Inderscience Publishers

Customer perceptions of the dining market of East London, South Africa

The article deals with the demand side of the dining market of East London, located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The research design was exploratory and structured questionnaires were used. The results show that the majority (60.4%) of people dine out to relax in a good atmosphere and (54.7%) of the respondents indicated that their reason to dine out was to have a good time. The research findings further show that 88% of the respondents would recommend the dining venue to their friends and family. Most (63.3%) had heard about the dining venues from friends or relatives. It is recommended that in order to improve service levels, restaurant owners should listen and act positively on suggestions made by the customers. The results of the study will enable the management to know how their customers feel about the venue and what customers would really like to experience when they dine out.

Keywords: customers, dining market, East London, good atmosphere, memorable experience, customer perceptions, restaurant owners, service levels, South Africa, tourism, restaurant services, service improvement, dining out

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