ABSTRACT

Purpose – Until recently, studies on customer values for restaurants recognized two path structures; the SERVQUAL model, that is, service quality? perceived value? customer satisfaction? behavioral intention, and the customer value? customer satisfaction? behavioral intention path that categorizes customer values into functional value and hedonic value. This study, instead, classifies the consumption values of fast-food restaurants based on the consumption value system provided by Sheth, Newman and Gross (1991) and illustrates the new path structure, consumption value? customer satisfaction? behavioral intention, targeting college students for a generalization of the consumption value system of fast-food restaurants. Research design, data, and methodology – This study establishes five hypotheses based on the relationship between each type of consumption value (functional, emotional, social, and epistemic) and customer satisfaction, and the relationship between customer satisfaction and behavioral intention. For this analysis, data was collected by conducting a pre-test and administering a survey to 213 college students who are regular customers at fast-food restaurants in Seoul, Korea. The data collected was then analyzed using SPSS 15.0 and AMOS 6.0 statistical packages. Results – The study showed that: First, the consumption values of fast-food restaurants are classified into the following four categories: functional value, emotional value, social value, and epistemic value while consumption value can be applied to customer value of fast-food restaurants. Second, the functional and epistemic values had a positive impact on customer satisfaction. The resulting satisfaction is attributed to the intrinsic characteristics of fast-food restaurants like the consistent quality of food, reasonable prices, fast service, and unique or new experiences on every visit. On the other hand, emotional and social values did not affect customer satisfaction. The results on emotional value differed from the general studies on restaurants while the results obtained for social value were not consistent with the studies on high-end restaurants. Third, customer satisfaction had a positive impact on behavioral intention. The survey showed that college students reflected behavioral intention - repurchase intention and word-of-mouth - if they were satisfied with the food quality and employee services provided. Simultaneously, it was seen that the impact of functional value on customer satisfaction of fast food restaurant goers was more than that of epistemic value. Conclusions – The consumption values of fast-food restaurant users could be classified into four categories, functional, emotional, social and epistemic values, based on the consumption value system provided by Sheth, Newman and Gross (1991). It proved that the customer values of restaurant goers can be extended to the path structure of consumption value? customer satisfaction? behavioral intention to confirm its generalization. The study also showed that marketing managers need to focus more on the factors that influence functional value as the fast-food restaurant users consider timely services with the consistent quality of food at a reasonable price and at a convenient place more important than the new experiences or uniqueness.

KEYWORD

Fast-Food Restaurant, Consumption Value, Customer Satisfaction, Behavior Intention.

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