1.1 Background of the Study
For decades businesses have been relying solely on price as a competitive advantage. Even though it might have been a successful approach earlier, it no longer maintains growth and profitability in a competition between businesses. As the approach in the restaurant industry has become more customers-centric and awareness of the shift from service economy has increased, there is now a growing interest towards the customers need and desires among businesses (Pine and Gilmore 2011, 1-5). Therefore businesses are increasingly interested in the customer’s opinion, needs and want in order to provide meaningful experiences to them in a personal way and thus distinguish themselves from the competition.
The decision to conduct this project based on the research of customers’ perceptions of restaurant experience was originated from my passion related to tourism and hospitality industry, as well as my personal interests towards the approach of creating meaningful customer experiences which is emphasized on these days. As I have been able to develop my knowledge of customer experience creation with hospitality studies and work experience creation with my hospitality studies and work experience in hospitality industry the choice of the topic seemed to be natural for me. In addition, my work experience from various restaurants including Niger Training Restaurant provided an opportunity to create a project based on customers’ expectation and experiences.
The objective of this study is to determine the customers’ perception of a restaurant concept change that occurred when Niger Training Restaurant changed from asbestos ceiling to POP ceiling in 2018. The new concept launched presented a need to discover the customer experience and measure the service quality of the restaurant concept in order to analyze the success of the concept launch from customers’ point of view and improve the services further.
In addition to aiming at determining the customer experiences of the new restaurant concept Niger Training Restaurant, the service quality of the restaurant was measured. In order to discover the service quality of the restaurant ceiling impact on the customers’ expectations of the restaurant before launching the new concept and their actual perceptions after visiting the restaurant were measured and compared based on the SERVQUAL model
(Parasuraman, A. , Zeithami, V.A. & Berry, L. L. 1985).
Today’s society has become all about the other “time and place” through escapism. “Players (in reference to architects and designers) see powerful force at work, particularly a growing public appetite for fantasy and escape from life’s increasingly mundane reality ( Russel, 1997) . Today’s ideal of escapism is being provided with another time, space, place, atmosphere or environment that transcends ones everyday experience within any given medium. These ranges from the privacy of one’s own home to a crowded theme park or from a television show or commercial to an entertainment venue or rock concert. These mediums can be anything that provides some degree of escapism, large or small. A small variety of mediums for escapism have become popular because of their therapeutic properties.
In our modern society, a popular form of escapism occurs frequently with dining out. More and more restaurants are being designed or are changing their designs to provide another time, space, place, atmosphere or environment for everyday users. In 1997, “according to Michael Rubin of MRA international, Philadelphia,, which consults and does venture development in entertainment retail, “themed and theatrical dining represents one or two percents of restaurants and will go to maybe 10 per cent by early next century” (Rusell,1997). Dining out has either become the easily affordable, quick little escape that releases the tension of the day or the entertainment desired by those living an stressful, mundane life.
Theme and experiential entertainment restaurants have become one of the more popular areas of design that users like to “escape” to. Theme and experiential restaurants provide not only another time, space, place, atmosphere and environment, but also a memorable experience for the user to take away with them. All restaurants provide an experience to any user; however, theme and experiential entertainment restaurants use design concepts, along with marketing strategies, to create an “out of the ordinary” environment.
According to Walker (2011, 63-64), the restaurant concept is a mixture of ideas that shape the perceptions of the restaurants image and is contempt to interest a certain group of people, which is called a great market. Glan Zamarra, the chef of one of the restaurants, recently opened a new concept and presented an article with inevitable issues that need more thought than given. He highlights the significance of feedback from all parts involved in the process of the concept change to increase the ability to offer the customers what they expect (Terenzio, 2015).
Customer’s expectations are customer’s belief on how the service will be delivered to them. The expectations serve as standard or reference point against the judge the actual performance (Bitner, Zeithami & Gremier 2013, 55). Customer’s expectations are personal and change over time, which forces the service providers to follow them in order to keep up with the prevailing changes. It is generally agreed that customers expect fundamentals and performance, not empty promises or fanciness (Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithami, 1991).
In the process of researching restaurants, entertainment design, escapism, modern stressors and performing case studies, I have written and am presenting a new theoretical framework that clarifies “theme” restaurants. This theory pertains to the modern forms and accompanying experiences with which theme restaurants are being designed.
1.2 Statement of the problemsThe impact of Ceiling design in Restuarant interior design