Restaurant Labels Could Help Diners and Industry Analysts
Remember when the most vexing part of a dining-out experience was deciding which restaurant
As the country navigates its response to COVID-19, many restaurants are now reopening and diners are again facing that familiar dilemma: Where do you want to go eat?
While a lavish menu and relaxing atmosphere might be perfect for date night, families on vacation might prefer other qualities, such as “fast” and “inexpensive.”
Determining which dining establishment offers the right combination of aesthetics and value was the subject of a recent study by NCCU School of Business Associate Professor Barry K. Shuster.
Shuster said there are many potential benefits of adopting a standard classification system based on restaurant characteristics. His concept is to first group restaurants into one of four categories: luxury, fine-dining, casual, or quick-service.
Such a system could also help restaurant owners and industry analysts by providing feedback on dining trends, operational efficiencies, and investment potential, said Shuster, who founded the trade magazine Restaurant Startup & Growth in 2004.
He also hopes such a classification system might be an advantage in training future hospitality industry leaders at NCCU. “The main objective of this study is to develop a theory-based classification of the restaurant industry that could serve academic researchers and industry practitioners,” wrote Shuster and his co-authors, H.G. Parsa of the University of Denver and Milos Bujisic of The Ohio State University.
The article based on their study was published in the spring 2020 edition of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. According to Shuster, classification is common in other industries, citing hotels, banking, and automobile manufacturing. “The vast diversity among
restaurants made their classification more complicated since they can be classified based on a number of different attributes,” the article said.
To overcome this complexity, the proposed system would label restaurants based on a continuum of aspects, ranging from “utilitarian” - such as price and convenience - to “hedonistic,” which might include emotional gratification and a sense of indulgence.
If adopted nationwide, such a rating system could make it easier to reserve a perfect table for your big anniversary dinner or find the most convenient place to fill up a family of four on a budget.