Measuring food and beverage service quality in spa hotels A case study in Balikesir, Turkey
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Purpose - The aim of this study was three-fold: first, to develop an instrument to evaluate food and beverage service quality in spa hotels; second, to identify aspects of food and beverage service quality of which customers had the highest expectations, i.e. the key dimensions of food and beverage service quality in spa hotels; third, to measure customer perceptions of the spa hotels in this study and to identify those dimensions with the largest gap between customer expectations and perceptions. Design/methodology/approach - A self-administrated questionnaire was distributed to 331 customers at four different spa hotels in Balikesir, Turkey. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was used to identify service quality dimensions. Cronbach Alpha indicated the reliability of the factors identified. Customer expectations, perceptions and gaps between expectations and perceptions for each dimension were measured. Findings - Factor analysis revealed six quality dimensions: "assurance and employee knowledge"; "healthy and attractive food"; "empathy"; "tangibles"; "responsiveness of service delivery"; "reliability". Customer expectations were highest for "tangibles" and "assurance and employee knowledge". The largest gaps between perceptions and expectations were for "healthy and attractive food" and "tangibles". Practical implications - Key dimensions for food and beverage service quality in spa hotels were identified and a reliable instrument for measuring provision was developed. This should be applied by managers on an ongoing basis to evaluate their performance and give them a better understanding of food and beverage service quality in spa hotels. The study provides specific information on the performance of Turkish spa hotels in relation to food and beverage service quality. Originality/value - This research addresses the paucity of research on customer perspectives of food and beverage provision in spa hotels and contributes to enhanced understanding of spa tourists and their expectations and perceptions of the service quality of food and beverage service quality.