Summary of findings obtained from analysis of qualitative data.
The aim of this chapter is to present the unique aspects of the qualitative method that is rarely used against the quantitative method commonly used to obtain valid and reliable information in marketing research today. In this section, the qualitative method and the specific nature of the quantitative method are dealt with through an application beyond a theoretical‐based debate. In this context, a marketing research has been conducted on how to improve the quality of service of a restaurant operation that wants to increase the quality of the services it offers to its customers. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used simultaneously in the marketing research implemented. The specific directions that each step of the marketing research carried out and the way in which researchers should use these two methods in the marketing research are revealed through the application. As a result of the research, it has been determined that the quantitative findings about the work to be done in order to increase the service quality in the restaurant operation is numerically higher, but it is more limited in terms of guidance to the business managers. Findings obtained by the qualitative method are found to be more specific in terms of content and more functional at the point of guidance to the administrators.
- qualitative method
- quantitative method
- service quality
The method to be used in a research is a matter that should be carefully considered by every researcher who wants to obtain scientifically valid and reliable results, because the method has direct influence on the whole process of the research from the theoretical framework, population and sample, data collection, and analysis process to interpretation of findings. From this aspect, choice of method has a critical significance for the researchers to achieve accurate and reliable results. The process of uncovering a scientific knowledge is a complicated process that compliments each other ranging from problem definition to theory development. The path that the researcher follows in this process is mainly influenced by his approach related to the existence of knowledge and how to reach it. In this regard, a researcher must be aware of the open or implicit paradigm that it has about the existence and the source of knowledge and must plan well how his values will be reflected in the research stages.
How to get accurate and valid information is the common interest of all branches of science. However, this matter needs to be paid more attention for researchers working in social sciences. Because people are in the center of studies in social sciences, and it is very difficult to generalize, systematize, and make reliable the results of a research. This situation also applies to marketing that has a dynamic structure in application area, and forms greatly the consumption behavior of people and the economic, social, and cultural changes generated from these behaviors in our day. Nowadays, the role of marketing is an undeniable fact in success of the organizations that profit or nonprofit. Moreover, the importance of marketing activities increases gradually with changes in market structures arising from globalization and information technologies. The focus point of marketing activities carried out by the organizations is people and organizations who have the potential to purchase the organization’s products and services. The purpose of these activities is to effectively manage the customer satisfaction process that extends from the production of the products and services to their postpurchase expectations. Relaying exact information related to customer needs, requests, and expectations to the managers who are in decision‐making position has a great importance in managing this process effectively. Otherwise, it is not possible for the organization to develop products or services that meet customer expectations or to respond to other expectations of customers.
In this context, marketing research plays an important role providing information about changes in market and customer trends to the managers, who are in decision‐making position, to get effective results from marketing activities in organizations. Marketing research studies include a wide range of application areas extending from developing new products, expanding the existing market, which communication tools might be more effective in marketing products and services to what should be the optimum prices of products and services or how the packaging and store ambience affects consumer behaviors. Sometimes, marketing research is done to solve a specific problem that organizations face. Therefore, whatever scale and content, the validity and reliability of the results of marketing research is highly important for organizations. But, validity and reliability of the results obtained from marketing research studies are very important for organizations by all measures. Because outcomes of a marketing research offer a roadmap to organization about how customer communication will be carried out. On the other hand, validity and reliability of these outcomes plays an important role in marketing activities preventing practices that are not beneficial for organization or avoiding harmful marketing applications.
Generally, two methods are commonly used in studies conducted to reach valid and reliable information in marketing research studies. These are qualitative and quantitative research methods. Some researchers can use these two methods together (which are mixed method) according to the content and structure of the research. The purpose of this section is to reveal original aspects of the qualitative method in opposition to the quantitative method which is widely used to provide valid and reliable information in marketing research studies, and to scrutinize benefits of qualitative method to the researchers in the marketing research.
The aim of this chapter is to present the unique aspects of the qualitative method that is rarely used against the quantitative method commonly used to obtain valid and reliable information in marketing research today. In this section, the qualitative method and the specific nature of the quantitative method are dealt with through an application beyond a theoretical‐based debate. The application was made in Oba restaurant, which operates in Bartin in Turkey and sets middle and upper income group customers as the target market. In the marketing research conducted, attempts have been made to determine the actions to be taken in order to improve the quality of the services provided. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used simultaneously in accordance with the target and a framework for their use in marketing research was presented. One point to be emphasized here is that this chapter is not prepared by focusing on the shortcomings of the qualitative or quantitative method. This section provides information on how researchers conducting marketing research will benefit from the qualitative method and what issues they should pay attention to when using the qualitative method, unlike the quantitative method. In addition, in the last part of the study, the qualitative method of contributing to the researchers working in the field of marketing research studies was addressed in practice.
2. The importance of marketing research
Today, with the influence of globalization and information technologies, it becomes increasingly difficult for managers to make accurate and effective decisions that can respond to changing customer demands and needs in a market that is becoming more and more dynamic. In dynamic market conditions, managers need to be informed about market trends, consumer trends, and developments in marketing activities so that they can make low‐risk and effective decisions . This is because no manager can make a correct and effective decision about the future at the desk in an environment where the flow of information about the market structures and the businesses operating in these markets is very fast and the decision‐making time shortens and the uncertainty increases . Marketing research is one of the basic tools that managers use to get the information they need to make better decisions. The marketing research identified by the American Marketing Association  as “Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information‐ information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process.”
Marketing research helps a manager to make decisions based on highly scientific evidence from intuitive estimates in the decision‐making process . The knowledge gained from marketing research for an executive is valued from other information, and the information is obtained by using scientific method instead of intuition and prejudice. Managers can sometimes make decisions that provide extraordinary success and benefits for businesses, starting with their feelings and experience with products, markets, and consumers. However, in the case of a high cost to be paid if the decisions are wrong, every manager needs to be supported with scientific knowledge in the decision process, no matter how advanced his intuition and experience are. The ultimate goal of marketing research is to provide them with the information they need about products, markets, and consumers in order to make better decisions.
3. Marketing research process and method selection in the research process
Marketing research focuses on achieving valid and reliable results on the problem arising from in‐depth research on a particular topic. Failure to obtain accurate and reliable results in an investigation may distract the manager or the consumer segment from a product that can be more successful, by pushing businesses to the wrong direction. Therefore, the scientific characteristics of an information obtained from a marketing research are very important for businesses. It is possible to use scientific research methods to obtain valid and reliable information about a problem by having a unique set of planned and systematic steps in continuous interaction with each other. A scientific marketing research process consists of seven stages, which can vary according to researchers. Figure 1 shows the stages of a scientific marketing research process, which was prepared by using [4–6]. Each of the stages involved in the marketing research process is in the precondition of the subsequent stage. That is, any mistake in one of these stages is an obstacle to the progress of the subsequent process and adversely affects the validity and reliability of the results of the research.
