Servicescape of Las Iguanas Restaurant Essay

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2.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We want to thank everybody who spent time at the Las Iguanas to construct our Introspection Appendices to use as evidence for this project.

We also would like to thank the marketing director of Las Iguanas liverpool for reading this report and being open to suggestions on the service design.

3. LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Bitner Servicescape Framework¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ 7 Table 2: Re-positioning map ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦.14

INTRODUCTION

The aim of this report is to propose to senior management of Las Iguanas meaningful modifications to the service design in order to differentiate the faculty from immediate competitors. This will be carried out by pinpointing the current and desired marketing position and implementing new strategic marketing objectives.

This will be achieved by relating physical environmental dimensions contained within Bitners (1992) Servicescape framework to the Las Iguanas Liverpool branch, highlighting levels of satisfaction and the cognitive, emotional and physiological effects it has on consumers. The physical evidence in this report will be based upon three Introspections from consumers reflecting their own experience and perceptions of their time as Las Iguanas.

The strategic marketing goals will focus on enhancing customer satisfaction, making customers stay longer and to acquire new customers.

5. SERVICESCAPE

The Servicescape is a framework designed by Bitner in 1992. It is a representation of the physical evidence associated with service and provides an excellent mechanism for service performance evaluation. The framework evaluates the service design of a company, considering the interior and exterior design of the faculty and the internal responses it imposes on the customer.

The dimensions of the service design can have cognitive, emotional or physiological effects on everyone in the environment. The framework suggests that a variety of objective environmental factors are perceived by both customers and employees and that both groups may respond cognitively, emotionally, and physiologically to the environment. Those internal responses to the environment influence the behavior of individual customers and employees in the servicescape and affect social interactions between and among customers and employees. (Bitner, J. (1992). Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and Employees. Journal of Marketing. 56, p57.)

Table 1: Bitner Servicescape Framework.
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Source: ( Bitner, J. (1992). Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and Employees. Journal of Marketing. 56, p60) 6. CURRENT POSITION OF LAS IGUANAS

6.1 Current target market and success

Las Iguanas Liverpool is part of a successful chain of 28 restaurants which operate within the United Kingdom and is recognised for its Latin American themed tapas dining. From the evidence of customers actual experiences upon their visit to Las Iguanas, it has been recognised that the moderate pricing of the products combined with the atmospherics indicates that Las Iguanas is a casual dining faculty.

It was established there was noticeably an age demographic of mostly young adults which is also supported by the following comment: Las Iguanas, which serves its core market of 24 to 35 year olds. It is also a successful well established brand and is currently a market leader in casual Latin American dining.(Emma Eversham. (2012). Las Iguanas reports profit rise of 42% and double digit growth for festive bookings. Available: http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Business/Las-Iguanas-reports-profit-rise-of-42-and-double-digit-growth-for-festive-bookings?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright. Last accessed 10th March 2013.)

6.2 SWOT Analysis of the service environment

In order to absorb a vast knowledge of the current position of the organisation, we have conducted a SWOT analysis of the service environment to highlight the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This has been achieved by researching the brand and the services they offer to the public and the support of physical evidence from three customer experience introspections.

Strengths
Excellent Location
Easily accessible by Car, Bus and train.
Q- Park car park a few minutes away (2000 capacity)
2 for 1 Pricing offers on cocktails.
Already leading in market share for that particular type of restaurant Dress code of staff smart and representable of the brand
Eye- catching signage makes it stand out to competitors.
Outdoor heaters
Friendly, timely service
Customers enjoy decor and music
Clear road signage to locate city centre
Bursting atmosphere
Service was made personal

Weaknesses-
Toilets are up two flights of stairs
Broken lifts
Unsatisfactory decor, not clean and no atmosphere in toilets Only targeted towards a certain market
No Wifi
Not wheelchair or pram accessible

Opportunities-
Surrounded by many local businesses
Opposite Hilton hotel
Opposite new apartment complexes
Next to Odeon cinemas and miniature golf
Threats-

Competition is very high due to being amongst a strip of other restaurants Competition introducing deals, for example: Barburitto offer free face painting for children and Amigo of the Week deals, offering rotating corporate deals for local businesses. Not all consumers will like Latin American cuisine. Direct Competitors such as Red Hot Buffet offer a variety of intentional dishes from all over the world including a Latin American range. This type of business will cater for consumers who are looking for variety and not one certain style of dish. Other companies offer deals to local businesses

Other businesses are driven towards a wider target audience
Other companies are more child friendly.

7. PHYSICAL EVIDENCE ISSUES

7.1 Space/Function

The location of the toilets has proven to cause a negative physiological and emotional effect on consumers as demonstrated by the following statement: My trip to the toilet was tiresome, as they were up two flights of stairs. To cause further frustration, lifts were broken. (Introspection Appendix 1.) This also brings to light the issue of lifts being unavailable indicating that the restaurant is not always wheelchair and pram friendly . This is a factor which will drive customers away and go to competitors. Direct competitors such as Wagamamas and Cafe Rouge have separate disabled and baby changing facilities in their service designs accompanied with ramps to accommodate for all customer requirements.

