quick Service Restaurant Industry in Gauteng Province
Competition in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry is very tough, especially now during a low economic cycle. Since the target market for QSRs are quite similar, the importance for each brand to deliver a differentiated value proposition is critical to sustainability. This exploratory research applied a DINESERV framework to investigate how McDonald’s was performing, compared with others in the QSR industry, in relation to value expectations. In addition, the drivers of overall quality and brand preference were identified through a regression analysis to assist McDonald’s in adapting to a changing environment and enhanced competitiveness. By using face-to-face interviews, respondents in living standard measure (LSM) groups’ 5 to 10 were interviewed in the Gauteng area. The main findings reveal that the expectations set by consumers in the QSR industry are very high and that the perceptions that consumers have of McDonald’s fulfilling their expectations do not differ from what is expected of the industry. The research identified driver categories and these were rated according to importance. Reliability and responsiveness categories have the highest importance, followed by assurance and tangibles categories. The empathy category is rated as fourth most important and the pricing and other categories are ranked fifth in overall importance. Drivers of value perceptions relate to staff being patient, cleanliness of restaurant and the restaurant being for the whole family. A negative driver of value perceptions, as well as brand preference relates to the consumers’ perception that it costs more than they planned. McDonald’s is competing well within an industry where value perceptions are extremely high and has successfully positioned itself as a family restaurant in addition to satisfying most of the expectations consumers have.
Restaurants, Fast food restaurants