Effects of customers’ café experience on their perceptions of value for money, satisfaction, and loyalty intentions: A case of the Auckland café industry
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The main purposes of this study are to explore the important café attributes that contribute to customer’s café experience and to test the relationship between their café experience and the perceptions of value for money, satisfaction, and loyalty intentions. This study extended the consumption system approach (CSA) as the theoretical framework to evaluate customers' experience, value for money, customer satisfaction, and loyalty intentions at an attribute level. Both online and paper-pencil questionnaires were employed as research methods. Data was collected from almost 200 participants from social networking sites (Facebook and WeChat) as well as two cafés in Auckland. A series of multiple regression analyses were used to test research hypotheses. Importance-performance analysis (IPA) was applied to provide practical implications for the cafés industry in Auckland in general. This study found that service quality, ambience, and food quality positively influence customer perceptions of value for money, whereas service quality, ambience, and coffee quality are significant predictors of customer satisfaction. Customer loyalty intentions were successfully predicted by food quality, coffee quality, and service quality. Amongst five major experience attributes, service quality was found to be the strongest predictor of all outcome variables. IPA results suggest that in relation to customers’ evaluation of café experience, service quality was considered the most important attribute and ambience was considered the best performed attribute. The IPA grid further implied that service quality may need more attention and investment from café managers in Auckland, as service quality had strong importance scores, yet relatively low performance scores in Auckland cafés when compared to food quality and ambience. The findings of this study matter to understanding key experience attributes considered by café customers in Auckland, New Zealand. While the attribute-level approach has been often applied in hospitality marketing research, the categorisation of attributes and effects of such attributes on customer satisfaction and loyalty intentions have yet to reach consistency in the literature. Furthermore, future studies are needed to develop a more comprehensive theoretical model to systematically investigate customer experience in various contexts at the attribute level within the hospitality industry.