Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Applying the SERVQUAL and IPA Methods to a Cross Cultural Comparison of Quality Service Gaps


Hospitality & Tourism Management


College of Community and Public Service

Date Range



This is comparison of methods study, to determine which method (Importance Performance Analysis or SERVQUAL) would produce the most relevant gaps analysis attuned to the needs of restaurant managers in Poland and the USA. This work continues the author's research from 2008 when they used the Importance Performance Analysis technique to compare actual experience data with what customers had expected, in two different sample populations, (Poland and the USA). This paper is empirical and involves data from 200 restaurant visits in Poland and the USA. The sampling unit consists of 50 urban casual restaurants (25 per country), with each restaurant visited 4 times by different trained mystery shoppers, half using the SERVQUAL method and half using the IPA method. Quantitative analysis will be performed within both the IPA and SERVQUAL techniques. SERVQUAL gap analysis seemed to suggest that results from Poland and the USA are similar. However, IPA grids revealed the most important differences between customer's expectations (importance) and their experiences (performance). Methods like SERVQUAL are useful in comparing restaurant groups (such as cross culturally). However, the IPA method is a better way to analyze quality of service in individual restaurant enterprises, with its prioritized list of attributes managers can identify and address in training to reduce the gap between customer's expectations and their experiences. A third survey examining food preferences and attitudes will be administered / analyzed allowing cross cultural examination and discussion of antecedents towards and outcomes from service gap analysis.

Conference Name

6th Annual International Tourism Conference

Conference Location

Athens, Greece

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