Critical success factors in barbecue restaurants: Do operators and patrons agree?
The research addresses a gap in the literature regarding the barbecue restaurant industry. Specifically, it examines whether barbecue restaurant operators have a thorough understanding of customer preferences. The research was a mixed methods study: four separate case studies were conducted of barbecue restaurants in specific areas of the United States, each of which represented one of the four major barbecue traditions. The case studies were used to create a model of success factor peculiar to barbecue restaurants.
The qualitative model was then tested by administering a survey to regular patrons of barbecue restaurants. Principal component analysis yielded a six-factor model explaining 68% of the variance. Patrons identified barbecue quality, convenience, side dishes, pork, alcoholic beverages, and tea as being important factors in restaurant selection. The model was further tested to determine whether customer attitudes differed in states with strong barbecue traditions and states without such a tradition. No significant differences were found.