The first stage is the identification of problem. At this stage, the problem that necessitates marketing research in business is revealed. It is clearly defined why the research is done and what is the desired outcome of the research. This stage is the most difficult, but seemingly easy, process of the marketing research. Because a mistake in this stage can make even a perfect research a waste of time. The second stage is the creation of the conceptual framework of the research. At this stage, the relevant literature is searched to determine the theories on which the research is based, the variables of the research, and the hypotheses to be tested in the research. Conceptualization is an informal work on information already available and appropriate in the problem area. This stage can help identify the problem and give you an idea of what information should be obtained if needed .
The third step is to design the research and determine the method to be used in the research. This stage includes determining the most appropriate research design that can be used to achieve the purpose of the research. This is the stage in which the researcher decides which research method should be used to obtain the required data, that is, the method selection in the research. The fourth step is to determine the population and sample of the research. At this stage, the population to be generalized by another expression to which the results of research are valid is determined. In this direction, the selection of the sample is decided at this stage, which of the individuals or institutions included in the designated application of population will participate in the survey.
The fifth stage identifies the means of data collection. At this stage, it is decided how to measure the research variables and which data collection tools will be used. The validity and reliability studies of the data collection tools are made at this stage and the most suitable measurement tool is tried to be determined. The sixth stage is the analysis and interpretation of data. The analysis techniques to be used in the analysis of the obtained data are determined in this step. In addition to this, comments are made at this stage on the meaning of the findings obtained as a result of the analysis. The seventh stage is the stage in which research findings are reported and are ready for publication. At this stage, the studies carried out in the research process and the results emerging from this research are prepared and presented in a certain order. The presentations of the results include the research studies related to this topic, and the comments about the overlap of the results of the research with the findings that were presented earlier or the nonconformity are also given in this section.
In this section, the processes involved in a marketing research are dealt with in the context of a restaurant business. In this process, first, information about the business where the marketing research will be realized is given. Later on, the problem that required marketing research was put forward and the conceptual framework of the research was established. In the following process, it is explained how research design is done in terms of qualitative and quantitative methods. After this step, a marketing research has been carried out by taking each process, from population and sample selection to analysis and reporting. In addition, every effort has been made to draw attention to the unique nature of the qualitative method in every aspect of marketing research. In Figure 2, the differences between qualitative and quantitative methods in the research process are outlined.
4. Oba restaurant
Oba restaurant is a food and beverage business operated by an investor and it is located abroad in 2010 with a capacity of 120 people in the center of Bartın province in Turkey’s Western Black Sea region. The business offers comprehensive food and beverage services to its customers, including special meals, appetizers, and kebab varieties from Turkish cuisine. The restaurant is very close to the city center and to the public and local government service buildings, especially the governor’s office. There are indoor, summer, and winter gardens for eating in the restaurant. Oba restaurant not only offers its customers tasty delicacies but also offers opportunities for invitations, business meetings, and all special events. In addition, it has a children’s park designed for families with children in the establishment. Please see for more information “
The restaurant’s customer base is composed of people in the middle and upper income group. The restaurant promises to spend a peaceful time away from the noise of the city but within the city with its extensive menu choices for this reason, the quality of the services offered at the restaurant is inevitable for the success of the quality operator.
5. Determination of research problem
Marketing research is generally undertaken to solve a specific problem that business managers have already encountered with products, markets, and consumers. Marketing research can sometimes be done to improve the quality of products and services offered in a future project idea or existing market conditions. The first step in a marketing research is to determine the problem of the research. In other words, the problem that needs to be investigated and the meaning of the research to be carried out express for the business.
When identifying a problem in a marketing research, it is important to note that the problem itself and the elements that cause the problem are not mingled. For example, a research problem with the question of “What is the reason for the decrease of the profitability of the business?” for a rapidly decreasing profitability problem or “Is the question of profitability related to the presented product?” or “Is there an effect in profitability of advertising and promotion channels?” are the questions that require different research methods. Therefore, in a marketing research to be done, the frame to cover the problem should be well‐defined and care should be taken not to make the frame presented too narrow or too wide.
Another issue that needs to be considered when determining the problem in marketing research is the simple and clear presentation of the problem. In addition, it should be well planned how the research to be done on the problem posed will serve the business objectives in the middle and long term. Otherwise, only a marketing research with a focus on the current problem can be inadequate in terms of presenting a future‐oriented projection to the manager in a rapidly changing market environment. In other words, marketing research should be an effective tool in providing information that will serve business executives in the medium to long term, and exploring market opportunities .
In this context, main research question driving this study is set as “How can the quality of service offered to customers in the restaurant be improved?” In fact, research identified is related with increasing customer satisfaction in the business because quality of service is one of the most important determinants of customer satisfaction . The ultimate output for the business is increasing profitability. The effect of quality of service on customer satisfaction at restaurants is directly reflected in customer loyalty [8, 9]. In other words, there is a direct relationship between the variables of service quality, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty. However, the marketing research conducted in this application has been reduced to a narrower framework in which the results are easy and clear, by eliminating the problem from such variables.
Drawing the boundaries of a research for the people conducting marketing research at the stage of problem‐solving is necessary to reduce the uncertainties that may be faced in the future and to achieve effective results. In this research, measuring the quality of services provided by food and beverage business and the aspects which make customers satisfied from the business will be revealed. In addition, the findings will provide a projection to the business executives at the point where the customer’s expectations are set.
6. The conceptual framework of the research
In marketing research, following the determination of research problem, the theoretical framework and infrastructure is established in relation with that problem. The essence of this stage already includes the selection, adaptation, and development of appropriate theoretical frameworks to form the substructure of the research . The existing and appropriate information on the problems raised from this aspect should be collected and the conceptual framework of the research should be established. As pointed out , this stage can help to identify the problem and provide insight into what information should be obtained in a more comprehensive way if needed. Research in this regard should be conducted in a comprehensive manner in the scientific research, reports, and the bulletins conducted on the problem.
