Digitalising the Restaurant Visit: An Experimental Study of How QR Codes and Waiting Staff in the Ordering Process Affect Customer Satisfaction

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för marknadsföring och strategi

Abstract: Digitalisation is becoming more prevalent in our society today, and customer preferences are changing with it. This thesis investigates the digitalisation of the restaurant business through taking a closer look at the impact replacement of waiting staff with digital QR codes has on customer satisfaction. Employee mere presence is used as a theoretical cornerstone to help observe and explain the effect on satisfaction, with technology anxiety and need for interaction being traits that are assumed to moderate this interaction. A scenario experiment was conducted through a self-completion questionnaire distributed online. The respondents were randomly assigned either a scenario containing a restaurant visit with waiting staff, or a visit where ordering was conducted using a phone and a QR code, devoid of any waiting staff. The findings support that employee mere presence positively affects customer satisfaction, and that need for interaction acts as a moderator. This implies that customers value the presence of, and interaction with, waiting staff. Consequently, practitioners should be wary of implementing QR codes as a substitute.

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