Restaurant Crowding

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Introduction/Research Problem: Throughout different studies, it is shown that spatial aspects of crowding effects perception in restaurant design. Mattila and Noone’s article goes into depth about the specific complications surrounding service restaurants and retail environments and how crowding, physical and psychological perspectives create an issue within these environments (source). Decisions about design, ambient and social elements of restaurant environments can improve the consumer-environment relationships (source). Two main issues surrounding crowding arose during the article: hedonic and utilitarian perspectives of crowding. Hedonic refers to the consumption experience of pleasure and excitement, whereas a utilitarian experience is…show more content…
Restaurants were chosen as the subject for the service setting because the environment creates a primary goal which can either be a quick experience (utilitarian) or a pleasurable experience (hedonic) (source). The controlled variables throughout the study was the type of service the participants received. This was to control the potential effect of setting valence on the crowding-satisfaction and crowding-behavioural response relationships (source). Therefore, when the study was conducted the participants were given the same scenario, describing an experience in a casual restaurant. ANCOVA was also used as the independent variable and tolerance for crowding, goal and service level…show more content…
The study was limited to one restaurant environment. Future research across different restaurant settings is needed to establish as there might be different crowding levels associated with diverse types of restaurants (source). Some limitations which were not discussed during the study was the design aspects within a crowded restaurant setting which can affect the overall social environment. Lighting, colour, décor and layout of a restaurant setting can affect the overall atmosphere of the environment. Alonso and O’Neill address that a restaurant’s style, design and ambiance can decrease the respondents associated with crowdedness (source). The importance of lighting also creates an important aspect of the dining aspect. Creating more private or public spaces with the use of dimmed lighting or natural light produces different dining experiences (source). These elements which fall under atmospheric qualities ultimately affect the overall dining experience for consumers including the various aspects of crowding within a restaurant environment

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