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Original scientific paper

Influence of managers' perceptions of quality on restaurant operational profitability: Evidence from Slovenian SMEs

Marko Kukanja orcid id ; University of Primorska, Faculty of tourism studies – Turistica, Portorož, Slovenia
Tanja Planinc ; University of Primorska, Faculty of tourism studies – Turistica, Portorož, Slovenia

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The importance of quality has been broadly recognized in the restaurant industry, because it generates revenues and has a strong impact on customer loyalty. Previous studies focusing on quality and profitability in the restaurant industry have highlighted the importance of guests' perceptions of quality for restaurants' financial success. However, to date, no study has examined the influence of managers' perceptions of quality (the inner-perspective) on restaurant profitability. Managers' perceptions of quality were analysed using a self-reported DINESERV scale, while financial success was assessed based on restaurants' financial statements provided by the national tax authorities after the introduction of the new fiscal law about the use of fiscal cash registers (fiscal devices) in 2016. A sample of 142 valid questionnaires obtained by managers of independently run restaurant SMEs and their official financial reports were analysed. Results show that according to managers' perspectives, only two quality dimensions are important for ensuring overall restaurant quality: (1) empathy and assurance and (2) tangibles. Surprisingly, in terms of determining restaurants' financial success, the results indicate that the aforementioned quality dimensions have no impact on operational profit. The more surprising is the weak statistically-negative correlation between three DINESERV quality indicators (providing accurate bills, providing services in promised time, and devoting extra attention to guests' special requests) and operational profit. This research has raised many questions in need of further investigation. It is suggested that future research focus on the analysis of guest and management quality perception gap and restaurant profitability.


DINESERV; restaurant quality; service quality management; profitability; Slovenia

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