Searching for the Extraordinary Meal Experience

By Hanefors, Monica; Mossberg, Lena | Journal of Business and Management, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

Searching for the Extraordinary Meal Experience


Hanefors, Monica, Mossberg, Lena, Journal of Business and Management


To deliver or experience high quality food and outstanding service in a restaurant is important for both restaurateur and guest, but today this is not enough. While a restaurant's reality often includes fierce competition and poor economic conditions, many of its guests expect an extraordinary experience in the restaurant. It is not clear what makes up such an experience. With a multi-disciplinary approach, we studied strategically chosen meals and restaurants in order to identify significant factors. The findings suggest five interrelated dimensions along which an extraordinary meal experience can be characterized and distinguished from, for example, other meal experiences such as fast food and canteen meals-motivation, expectation, interaction, involvement, and satisfaction.

To many people nowadays, a restaurant is not only "a place where, for a fee, one may dine away from home" (Pillsbury, 1990, p. 225), but much more than that. High quality food and outstanding service are generally thought to be two important elements of someone's pleasurable dining out experience (e.g., Baker, 1986; Campbell-Smith, 1967; MacLaurin & MacLaurin, 2000). This is no longer enough, however, especially not for those who perceive their dining out meal to be an experience out of the ordinary. McAlexander and Scheuten suggested that such an extraordinary experience to the restaurant guest is "one that yields feelings of personal growth or triumph, involves emotional intensity, [and] is uniquely memorable..."(1998, p. 381).

Even so, many restaurant establishments go bankrupt-nothing they do seems to guarantee success. To increase attraction, many try to develop a position in the market based on something unique. Often this competitive advantage is hard to keep, but some enterprises have been extremely successful, such as the ones highly ranked in Guide Rouge because of their outstanding food quality, or those with excellent locations, either geographic or manmade, including The Peak restaurants in Hong Kong (see www.thepeak.com.hk/dining.htm), or the one in the Eiffel Tower in Paris (www.tour-eiffel.fr), neither of which is famous for its food. There are establishments built on a celebrity reputation, such as Robert De Niro's chain of several restaurants, Jennifer Lopez' Cuban style restaurant in California, or Michael Jordan's restaurants in Chicago and Washington. Some other victorious restaurants are famous because of their restaurateur, chef and/or design. "Japan goes crazy over its Iron chefs, the United States boils over with the likes of Bobby Flay, Ming Tsai, Wolfgang Puck and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, while Britons worship wok-wizard Ken Horn and the mockney cockney 'Naked chef, aka James Oliver" (South China Morning Post, 2002, p. 1). Many Americans have heard about, or visited, the exclusive and probably most expensive US restaurant, Ginza Suchi-Ko, or are familiar with the names of chef and restaurateur Alain Ducasse (www.alain-ducasse.com), or restaurateur and designer Terence Conran (www.conran.com/eat).

Imitators can copy certain restaurants that try to differentiate themselves from others in a major way. For example, certain thematic restaurants like the nature-based Rainforest cafe (www.rainforestcafe.com), or those inspired by music and film-Hard Rock Cafe (www.hardrockcafe.com) and Planet Hollywood (www.planethollywood.com). Similarly replicable are restaurants with other themes, such as the Singapore-based Houses of Mao (e.g., www.poole-associates.com.house-of-maol.htm) with a political theme, and futuristic MARS 2112(www.mars2112.com) in New York. Or there are restaurants with no particular theme, such as the Canadian bistro Chives, located in a former bank, which just claimed that it offers "extraordinary casual dining" (ATV World, 2002a), or The Naked Oyster in London, Ontario, that has been described as "a little more unique-now we have a good concept, a great chef, and something unique" (ATV World, 2002c). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Searching for the Extraordinary Meal Experience
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.