Many researchers in practice think that the role of this stage within the research process is less important because it is thought to be nonfunctional, and it may take less time for this stage. However, it should not be forgotten that the experience of others is less costly. Any scientific information that can be reached at this stage will facilitate the researcher’s work in the process, if scientific work is accumulated for many years and is considered to have been tested for validity and reliability. The conceptual framework of this research was built on service quality in restaurant businesses. In this section, the studies on the quality of service and the quality of service in food and beverage business are briefly mentioned and an outline for the theoretical framework of research is tried to be indicated below. However, the real prospect of conceptualization comes from the fact that other research results related to the subject to be investigated are analyzed, sorted, and made useful for this research in a certain order.
The quality of service is expressed in the literature as the difference between the expectations of customers from the service provider’s performance and the evaluations of the services they receive [10–13]. Lehtinen and Lehtinen  reported that service quality is composed of three dimensions. These are physical quality, corporate quality, and interaction quality. According to Gronroos  service quality is composed of two dimensions; technical quality and functional quality. The most widely accepted approach about the extent of service quality is developed by Parasuraman et al. . They summarize the main determinants of service quality under five headings: physical components, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy in the service quality measurement model, which they call as SERVQUAL. Developed by Parasuraman et al., this structure is widely used to measure the quality of services offered both in industrial businesses and service businesses.
When it comes to food and beverage business, quality of service is one of the critical issues that must be carefully considered for food and beverage operations in an increasingly competitive environment as in other sectors, because quality of service is a necessary condition for the business to develop good relations with its customers . There are many studies on service quality in food and beverage businesses. In these research studies, it is observed that the quality of service in restaurant business has a positive impact on customer satisfaction [15–17] and on customer loyalty [7, 9, 18, 19].
Yüksel ve Yüksel  stated that service quality is the leading factor affecting the satisfaction of tourists in restaurant services. Researches  examined the factors that affect customer satisfaction in food and beverage business in terms of food quality, service quality, price, ambiance of the restaurant, and restaurant location. As a result of the research, the first three factors affecting customer satisfaction in restaurant establishments were food quality, physical environment, and service quality. Besides, it has been revealed that the location of the restaurant has no effect on customer satisfaction. Ha and Jang  reached the conclusion that the quality of service, ambiance of the restaurant and food quality in restaurant businesses were influential on customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Similarly, it is stated that restaurants that have the necessary qualities in terms of food quality, prices, and service quality have a great chance of maintaining customer loyalty . According to Barber et al.  the restaurant customers are looking for three attributes in businesses. These are food quality, physical environment, and service quality.
In addition, it is found that ambient conditions, design, physical and social factors are important determinants of service quality in restaurant establishments, and their research has concluded that there is a relationship between the quality of the physical environment and the customers’ repurchase intentions in restaurants . Conversely, Andaleeb and Conway  found that physical design and appearance in restaurant establishments did not affect customer satisfaction.
Lee  stated that quality of food, quality of service, cleanliness, suitability of location, speed of service, and reasonable price are factors affecting customer satisfaction. Similarly, according to Kim et al. , factors affecting customer satisfaction in restaurant businesses are food quality, atmosphere, service quality, convenience and price, and value. It is point out that food quality is the most important determinant of customer satisfaction in restaurant business [16, 21]. Also it is stated that the price is indicative of the quality of service offered at a restaurant and is an important factor affecting customer expectations . Hyun  state that the behavior of regular customers in chain restaurants is affected by five factors. These are food quality, service quality, price, location, and environment.
On the other hand, general cleaning of the restaurant, food and drinks, and staff is very important for the customers. This is because customers perceive the food and beverage businesses that cannot provide expected hygiene and cleanliness conditions as low quality service providers [24, 25]. Chen  has shown that the quality of service in restaurant businesses affects the customer loyalty positively. Finally, Stevens et al.  adapted the SERVQUAL service quality measurement technique to restaurant operations and improved the DINESERV scale. This scale consists of five dimensions as it is in the SERVQUAL scale. These dimensions are physical elements, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy. They have developed this scale, which has been adapted for expressions of these dimensions and adapted to 29 restaurants. Physical elements in the DINESERV scale for restaurant establishments are the exterior of the restaurant, the menu, the ambiance, decor, and cleanliness. Reliability dimension; is related with the confidence of the customer in terms of price, speed of service, and correct product. Readiness dimension is about employees making extra effort to provide quality and fast service and helping each other. Assurance dimension is related with the quality of employees, and the customer’s feeling of assurance in terms of food quality and other aspects. Empathy dimension is related with customer’s feeling of special in the restaurant, the confidence provided by employees to customers. Despite being criticized by some researchers  due to its dimensions, the DINESERV scale is widely used for the measurement of service quality in restaurant businesses [7, 27].
7. Marketing research design and method selection
Research design is a framework for setting how a marketing research project will be conducted. This framework includes the details of the path that the researcher will follow to obtain the necessary information in order to formulate and solve the problem. Determination of the appropriate method in a marketing research plays a decisive role on the researcher’s approach to the subject in the later stages of the research. For that reason, in research design, the researcher needs to take into account the nature of the problem of research, the resources such as time and money to be invested in research, and the ability to obtain data. Undoubtedly a good research design will ensure that the marketing research project is carried out efficiently.
Research design starts with determination of problematic and conceptual frame and then selection of method to be used in research and selection of appropriate sampling technique, determination of data collection techniques and determination of techniques to be used in data analysis according to the determined method . It is described that the processes involved in a research design are as follows :
Identification of required information.
Deciding whether the design is exploratory, descriptive, or causal.
Designing understanding or measuring techniques.
Creating a suitable form for data collection or survey and pre‐test.
Determining qualitative or quantitative sampling process and sample size.
Developing a plan for qualitative or quantitative data analysis.
In the previous section, necessary information was gathered in order to define the research problem and the conceptual framework of the study. The critical parameter in determining the research design after this point is the nature of the research. A subject on which numerous studies are conducted, the variables are clearly defined, and for which the reliability and validity has been tested at measurement point is suitable for descriptive and explanatory research approaches. Such as market orientation and financial performance. Research subjects without adequate conceptual framework, without sufficient research on defining the variables and with no reliability and validity tests are more suitable for exploratory studies. Such as glass roof syndrome among female employees and blue ocean marketing. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the researcher himself is the factor that shapes the nature of the research. For example, a researcher might turn a topic of research into thousands of meta‐analytic techniques into an exploratory study. Or, a topic with limited information on it may become a descriptive structure through simple scales. Here, it must be clearly stated that a researcher’s handling of the issue is concerned with his purpose, ability, possibilities, and intentions.
The marketing research to improve the quality of the services offered at the restaurant was designed as a descriptive research in terms of qualitative method and exploratory quantitative method. The exploratory nature of research is that customers in restaurant businesses use what expressions they use to describe quality service, what the quality of service for restaurant customers means and what the expectations of customers are when they operate at the service quality point. The descriptive direction of the study is the statistical measurement of the level of perception and expectation of the quality of the services offered by the customers by starting from the research studies about the service quality in the restaurant business.
8. Determination of research population and sampling
There is a close link between how the sample is determined in one study and the preferred method in the study. Because the quantitative method requires a sample with the ability to represent numerically larger, the qualitative method focuses on the quality of the samples included in the research contrary to the numerical size. For this reason, the sample model used in qualitative research studies is called as the “purposeful sampling .” In the purposeful sampling, the main purpose is to gather in‐depth information about the person, event, or situation that constitutes the subject of the research in terms of a specific purpose . In the quantitative method, there are two types of sampling in general. These are probabilistic sampling and nonprobabilistic sampling. Probabilistic sampling implies equal opportunity for the items in research population to be included in sampling. Nonprobabilistic sampling refers to sampling types in which the units forming the population are not equal in chance of sampling. It is not always possible to use sampling techniques in social science research although there are many superior features of probability‐based sampling techniques. This research was a typical example of that.
The population of the marketing research that has been carried out are the customers of Oba restaurant operation in Bartın. This definition of the population does not make any difference in terms of the methods to be used in the research. In other words, the method used in this research is neither quantitative nor qualitative. However, there are significant differences between the two methods at the point of reaching the designated population.
The critical point in determining the sample in terms of the qualitative method is the nature of the sample, which is largely determined by the numerical majority. In this study, purposeful sampling method was used in accordance with the nature of qualitative research. In this context, the customers of the Oba restaurant business, which constituted the population of the researcher, were observed for 5 days. As a result of evaluations made by consulting with the business manager, it was determined that the customers of the restaurant could be handled under four groups. These groups are; public employees, families with children, meetings and organization groups, and other customers. Therefore, data collection from these four groups in the survey on the quality of the services offered in the business is important in terms of the validity and reliability of the data to be obtained.
In the quantitative method, it is necessary to take into account the fact that the correct sample is obtained before the numerical sufficiency. In this study, easy sampling among nonprobabilistic sampling methods has been used. The reason for not using probabilistic sampling techniques in the study is the lack of a systematic account of who came to the restaurant, where they came from, how many people they will be or how many times they came. That is, limited information about restaurant customers requires the selection of a technique that is not based on the probabilistic sampling. When the sample size is considered numerically, it is estimated that about 12,000 restaurant services are annually provided in the business. In this direction, the size of the sample to be reached in the survey was determined as 370 persons with a 95% confidence interval.
9. Gathering the research data
Data gathering is the period in which the information needed to reach the purpose determined in a research is obtained from the units that constitute the field of application of the research. In order to obtain healthy and objective results in a scientific research, it is necessary to determine the appropriate data collection technique for the purpose of the researcher. The research data is the output of the population and the sampling process, the input of the data analysis and interpretation process. For this reason, researcher’s use of incomplete or incorrect data collection or incorrect data collection techniques can result with erroneous, useless, and invalid data. It is possible to talk about two types of data used in the marketing research. These are primary data and secondary data. The primary data is the unprocessed data collected from the units/people in the research population directly related to the research topic. Secondary data are data collected by other researchers related to the research topic. There are some authors who state that such data should be considered as primary data. In addition, the secondary data includes other sources that are not related to the research topic but which can be used in the research, such as indexes, reports, and corporate bulletins.
In terms of methodology, the identification of the problem of research in a marketing research and the collection of secondary data to contribute to its solution does not make any difference. However, in the collection of primary data needed in a study, it is very important that the researcher deals with qualitative or quantitative approaches. Because both the qualitative method and the quantitative method have their own data collection techniques. However, in each of the data collection techniques, the development of the data collection tool and the role of the researcher in the data collection process vary. The data collection process in marketing research consists of two phases. The first is the creation of the data collection tool necessary for the collection of research data. The other is to collect the information required from the units/participants through the data collection tool.
9.1. Creating data collection tools
Quantitative method is used in marketing research studies are obtained by using survey technique. In qualitative marketing research, data is obtained by using interview, observation, and document review technique. Qualitative data can sometimes be obtained by using open‐ended questions and by using survey techniques. In this context, it is clear that the research method and the data collection method preferred by the researcher will be a determinant in the formation of the data collection tool. For example; in qualitative research the questions are open‐ended and there are no yes or no questions. The real advantage of the qualitative research method is its in‐depth character. Each individual participating in the survey may wish to express opinions on any aspect of any subject and may do so. Surveys used as data collection tools in quantitative research studies are highly structured. That is, the researcher gives a questionnaire to the participant that clearly shows the boundaries and focuses on the answers they have given to the questions that are asked to them rather than the personal thoughts about the topic.
In qualitative research based on the practice, data collection techniques are interview and observation. Observations are realized by the researcher becoming part of the event and the case itself, or by the researcher observing the event from the outside. In this research, the perception of the quality of the services offered by the customers at the restaurant and how to improve the quality of the services offered are being investigated. The attitudes, gestures, and mimics of the customers at the restaurant and their present attitudes can be obtained through the observations. However, the findings obtained in this way will not be enough for the research to reach its purpose. Because it is really hard to determine whether customers’ wishes and expectations are met or not by observing them, and the findings obtained in this way can go one step further than reading the intention. In fact, it is not right to choose observation‐based data collection techniques when customers have the opportunity to directly learn their perceptions, complaints, and expectations about the quality of the services offered. In this study, the interview technique was used for the collection of data. Interview technique is a data collection technique that the researcher obtains from the participants by directing their opinions on a subject or case in the form of individual or group interviews. Interview technique and research data can be collected in three ways. These are unstructured interviews, semistructured interviews, and structured interviews. In this study, the semistructured interview technique was used. The semistructured interview technique allows the researcher to determine whether the questions leading to the participant are outlined in the main lines, but to add or subtract questions to the researcher and act according to the flow of the subject. In this context, questions about the quality of the services offered at the restaurant by the way of the findings obtained during the conceptualization process are determined as follows by taking the opinion of three experts in tourism and marketing fields.
How would you define quality service for any restaurant establishment?
What are your expectations from running a restaurant in terms of service quality?
Can you assess the quality of the services offered at this restaurant in terms of physical characteristics, quality of food, cleanliness, and confidence?
Would you share your opinions about the restaurant employees?
Can you share the facts whether you are satisfied or not satisfied with the quality of the services offered at the restaurant?
Which quality of restaurant would make you happier when you think about the services offered at the restaurant?
