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The Effect of Meal Pace on Customer Satisfaction
Articles and Chapters
  • Breffni M. Noone, Pennsylvania State University
  • Sheryl E. Kimes, Cornell University
  • Anna S. Mattila, Pennsylvania State University
  • Jochen Wirtz, National University of Singapore
Publication Date
Restaurant operators who seek to increase table turns during peak periods may want to speed up the meal's pace. However, excessive speed may make customers feel rushed. A survey of 218 respondents found that too fast a pace does affect customer satisfaction with the meal experience, with fine-dining customers more sensitive to pacing issues than customers in casual or upscale casual restaurants. Regardless of restaurant type, too fast a pace during the meal itself diminishes customer satisfaction, but speed during check settlement is often appreciated. The effects on customer satisfaction of the pace of welcome, seating, and taking drink orders depend partly on the type of restaurant and on the meal type. Guests at fine-dining restaurants do not want these preprocess events to be rushed. Additionally, a faster pace during these preprocess events at dinner diminished satisfaction ratings as compared to lunch.

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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Citation Information

Noone, B. M., Kimes, S. E., Mattila, A. S., & Wirtz, J. (2007). The effect of meal pace on customer satisfaction [Electronic version]. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 48(3), 231-244. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: