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Thesis

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Chapter 1
PROBLEMS AND ITS SETTING

Background of the Study
Davao del Norte - Punong Restaurant is one of the best restaurants found in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. With their delicious dishes and first class delicacies, you would certainly find time to go back and take a stroll to this dazzling restaurant where you will surely find satisfaction. Punong Restauant is located along the national highway, about 10km before reaching Tagum City proper. The restaurant is a Malay inspired: elevated on stilts, with pitched roof and high ceiling.
According to Stephen Weber (2002). Customers want to have exactly what they ordered, so food consistency is crucial to your business. Your cooks should be able to cook the same dish and the same blend over and over. Otherwise, inconsistency of your food will remove the customer’s interest from buying your best sellers over and over. It is a good move to conduct a training regarding ingredient proportions and standard preparation procedures and right timing of grilling without over-cooking. Also, knowledge on the food quality standard is important. As a restaurant owner, you yourself should carefully monitor how food is being consumed in your restaurant and how they are being prepared. Otherwise, the food quality will diminish overtime, and it would definitely differ on taste and would involve sanitary and health issues”.
Punong Restaurant is located somewhere between Panabo City and Tagum City, specifically at Barangay Bincungan, a place known for fish farms raising bangus (milkfish), tilapia, shrimps and crabs. Punong Restaurant is already a popular dining stop for travelers passing by the national highway going north from Davao City. Punong Restaurant has two buildings that are both on concrete stilts to give the impression that it is floating. It is Malay-inspired with a thatched roof, native bamboo furnishings and high ceilings. The restaurant is airy and there’s an excellent view of the fish ponds, locally called “punong” on which it is built. It is so easy to know that you are already near the place because of the abundant mangrove trees or we commonly call "Bakawan" lining at the brook along the highway. The restaurant was built within the 50 hectare fish pond owned by the Madayag family. The main restaurant was built with material of mostly wood and the roofing was of cogon grass. Tables and chairs were made of bamboo while decors hanging on its very high ceiling were rattan string formed into "puso" like shape. The ambiance was very refreshing as a light breeze gust gently around from all corners of the restaurant. The "punong" or fishpond supplies the restaurants specialties so diners are assured that seafood serve on their tables were fresh and deliciously cooked. Punong Restaurant serves excellent Filipino classic dishes as well as a few influenced by foreign cuisines. However, their main draw is really on their seafood dishes; you can easily tell from their menu where ‘best sellers’ and ‘chef-recommended’ dishes are marked as such.

Statement of the problem This study aims to determine the quality of food served at Punong the customers.
Specifically, this study seeks the answers to the following questions: 1. What is the perceived quality of food served at Punong’s in terms of: 2.1 Food serving time 2.2 Hygiene and Sanitation 2.3 Customer Satisfaction 2.4 Comsistency 2. Is there a significant difference on the perceived quality of food served at Punong’s when grouped according to: 3.5 Age 3.6 Gender
Hypothesis