The data collection technique in quantitative research is questionnaire. The questionnaire is based on measuring participants’ attitudes and behaviors about a subject or phenomenon by means of a predetermined systematic structure. There are two ways in which a survey questionnaire is established. The first is to construct a questionnaire with validity and reliability studies by putting out the items that express the variables and dimensions of a subject. This is a really long and difficult process for a researcher. The second way is to use a scale that has been tested with the validity and credibility of the subject. The method of using the questionnaire in scientific research studies is widely used. It should be noted that the validity and reliability of the scales used have been tested in addition to the compatibility with the subject.
The questionnaire for collecting the data needed in this study consists of two parts. In the first part, there are four statements to measure the demographic characteristics of the participants. In these statements, participants’ gender, age, income level, and education level were examined. In the second part, there are statements about the expectations and perceptions of the participants regarding the quality of the services offered at the restaurant. The demographic characteristics of the participants were measured by the nominal scale and the evaluations of the service quality were measured by the 5‐point likert‐type ranking scale.
In this study, DINESERV scale, a validated and reliability scale, was used as data collection tool. The DINESERV service quality measuring instrument was adapted by Stevens et al.  for restaurant operations by SERVQUAL service quality measurement, as revealed by Parasuraman et al. . The DINESERV scale consists of 29 propositions instead of 22 propositions. There are five dimensions such as physical characteristics, reliability, emotion, trust, and empathy, like the SERVQUAL model. On the left side of the scale are the expectations of customers from a service operation. On the right‐hand side are the evaluations of the customers for which they are serviced. Thus, the quality of the services offered by the operator is revealed by comparing the findings between the customers’ perceptions and expectations. This method is expressed as gaps analysis in service quality measurement.
The validity and reliability of the data collection tools presented before the data collection phase in scientific research should be tested. In this study, the questionnaire for validity and reliability of qualitative data was tested through interviews with five restaurant customers. Findings obtained from the interviews were shared with specialist academicians in the field of marketing and tourism where the questionnaire was formulated in writing. The academics have stated that the question “what are your thoughts about the quality of service offered in general at the restaurant?” Is very general and should be removed from the interview form. In this direction, this question was removed from the interview form and it was finalized.
A pretest was conducted to test the validity and reliability of the questionnaire designed to collect quantitative data of the study. The survey questionnaire was applied to 42 restaurant customers. The obtained data were analyzed in the SPSS 18.0 package program. As a result of the analysis, the reliability coefficient of service quality scale (Cronbach alpha) was 0.94. This value indicates that the quality of service survey conducted is very reliable in collecting research data.
9.2. Data collection
The collection of research data is the process of obtaining the information needed by the person or units in the population or sample. This process is carried out through participatory or unattended observations in the qualitative method, or through individual or focus group interviews. In the quantitative method, the survey is conducted by face to face, by phone, fax, mail, or e‐mail.
Qualitative data of the study were obtained on the basis of interviews with restaurant customers. During the process of obtaining the data, the customers who received food and beverage service at the restaurant were informed about the subject after the meal and the request was forwarded. Talks with the customers who agreed with this request were held in the restaurant between November 14, 2016 and January 7, 2017, in the natural environment where the participants had a restaurant service. The interviews were recorded with the voice recorder upon permission from the participants. When the participants were determined, four groups expressed in the sampling process were taken into account. We interviewed eight people from each group and the qualitative data of the research were obtained from a total of 32 persons.
Quantitative data of the research was obtained by face‐to‐face application of the research questionnaire to restaurant customers. The implementation of the questionnaire was carried out immediately after the customers’ dining experience at the restaurant. The survey was administered to a total of 372 restaurant customers between 15 December 2016 and 10 January 2017. However, it was seen that some participants have not fully answered the research questionnaire, responded to only one of the perceptions or expectations. These questionnaires, which are thought to affect the reliability of the results of the research, have not been included in the data set. In this context, research data were obtained from 308 restaurant customers.
10. Analyzes and findings
The data obtained at the data collection stage is usually raw data and is not available in marketing decisions. For this reason, in order to obtain the information required to solve the research problem, it is necessary to analyze the raw data and make it possible to use the decision maker without much effort. In this regard, data analysis involves the transformation of raw data into the information needed to solve the research problem.
10.1. Qualitative data analysis
The nature of the data obtained in the investigation determines which data analysis should be used in a research. In the analysis of qualitative data, analysis techniques such as phenomenological analysis, content analysis, descriptive analysis, built‐in theory, or constant comparison analysis, discourse analysis and ethnometry can be used . In this study, the data obtained in order to achieve the determined purpose were analyzed with descriptive analysis technique. In the descriptive analysis technique, the data are summarized and interpreted under predetermined titles and dimensions. The purpose of this analysis is to introduce raw data in a way that readers can understand and use if they wish . For this purpose, descriptive analysis techniques often include direct citation in order to reflect the views of the investigator or observer in a striking way .
For the analysis of data, it was first determined under which dimensions the responses of restaurant customers can be analyzed. In this context, the data obtained from restaurant customers are considered in terms of six dimensions. These dimensions are customers’ perceptions of quality service in restaurants and expectations of a high quality restaurant, in particular the opinions of customers about Oba restaurant and restaurant employees, satisfaction with the quality of the services offered at the restaurant and the qualities that the restaurant should have in order to provide better quality service.
10.2. Qualitative findings
Qualitative findings of the study include participants’ evaluations of the restaurant’s service quality. Firstly, the demographic characteristics of the participants were examined. Later, the participants discussed their thoughts on the quality of the services offered in restaurants in general and the evaluations of the quality of the services provided in the Oba restaurant.
Fourteen of the participants interviewed about the quality of the services offered at the restaurant were female, 18 were male. Eight of the participants are from the public employees, eight from the children’s families, eight from the organizers of the meetings and group organizations and eight from the other groups. Eleven of the participants are in the age range of 18–29, 16 are in the age range of 30–39, and five are in the age range of 40 and more. Fourteen participants had 2500–3500 TL and 10 had 3501–4500 TL as eight had 4501 TL and a higher income.
