The Combined Effects of the Physical Environment and Employee Behavior on Customer Perception of Restaurant Service Quality Academic Article uri icon


  • Dining in a table-service restaurant is a multilayered experience that involves at least three types of clues. Although food quality is basic, the ambience and service performance greatly influence a customer's evaluation of a particular establishment. Diners use the following types of clues to judge a restaurant experience: functional - the technical quality of the food and service; mechanic - the ambience and other design and technical elements; and humanic - the performance, behavior, and appearance of the employees. While customers' perceptions of mechanic clues are positively related to their expectations of the service, humanic clues dominate the influence of mechanic clues. Ideally, managers should orchestrate both humanic and mechanic clues to deliver a consistent service message. © 2007 Cornell University.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wall, E. A., & Berry, L. L.

citation count

  • 259

publication date

  • February 2007