Incorporating satisfaction measures into a restaurant productivity index
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The increasing stature of the foodservice industry in the global service economy suggests that productivity analyses—similar to those performed in non-service-based settings—would benefit multiunit operators by maximizing their desirable operational outcomes while minimizing expenses and other detrimental conditions such as low job satisfaction. This paper suggests that such analyses might be possible through the application of a holistic productivity metric—one that includes traditional operational variables such as revenue, profit, food cost, and labor cost, and previously ignored variables such as guest and employee satisfaction as well as retention equity. Through data gathered from a single chain’s 36 corporate-owned, same-brand casual-theme restaurants located in metropolitan centers across the United States, we found that factors leading to maximum outputs such as controllable profit and retention equity include employee satisfaction in addition to expected variables such as cost of goods sold and number of seats. Most notably, employee satisfaction as an input proved to be the most volatile variable in maximizing operational outputs.