Hospitality servicescape effects on customer-employee interactions : a multilevel study

Kaminakis, Kostas and Karadinou, Kalipso and Koritos, Christos and Gounaris, Spiros (2019) Hospitality servicescape effects on customer-employee interactions : a multilevel study. Tourism Management, 72. pp. 130-144. ISSN 0261-5177

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    Abstract

    Servicescapes are the manmade environments where hospitality activities, such as dining and lodging, occur. For more than two decades tourism and hospitality research has sought to understand the impact of hospitality servicescapes, primarily on hospitality customers and, to a lesser degree, on hospitality customer-contact employees. So far no empirical study has investigated, however, how servicescapes affect the interactions of customers with employees; there is therefore no empirical evidence that hospitality servicescapes can contribute to mutually satisfying encounters between customers and employees. We explore this question within the context of full-service restaurants by measuring the perceptions and attitudes of both customers and the waiters/waitresses who served them within the same restaurant servicescape. Results from our multilevel analytical approach demonstrate that servicescapes significantly and systematically affect interactions between restaurant customers and the waiters/waitresses interacted with them. The implications of these findings for theory and practice within tourism and hospitality are discussed.