The qualitative data, including the evaluations of the customers’ service quality of the restaurant, were examined in the frame of the determined analysis. As a result of the examination made in Table 1, findings in the foreground in the analysis of qualitative data are shown. As a result of the analysis, it was determined that the customers defined the quality service in the restaurants as cleaning (27), food quality (28), physical appearance and ambiance (23), service speed (7), and personnel behavior (5). Some customer’s opinions on quality service in restaurants are given below:
|Items||Public employees||Families with child||Meeting groups||Other customers|
|Defining quality service in restaurants||Cleaning||7||8||6||6|
|Physical characteristics and ambience||5||6||8||4|
|Expectations from a restaurant served high service quality||Cleaning and hygiene||7||8||5||7|
|Appealing foods for taste||8||7||7||8|
|Physical characteristics and ambience||6||7||8||6|
|Overall evaluations about Oba restaurant||Physical properties||6||5||8||6|
|Evaluations about staffs on restaurant||Physical a characteristics||5||5||4||3|
|Evaluations of restaurant satisfaction||Physical characteristics||7||6||8||4|
|Qualifications that the restaurant should have||Parking||6||5||6||4|
“When I enter a restaurant, first of all i look at the layout of the tables, the cleanliness of the floor and the clothing of the staff.”
“I think the most important indicator of quality service in a restaurant is the quality and presentation of the food and drinks offered in there.”
“I think the quality of service in a restaurant is equal to the attraction of the atmosphere.”
When participants analyzed the expectations of a restaurant with a high quality of service, 27 participants expressed that they expect a quality restaurant to expect cleanliness and hygiene, and that 30 participants expect foods that appeal to their taste. A total of 27 of the respondents expressed that they expect the physical appearance and ambience of a restaurant with a high quality of service to be in harmony with the living standards. In addition, 17 of the respondents expressed a high expectation of a restaurant with fast service, 23 staff behavior, and 19 restaurants as a special feeling of the restaurant itself. Some customers’ expectations from a restaurant with a high service quality are described below:
“When you enter a restaurant with a high service quality, you should feel it. In such a restaurant you feel that with its cleanliness, ambience, eye‐pleasing services, and taste of foods.”
“My expectation from a high quality restaurant is maximum care for food quality and hygiene in the food that is offered to us. It is our health that matters.”
“Our meals are usually in the form of business meals. Therefore, the physical environment and ambience of a restaurant is very important to me.”
Participants were asked to rate the quality of the services provided in the Oba restaurant operation in terms of physical characteristics, quality of food, cleanliness, and assurance after the general evaluations of service quality in restaurant business. Among the respondents; 25 said that Oba restaurant had physical qualities, 22 that they found satisfactory food quality, 26 said that the place was clean and 14 considered it as trustworthy. In addition, five participants stated that it is important for the restaurant to have a children’s playground. Two participants’ opinions on Oba restaurant are as follows:
“I can say that i am a regular customer at Oba restaurant. First of all, the restaurant is satisfactory in terms of physical environment and ambience, so if you come here you have an idea about the service you will get. At the restaurant, you can understand the quality of the rest from the way the food is served.”
“When I first come to the restaurant, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the cleanliness of the environment. It’s really an elegant environment.”
When the participants’ views were taken from the negative point of view, 10 participants stated that their expectations in terms of food quality were not met, although the restaurant did meet the expectations physically. Among the participants, five of them stated that they preferred the restaurant because it has a childrens’ playground. In addition, four participants showed that the ambiance at the restaurant could be more impressive with a few small operations. Five of the participants said that hygiene is problematic because the outdoor section of the restaurant is on the roadside. Finally, 7 participants indicated that the prices were in line with the physical characteristics but the food quality did not support the restaurant’s pricing policies. One of the participant’s opinion who stated negative opinion about the quality of service of the restaurant is as follows:
“I cannot say that service quality of the restaurant is bad, but it could be better. The other day we were eating in the garden area and a truck went very fast. Everywhere was covered with dust. I suppose that it does not happen frequently, but it happened. I think that part of the restaurant should be closed.”
When participants’ opinions on the restaurant’s staff were examined, 17 respondents indicated that restaurant employees were physically well‐behaved, 14 said that restaurant employees were polite, 21 said restaurant employees were geniality, and 17 said that restaurant employees were willing to serve. On the contrary, three participants stated that the behavior of employees towards each other is very sincere and that these relations should be formulated in an official structure. Lastly, the two participants stated that their clothing does not support the restaurant’s image and needs to be improved. Some of the participants’ views on the subject are as follows:
“The staff are very sincere and smiling, you feel it as soon as you enter the restaurant.”
“The restaurant staff are very interested in your needs and expectations. They come without you call them. They do their job with love, which is a very nice thing.”
When participants’ evaluations of their satisfaction with the quality of the services offered at the restaurant were examined, all participants were generally satisfied with the services offered at the restaurant. Participants expressed their satisfaction with Oba restaurant in terms of physical characteristics (25), cleanliness (21), reliability (12), food quality (10), and staff quality (12). Four of the participants said that the Oba restaurant was one of the rare places where they could welcome friends or colleagues in the city where they live. Female participants expressed that they were very happy that the restaurant had a children’s play area, four of them said that they ate the food comfortably by leaving their children in the play area. Nine of the participants said that Oba restaurant has a quality of service in Bartın that is above standards. One of the participants has shared an experience in the restaurant as follows:
“It was the time when I newly arrived at Bartin. I came for dinner in here. I have ordered Lahmacun. The orders arrived in ten minutes, but the Lahmacun was overcooked to me. I looked at the waiter right away. He arrived quickly and asked me “How may I help?” I said that Lahmacun was overcooked. He apologized and replaced the food.”
When the dissatisfaction of the customers at the Oba restaurant was examined, 23 of the participants stated that they had no dissatisfaction until today. On the other hand, 11 of the respondents stated that the lack of parking space in the restaurant is a dissatisfaction for them. Four of them have stated that they had encountered a problem with hygiene, such as glasses or tables being stained in the restaurant. Three participants stated that they sometimes had a noise problem due to the location of restaurant, which is by the roadside. Two of the participants stated that the children’s play area is neglected and may be more reliable. Some of the participants’ thoughts about the subject are as follows:
“I can easily say that I did not have a significant problem in the restaurant. But I should also say that it would be better if the restaurant had a car park. We came with a friend the other day and I had to leave the car three hundred yards away.”
“This is my third time in this restaurant. Last time I came, there was a stain on the glasses on the table. They changed the glasses when I told them. But I think from now on, whenever I come, I’m going to check the glasses first.”
Which quality of restaurant would make you happier when you think about the services offered at the restaurant? was the final question asked. Participants’ responses to the increase in service quality at the restaurant; parking area (21), food quality (11), pricing (13), and children’s playground (5). A total of 21 of the respondents answered this question as the inadequacy and irregularity of the parking area of the restaurant. Three of the respondents stated that the food range offered at the restaurant should be increased by adding stew food varieties. Nine of the participants stated that they would feel happy if the restaurant made a discount in food prices. Finally, four of the participants stated that it is important for them to carry out the safety and maintenance of the children’s play area. Some of the participants’ opinions about the subject are as follows:
“I usually eat lunch outside. And I regularly come to this restaurant. But you sometimes look for different flavors. The restaurant’s menu is rich. But some kinds of stews must be added to the menu.”