Review of Related Literature Below are related literature that talks about the quality of food service of food establishments.
Quality of Food Service
Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction has been discussed in the number of academic literature in the service field and researchers found that delivering superior service quality is a prerequisite for customer satisfaction (Parasuraman, Zeithaml et al. 1988; Bartikowski and Llosa 2004). Initially, Oliver (1993) (1993) suggested that service quality was the antecedent of customer satisfaction and many researchers supported his idea that satisfaction and perceived quality are highly interrelated and also that perceived quality is one of the core determinants of overall satisfaction (Churchill Jr and Surprenant 1982; Oliva, Oliver et al. 1992; Bitner and Hubbert 1994; Dabholkar, Shepherd et al. 2000).
More specifically, if a customer perceives performance exceeds expectations, then the customer is satisfied. On the other hand, if perceived performance falls short of his or her expectations, then the customer is dissatisfied (Namkung and Jang 2007) Therefore, from the customer viewpoint, perceived quality is a highly subjective and differs based on those who judge the product or service(Holbrook and Corfman 1985).
According to the National Restaurant Association, there were about 960,000 restaurants and foodservice outlets all throughout the United States and the association projected sales were $604 billion in 2011 which is equal to 4percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. It is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer employing 12.8 million individuals (National Restaurant Association [NRA], 2011). The restaurant industry has largely grown and is substituting home cooked meals for both eat-in and take out paralleling at change in the American way of life which increasingly has longer work hours and heavy family schedules that leave Americans with less time to cook (Andaleeb and Conway 2006). According to the 2011 restaurant industry fact sheet from the NRA, 43% of adults responded that restaurants are an essential part of their lifestyle and 86% of adults said going out to a restaurant is a nice break from the monotony of daily life. Customers have more options in their restaurant selections than before, and customers today are not static as they test a variety of goods and services in order to achieve a different decision (Williams 2000). Therefore the restaurant industry is more highly competitive environment than in the past
Hygiene and Sanitation
Cleanliness is an essential aspect of the restaurant industry. As dining-out rate has been increased, the issues of restaurant cleanliness and food safety have become increasingly emphasized from both managerial and customer viewpoint. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (2008), overall half of all food-borne illnesses were contracted from dining on food prepared outside the home and many of the food-borne illnesses happened because restaurants didn’t follow proper food handling steps.
As such, providing safe and clean restaurant environment by reducing the burden of disease from food is the responsibility of restaurant owners, employees, country and state health officials. In addition, the restaurant industry is facing a stricter regulatory environment. In 2009, five organizations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S, the department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. and the U.S. department of Agriculture (USDA) released Food Code 2009. The Food Code offers guidelines aimed at prevention and reduction of food-borne illness and death from food produced at the retail level. The Food Code itself is not required but has been adopted by 48 of 56 states and territories which representing 79% of the U.S. population (FDA, 2011).
For example, holding temperatures is one of the most important methods of controlling the growth of bacteria in food. Proper temperature control prevents many types of pathogens from multiplying to the levels that cause food-borne illness(Association 2010).
Second, inappropriate hand washing of a bacteria infected worker can cause food-borne illness and the report estimates this causes 20% of total food-borne illness (Todd, Greig et al. 2007). Hands are the main conduit spreading viruses and pathogens, and can carry millions of germs. Poor hand washing practices by foodservice workers can have disastrous and far-reaching consequences by contaminating food that is then served to dinners.
Third, FDA estimates that nearly 16 percent of full-service restaurants were not adequately cooking food (Food 2006). Undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs can harbor enough bacteria to sicken diners. Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 are linked to the most harmful bacteria for undercooked meats.
The fourth regards contaminated food contact surfaces. In 2004, FDA found that over 56 percent of full-service restaurants were not following appropriate guidelines for sanitizing equipment and food contact surfaces (Food 2006). Where bacteria exist, so does the prospect of cross-contamination. Counters and other food preparation surfaces that are inadequately cleaned or food preparation areas that are improperly separated, can promote the transfer of bacteria from one food to another, resulting in widespread contamination.
The fifth is food from unsafe sources food safety risks in a restaurant begins with the purchase of raw food from suppliers. Bacteria that exist in raw food can multiply and produce toxins if the food is inadequately refrigerated during shipping and handling, even before it reaches the restaurant. For products that are commonly served without cooking, such as raw oysters, leafy greens and some processed goods, contamination that occurs prior to entering the restaurant can go directly to a consumer at the table.
So far, this chapter looked at restaurant cleanliness from a managerial viewpoint. All aspects discussed above should be significantly considered by restaurant managers and employees for safe food and clean environment. However, it is also important to understand customer’ expectations or perceptions of restaurant cleanliness. If a restaurant business manager or employee fully understands what aspects a customer considers in determining restaurant cleanliness then they can design their products and service to meet customers’ expectations. Several scholars have conducted studies about restaurant cleanliness and they found relationship between customer satisfaction, service quality evaluation and restaurant cleanliness (Stevens, Knutson et al. 1995; Becker, Murrmann et al. 1999; Barber and Scarcelli 2009; Barber and Scarcelli 2010).

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