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Service Quality Concept in Hospitality Industry

Executive Summary

The quality of service in the food and beverage industry is a critical factor for business success. The provision of quality services is particularly important in the hospitality industry as it results in customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to competitive advantage and better business performance. This report has highlighted four key service quality concepts, including product knowledge, communication skills, responsiveness and humanity. The integration of these key service quality concepts in quality management is important for the success of commercial hospitality operations.


The quality of service in the food and beverage industry is a critical factor for business success. Mok, Sparks and Kadampully (2013, p. 2) define quality service as the delivery of services that meets the needs and expectation of customers. As such, the food and beverage businesses must ensure that there is complete quality management to achieve a competitive advantage. Delivery of consistently high quality services and products to customer is also beneficial to a business because it also affects a company’s bottom line positively (Randall and Senior 1994, p. 68). Additionally, the provision of quality services helps build customer loyalty that ensures business success. However, there are a number of concepts related to the delivery of the guests’ expectation in the commercial hospitality operations, such as hotels and restaurants. This report defines four important concepts of food and beverage service quality standards for a commercial hospitality operation.

Service Quality Concepts

Product knowledge

Product knowledge is one of the key concepts of service quality standards in the food and beverage industry. Chow-Chua and Komaran (2002, p. 77) define product knowledge as the knowledge that the service providers have about the services products and services they deliver to customers. Product knowledge concept requires that individuals selling products and services have a better understanding about the features of the products and services so that they are able to inform the customers how they would benefit from the consumption of a product or service in an accurate and persuasive manner (Heyworth 2013). Product knowledge is an important skill particularly important in the food and beverage commercial operations since most customers respond to who are enthusiastic and passionate about the products and services they sell (Dedeke 2003, p. 277). As such, product knowledge is an important tool that has an impact on the service standards as it not only instills trust and faith in a customer, but also respect, which results in positive customer experience.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are another important concept that relates to the delivery of the expectations of guests in the commercial hospitality industry. Communication skills means keeping customers informed in a language that they understand easily and listening to them. Other than the products that food and beverage businesses provide, guests’ choice of food and beverage firm is made on how well they are addressed by the firms. Mok, Sparks and Kadampully (2013, p. 21) observed that most guests prefer visiting food and beverage firms where they are given a warm welcome, talked with nicely and kept informed about the services and products on offer. Effective communication is also important in delivering customer expectation in the sense that it is only by listening to guests that a business is able to understand the needs of customers and respond effectively to their needs, thus resulting in high customer satisfaction. By contrast, when customers are not listened and asked what they need, a company would not be able to meet their expectations (Randall and Senior 1994, p. 70). Communication skills is also an important tool for delivering guest expectation because it ensures that there a good relationship between a company and the guest, thus increasing customer satisfaction level, which impacts a company’s bottom line positively.


Responsiveness entails helping customers and providing them with services promptly. It also involves finding out what customers want. Responsiveness is important in delivering customer expectations as it ensures high customer satisfaction. Gržinić (2007, p. 86) found that most guests prefer visiting food and beverage businesses that are responsive to the customer needs. For instance, want to visit restaurants where they can be helped through listening to them right from the time they set foot in the hotels or restaurants. Similarly, guests feel more satisfied with hotels and restaurants that provide prompt services (Parasuraman et al. 1994, p. 113). Therefore, being responsive is important as it ensures that guests are not kept waiting for too long to be served that might result in low satisfaction level. For instance, hotels and restaurants that are responsive ensure that guests are services within five minutes for fast food business and at most 30 minutes for fine dining to ensure the delivery of customer expectation. Additionally, responsiveness is important in delivering guest expectations as it ensures that what the guests want is found out and met in the most appropriate and timely manner.


Humanity is a service quality concept that denotes the provision of products or services in a manner that preserves respect the dignity of a client (Gržinić 2007, p. 85). When guests visit a restaurant or a hotel, they expect to be treated with respect and dignity; otherwise they would shift their loyalty to competitor firms. As such, to meet the expectations of guests, Prideaux, Moscardo and Laws (2006, p. 34) suggests that people delivering services to guests starting from the gate of the hotels and restaurants to the service staff to ensure that guests are handled with dignity and respect. Humanity also means having guests at heart by handling them in a caring fashion. In fact, studies have shown that most food and beverage customers remain loyal to businesses that handle them in a caring fashion, thus the need to demonstrate humanity when handling guests.


The delivery of quality services is an important factor of successful business. Commercial hospitality operations, such as hotels and restaurants, in particular must ensure that guests are provided with consistently quality services to succeed as this not only gives them a competitive advantage, but also impacts positively on their bottom line. As illustrated in the report, the four key concepts of service quality that can help a hotel or restaurant operations deliver guests expectations are product knowledge, communication skills, responsiveness and humanity. As such, these aspects must be taken into consideration by commercial hospitality operators in their service quality management to ensure success.


Chow-Chua, C., & Komaran, R 2002, “Managing service quality by combining voice of the service provider and voice of their customers,” Managing Service Quality, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 77-86.

Dedeke, A 2003, “Service quality: a fulfillment-oriented and interactions-centered approach”, Managing Service Quality, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 276-289.

Gržinić, J 2007, “Concepts of service quality measurement in hotel industry,” Concept of Service vol. 1, pp. 81-98.

Heyworth, F 2013, Concepts of quality, viewed 17 August 2016 http://archive.ecml.at/mtp2/qualitraining/quality/english/framework/FH1_concepts%20of%20quality_e.htm

Mok, C., Sparks, B., & Kadampully, J 2013, Service quality management in hospitality, tourism, and leisure. Routledge, Oxford.

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, Valerie A. & Berry, Leonard L. 1994, “Reassessment of expectations as a comparison standard in measuring service quality: implications for further research,” Journal of Marketing, vol. 58, pp.111-124.

Prideaux, B., Moscardo, G., & Laws, E 2006, Managing tourism and hospitality services: theory and international applications. CABI, London.

Randall, L. & Senior, M 1994, “A model for achieving quality in hospital hotel services,” International Journal of Contemporary Hospital Management, vol. 6, pp. 68-74