“The most important reason we prefer this restaurant is the playground. We can eat our food comfortably by leaving our child to the playground. But last week my son rolled out of the skateboard and the net that should keep it was torn. My son is hurt. Therefore, the children’s playground needs to be renovated.”
10.3. Quantitative data analysis
Quantitative data analysis refers to the conversion of data into information by making use of numerical representations of observation results obtained to describe and explain facts. Statistical techniques are used in the analysis of quantitative data. Choosing the test statistic appropriate to the research model and hypotheses is important to obtain meaningful analysis results. The analysis of the quantitative data of research consists of two parts. These are the analysis of demographic data and the differences between the expectations and perceptions of the participants about the service quality of the restaurant. SPSS 18.0 package program was used for analysis of research data.
Descriptive statistics have been used in the analysis of demographic data. Paired simple T‐test was used to analyze participants’ expectations and perceptions of service quality, and participants’ expectation and perceptions of service quality at the restaurant level were compared. However, in quantitative research, reliability analysis should be performed on the data obtained before the data analysis. Results of the reliability analysis showed that the Cronbach’s α coefficients for all the expectation and perception attributes, ranging from 0.913 to 0.956, were quite high.
10.4. Quantitative findings
The quantitative findings of this study consist of two parts. The first part is the demographic characteristics of the participants. The second part is the participants’ expectations and perceptions about the quality of service of the Oba restaurant.
When the demographic characteristics of the participants are analyzed; we see 136 women, 172 men. A total of 28 of the participants are in the age range of 18–28, 35 are in the age range of 36–45, and 40 are in the age range of 45 and more. When the level of education of the participants is analyzed, 8 primary education, 8 secondary education, 77 high school, 155 university, 40 masters and doctoral level education. When monthly income levels of the participants’ families are examined; 16 of them are 1500 TL, and six of them are from Turkey, 36 of them are between 1501–2500 TL, 61 are from 2501–3500 TL, 49 are from Turkey, 3501–4500 are from Turkey, and 146 are from Turkey and 4501 TL. Finally, when the participants’ monthly frequency of eating out is examined, 18 of the participants eat once a month or less, 28 twice a month, 40 a month three times, and 222 a month four times a month or more.
After examining the demographic data of the participants, the expectations and differences regarding the quality of service provided in the Oba restaurant operation were analyzed. Paired t‐test carry out to test the significant difference between two means of expectations and perceptions. Table 2 shows the differences in expectations and perceptions regarding the quality of the services the participants received from the restaurant.
|Attributes||Expectations means (SD)||Perceptions means (SD)||(PM‐EM)||t‐value|
|This restaurant has visually attractive parking areas and building exteriors.||4.37 (0.77)||3.66 (0.82)||−0.71||11.28|
|This restaurant has a visually attractive dining area.||4.61 (0.54)||4.26 (0.63)||−0.35||8.80|
|This restaurant has staff members who are clean, neat, and appropriately dressed.||4.80 (0.51)||4.52 (0.57)||−0.28||7.77|
|This restaurant has a decor in keeping with its image and price range.||4.50 (0.67)||4.31 (0.68)||−0.19||4.23|
|This restaurant has a menu that is easily readable.||4.63 (0.60)||4.57 (0.60)||−0.06||1.80|
|This restaurant has a visually attractive menu that reflects the restaurant’s image.||4.39 (0.74)||4.16 (0.76)||−0.23||4.43|
|This restaurant has a dining area that is comfortable and easy to move around in.||4.70 (0.50)||4.53 (0.65)||−0.17||3.96|
|This restaurant has rest rooms that are thoroughly clean.||4.83 (0.43)||4.44 (0.70)||−0.39||8.80|
|This restaurant has dining areas that are thoroughly clean.||4.88 (0.31)||4.59 (0.51)||−0.29||2.63|
|This restaurant has comfortable seats in the dining room.||4.56 (0.64)||4.33 (0.70)||−0.23||5.29|
|This restaurant serves you in the time promised.||4.79 (0.42)||4.44 (0.61)||−0.35||9.44|
|This restaurant quickly corrects anything that is wrong.||4.77 (0.46)||4.54 (0.61)||−0.23||6.27|
|This restaurant is dependable and consistent.||4.85 (0.35)||4.64 (0.52)||−0.21||6.30|
|This restaurant provides an accurate guest check.||4.83 (0.39)||4.65 (0.56)||−0.18||5.17|
|This restaurant serves your food exactly as you ordered it.||4.83 (0.40)||4.61 (0.62)||−0.22||6.12|
|This restaurant during busy times has employees shift to help each other to maintain speed and quality of service.||4.63 (0.69)||4.46 (0.70)||−0.17||3.47|
|This restaurant provides prompt and quick service.||4.81 (0.42)||4.69 (0.51)||−0.12||3.67|
|This restaurant gives extra effort to handle your special requests.||4.53 (0.72)||4.29 (0.68)||−0.24||5.63|
|This restaurant has employees who can answer your questions completely.||4.69 (0.55)||4.56 (0.58)||−0.13||3.86|
|This restaurant makes you feel comfortable and confident in your dealings with them.||4.75 (0.55)||4.67 (0.53)||−0.08||2.03|
|This restaurant has personnel who are both able and willing to give you information about menu items, their ingredients, and methods of preparation.||4.66 (0.60)||4.36 (0.74)||−0.30||6.99|
|This restaurant makes you feel personally safe.||4.75 (0.47)||4.64 (0.56)||−0.11||3.47|
|This restaurant has personnel who seem well‐trained, competent, and experienced.||4.68 (0.57)||4.48 (0.61)||−0.20||4.93|
|This restaurant seems to give employees support so that they can do their jobs well.||4.67 (0.54)||4.36 (0.63)||−0.31||8.53|
|This restaurant has employees who are sensitive to your individual needs and wants rather than always relying on policies and procedures.||4.64 (0.55)||4.31 (0.70)||−0.33||8.11|
|This restaurant makes you feel special.||4.66 (0.57)||4.42 (0.69)||−0.24||6.06|
|This restaurant anticipates your individual needs and wants.||4.50 (0.80)||4.28 (0.80)||−0.22||4.78|
|This restaurant has employees who are sympathetic and reassuring if something is wrong.||4.75 (0.45)||4.50 (0.61)||−0.25||7.19|
|This restaurant seems to have the customers’ best interests at heart.||4.74 (0.50)||4.53 (0.67)||−0.21||5.71|
Table 2 shows the results of the paired‐samples t‐test conducted to demonstrate the differences between the expectations and perceptions of customers regarding the quality of the services offered at the restaurant. Positive scores indicate that the service quality of the restaurant is higher than expected, while negative scores indicate that the service quality is expected to be lower than expected.
As a result of the analysis of the quantitative data obtained, it is the reliability (4.81) that customer has the highest expectation from Oba restaurant operation. The reliability dimension at the customer expectation dimension is followed by a dimension of enthusiasm and empathy with an average of 4.70 assurance and an average of 4.66. The lowest level of expectation of customers from restaurant business (4.63) is tangibles. Again, customers perceive the lowest quality of service in the restaurant is tangibles with an average of 4.35. Besides, the dimension that the customers perceive the highest quality of the restaurant (4.58) is reliability. The reliability dimension is followed by the assurance dimension with an average of 4.51. Dimensions in which the difference between the expectations and perceptions of customers’ service quality is the highest; Tangibles (−0.28), empathy (−0.25), and reliability (−0.23).
In addition, factor analysis was conducted to reduce the statements related with service quality to significant dimensions. As a result of the analysis, 29 expressions were collected under five factors; assurance, reliability, responsiveness, empathy, and tangibles. These factors are consistent with the DINESERV scale. In the factor analysis, the KMO value is 0.909 and the total variance of the five factors is the explanatory level of 60.238. This research was not based on an influence or relationship between variables. However, in a study, the dimensions that emerged with factor analysis can be used to analyze whether these dimensions differ according to the demographic findings of the research, or to analyze the relationship of research variables to other variables that can be added to the research.
11. Conclusion (report) and contributions of qualitative method to marketing research
In this research, the specificities of the qualitative method and the quantitative method in marketing research have been tried to be revealed with an application for Oba restaurant business. In this section, the qualitative method and the specific nature of the quantitative method are dealt with through an application beyond a theoretical‐based debate. The practice was carried out in a restaurant operating in the center of Bartin in Turkey, addressing middle and upper income groups. In this application, it is aimed to increase the quality of services provided in Oba restaurant business. In this context, it has been tried to explain the work to be done in terms of qualitative method and quantitative method at every step of the research process, starting from the conceptual framework of a marketing research, and the points to be considered without much detail. Here, first and foremost, the results of marketing research will include qualitative and quantitative results. The contribution of the qualitative method to the marketing research was then evaluated.
Qualitative findings of the marketing research conducted indicate that customers generally match the level of service quality in restaurants with food quality, cleanliness and physical appearance, and ambiance. In addition, it has been found that in restaurants, the public employees care about the quality of food, the cleanliness of the children’s families, and the meeting and group coordinators attach importance to the physical appearance and ambiance in the restaurants. Foods appealing to the tastes and hygiene factors were found to be at the forefront of the expectation of customers in a restaurant with a high quality of service. In their assessments of Oba restaurant business, they described the restaurant as good quality in terms of physical features, cleanliness, and food quality. However, some customers have stated that the restaurant does not meet expectations of food quality and prices. It has been determined by customers that the quality of the service can be increased at the restaurant by arranging the parking area of the restaurant, increasing the variety of stew foods at the restaurant, making the children’s play area more secure, reducing prices, and changing the color of the restaurant.
Findings from the research’s quantitative data show that customers have the highest perception and expectation of Oba restaurant operation. The dimension with lowest customer’s expectations and perceptions is the physical characteristics. The statement that the difference between the expectations and perceptions of the customers in terms of physical characteristics is highest is related to the restaurant’s parking space and physical appearance. In the reliability dimension, the highest expression is related with the speed of service. These findings obtained using the quantitative method are supported by the qualitative findings of the research. These two variables, which appear in restaurant manager’s reliability and physical characteristics dimensions, should be taken into account to improve service quality. The highest difference between the expectations and perceptions of the customers in terms of readiness dimension is expressed in the statement that employees should make extra efforts to meet the special demands of the customers. On the level of trust, the biggest difference is that the restaurant is on its way to encourage employees to do their jobs better. Finally, the highest level of empathy in customer expectations and perceptions is related to the ability of employees to limit themselves to business policies and procedures without responding to customer requests. Restaurant managers should pay attention to the work involved in these statements to improve the quality of service.
Both the quantitative and qualitative findings in the Oba restaurant marketing research show that there is a certain level of quality of service offered at the restaurant. Findings for Oba restaurant targeting the middle and upper income group indicate that the operator has achieved this goal in a certain extent with the quality of service provided by the operator. As a matter of fact, it has been determined that 50% of the 308 respondents surveyed had higher university level education and approximately 50% had family income of 4501 TL and above. In addition, 72% of the participants have a habit of eating out at least once a week, which represents an important potential market for restaurant management. At this point, restaurant managers are advised to work toward increasing customer loyalty.
When the marketing research was evaluated in terms of the comparison of the qualitative and quantitative methods used, some conclusions have emerged. First of all, because of the deductive nature of the quantitative method, the dimensions of the restaurant’s service quality were preselected and tested during the implementation process. On the other hand, because of the qualitative method of induction, the dimensions of the service quality of the restaurant have arisen since the data collection period and have been shaped according to the findings obtained. Therefore, it can be said that the qualitative method provides flexibility to the researcher in marketing researches in the data collection and analysis process. As a result of the research, it has been determined that the quantitative findings about the work to be done in order to increase the service quality in the restaurant operation is numerically higher but it is more limited in terms of guidance to the business managers. Findings obtained by the qualitative method are found to be more specific in terms of content and more functional at the point of guidance to the administrators.
Both qualitative and quantitative data on marketing research were obtained directly from the participants after eating in the natural environment in which the participants in the restaurant operation purchased the service. However, the role of the investigator has varied considerably in the process of obtaining the data. In the process of obtaining quantitative data, no intervention has been made in order not to direct the participants. On the other hand, in the process of obtaining qualitative data, in order to get more detailed information from the participants, the direction of the interview was directed and tried to create a comfortable environment to get the speaker’s ideas. In the interviews, it was observed that the customers took responsibility for responding to the questions directed to them. Most of the surveyed customers were found to have filled the research questionnaire with reluctant attitudes. Thus, it can be said that the qualitative method has an effect on the quality of the obtained data. In other words, in the data obtained by quantitative method, the participants contributed to the research with the numerical values they gave, whereas in the data obtained by the qualitative method, the participants regarded themselves as responsible persons for restaurant operation and contributed by making unique proposals for research.