Academic journal article Asian Social Science

A Structural Approach on Students' Satisfaction Level with University Cafeteria

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

A Structural Approach on Students' Satisfaction Level with University Cafeteria

Article excerpt


This study was carried out to identify the relationship between the food quality, price fairness, staff performance, and ambience of the university cafeteria with students' satisfaction. The survey method was employed in testing the proposed hypotheses via a structured self-administered questionnaire. This survey was conducted in Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) and a total of 93 undergraduates were selected for questioning via convenience sampling method. The results were generated by using the Structural equation modeling (SEM) technique via AMOS 21.0 computer program with maximum likelihood estimation. Based on the SEM technique, food quality and price fairness are the two most important dimensions that influence the students satisfaction on café service quality. Next, the students give less priority to staffperformance and ambience. The results were differing from the previous study. The university cafeteria should take serious measurement in improving the food quality and price for long term sustainability.

Keywords: students, satisfaction, service quality, structural equation modeling, cafeteria

1. Introduction

The service quality and customer satisfaction are very much related to any kind of service business. These are the two most important determinants that will provide the competitive advantages in long run. The food service sector is highly fragmented with large number of small medium players such as restaurants, hotels and resorts and institutional food service (Stanton et al., 2000); whereas, the increase number of students in public and private universities in Malaysia (Dollah et al., 2012) forced university management to improve the food service at the mentioned higher learning institutions. In Malaysia, these higher learning institutions provide cafeteria which offers variety of menus and comfortable surroundings where the students experience a sense of home and where they can engage in leisurely conversation and interactive activities with their peers (Norhati & Nurhafisah, 2013).

Most of the food service sectors, eager to improve the service quality to satisfy their existing customers and devote additional resources in capturing new ones (Noel-Levitz, 2010). The university cafeterias also need to improve and upgrade their services to maintain and chasing after new customers. Therefore, this study attempts to identify the relationship between the food quality, price fairness, staffperformance and ambience of the university cafeteria especially among Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) students.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction

Hundreds of service quality scholars have been discussing on customer satisfactions for decades. The customer satisfaction is the heart of business marketing (Andaleeb & Conway, 2006). Customer satisfaction is influenced not only by service quality perceptions but also by personal and situational factors and price (Aldridge & Rowley, 1998; Patterson & Johnson, 1993; Robinson, 1999; Rowley, 1997; Zeithaml, Bitner, & Gremier, 2008). The customer judgment of product or service itself will provide a pleasurable level of consumption related to fulfillment (Oliver, 1997). The judgment of students in university cafeteria is important for the success of a cafeteria in any higher learning institution. The students' satisfaction in institutional food service sectors depends on food quality, food variety and price fairness (Xi & Shuai, 2009). Whereas, Chang, Norazah, and Tam (2014) mentioned that the university students' satisfaction on university cafeteria depends on food quality, price fairness, staffperformance and ambience.

2.2 Food Quality

Food quality is very much related to customer satisfaction in measuring students' satisfaction on cafeteria service level. Food quality is the quality characteristics of food that is acceptable to customer (McWilliams, 2000). …

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