By Arfat Wani
People eat out for reasons that are both tangible and intangible.Hunger is the basic need for survival.The body needs food for energy and sustenance.People may satisfy this basic need by buying food from a hotdog stall or a fancy restaurant based on their budget .
Convince is an intangible factor that forces people to eat out.Many people who don’t have time or resources to prepare meals at home,find restaurants convenient.
Social occasions are a great reason why people eat out . Businessmen may want to entertain their clients or families to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, religious festivals,etc. in a speciality restaurants cater to status and social needs.
Entertainment is a great reason to eat out .That is why restaurants go beyond food and provide costumes,showmanship,decor,and music to create an amusing environment.Exotic night clubs and speciality restaurants provide sheer entertainment.
Reputation most people visit a restaurant because they have heard about if from others.Some may recommend the food,others the atmosphere; while still others the uniqueness of the experience.People like to talk about hotels and restaurants because they are social points in a community . Reputation is very fragile and restaurants strive to preserve their names with positive experience.
Price is a very tangible reason why people opt to choose a restaurant from others.Each segment of the public chooses their restaurants based on their budgets.Price is a tool to directly attract and serve a market segment from the neighborhood diner to an upscale restaurant.Another aspect of price is the value for money . Restaurants give more than what is ordered like free appetisers,a bottle of beverage,etc.
Atmosphere is a strong reason to pull people to restaurants.Mature groups may find clubs ,bars and cocktail lounges to relax after a days work,while discotheques with loud music and dance may attract youth.
Quality of food attracts those who are discerning in their food tastes.Quality preparation does not have to come from high-priced restaurants.
Uniqueness of food is a good reason to attract customers. Specially restaurants come in this category and pull customers who want different food experiences.Restaurants world wide are competing hard to develop cuisines from ethnic origins,perfecting their preparation,and standardising the receipts to give the public food that no one else can provide.
Portion sizes the quality of food served for a price attract certain segments with large appetites and low budgets ! College students would go to any place that gives them a wholesome meal at a low cost.
Consistent standards have made branded restaurants like the burger king,Taco bell etc,popular world wide.A customer knows exactly what to expect from the restaurant anywhere in the world.This is a good reason why people are repeat customers.
Service levels are of paramount significance to any dining experience.It all depends on what the customers expect.Service personnel who are slow, uninformed,rude,etc are sure to drive customers away.Restaurants pay a lot of attention to food service in its physical or intangible form.
Location is very strong reason to attract customers.Most consumers would want to patronise an establishment that is within easy reach.Obviously owners of restaurants plan well to determine the choice of a site that would best serve their target market segment.Working people would like to have their lunch at a restaurant that is at walking distance from their work place .
Whatever the reason to eat out,the defining feature is”experience.” Experience is created by both tangible s and intangibles coupled with the emotions that are generated. While food and it’s presentation,texture,aroma,and taste from the central focus of the dining experience,other factors like atmosphere,service,and convenience also play an important part.
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