I liked the Moroccan style furnishing of our table, however there were many smaller, crammed tables throughout.. (Introspection Appendix 2). This reference demonstrates that the customer observed the facility as cramped which can cause negative emotional and physiological effects resulting in dissatisfaction in service. This again exhibits that Las Iguanas is not wheelchair or pram friendly as not enough space has been created for them. Additionally, if it is difficult to navigate around the restaurant as there are too many tables, this can impact functionality for staff.

The layout of the restaurant is important however customers sat by the window stated they felt isolated from the main atmosphere. We were seated next to the door so it was a little cold and I felt like we were sectioned off from the rest of the restaurant. (Introspection Appendix B). and I felt excluded from the heart of the liveliness (Introspection Appendix A). If all seats by the window are making customers feel cold, this may effect the ambience for all customers who are seated here.

7.2 Social Interaction issues

As Las Iguanas is such a busy restaurant, people who do not book in advance may be turned away or given a time indication of how long the wait is. The displayed emotions of others show that the customer is having a emotional response to waiting outside. The first thing i noticed was a queue of people outside with some people expressing frustration. (Introspection Appendix 2)

A negative impact which may cause frustration for customers is that the service was not 100% accurate. The only problem with the service would be that the bill was inaccurate, so after paying we were approached again to say that there had been a mistake, which was a little disappointing. (Introspection Appendix 3).

7.3 Ambience Issues

I had to wait a long time in a queue for toilet as there were only two cubicles and the lack of atmosphere was very boring. (Introspection Appendix C). Implementing background music can induce a variation in perceived waiting time influencing an effective response to the wait. If there is no background activity it may make time seem longer and increase anxiety levels.If background musical tempo can be used to make waiting time seem shorter (e.g., in restaurants), it may result in fewer dissatisfied customers. (Oakes, S. (2003). Musical Tempo and Waiting Perceptions. Psychology & Marketing. 20 (8), p701)

An additional service design fault regarding ambient conditions is that the toilets is that the decor and cleanliness did not match the standards of the rest of the restaurant. ( Introspection Appendix 1).

8 RECOMMENDATIONS

From the physical evidence issues, a conclusion has been made to create certain service design modifications to overcome these issues. Firstly, Las Iguanas Liverpool may have to expand the size of their restaurant to accommodate to various facilities. For example, more cubicles in toilets need to be provided, more wheel chair accessible toilets and baby changing should be located on the lower floor. Additionally, more floor space will result in a less cramped environment improving the functionality. Overall the expansion of the facility is the most costly modification but would solve the majority of service faults.

Although the introspections reflect positive reports of the service and the dress code of staff, accuracy of service can be improved by integrating electronic technology to take peoples orders. This will also let the company record sales for future reference, for example: evaluating most popular products sold. Italian competitor Zizzi use Ipads to confirm orders on and are used for customers to optionally fill online feedback forms regarding service.

Another recommendation for Las Iguanas would be to introduce an online booking system and possibly introduce a waiting area replacing window seating for overflowing customers were they can buy drinks while they are waiting instead of standing outside. Heating should be installed by doors to stop customers getting cold whilst waiting. Competing restaurants like The HUB, Yeerah and Nandos have waiting areas where you can order drinks. The demand and the capacity need to be balanced. Closely related topics to service process management are the balancing of demand and capacity, the design of waiting systems and queues configuration, and the management of the customerss psychology of waiting. ( Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J (2011). Services Marketing, People, Technology, Strategy. 7th ed. New Jersey, USA: Pearson. p58)

Artificial odors such as a floral scent in toilets should be installed to represent a clean, pleasant atmosphere combined with latin style decor to match the rest of restaurant. Music or audio should be in toilets as it reduces the waiting time and as demonstrated in the introspections, has a positive effect on the customer making their experience more enjoyable, which may result in them staying longer. Competitor BEM Brazil, has Brazilian dancing and live music.

The aim of making modifications to the service design is so customer satisfaction levels are increased, customers stay longer and to acquire new customers. Las Iguanas can introduce corporate lunch promotions, corporate events, Liverpool one workers discounts ECT like competitors to lean towards a new market of business professionals. They could also make it more family friendly by providing crayons and discounts for children.

In relation to getting customers to spend longer in the restaurant, the introduction of Latin dancing or live music will make the service more interactive. Free Wifi access is also a factor which could allow customers to use their devices and stay inside. Another tactic to get customers to return could be by supplying customer loyalty cards like competitors Nandos and BEM Brazil.

Table 2: Las Iguanas re-positioning map
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The re-positioning map shows were Las Iguanas desire to be in terms of quality and price in relation to direct competitors. This can be achieved if the proposed modifications to the service are carried out.

9 CONCLUSION

To conclude our findings, we can see that through the application and research of the Servicescape that Las Iguanas is succeeding in most aspects, however there are some service design faults which need modifying. Aspects such as music,decor, customer service and location reflect positive feedback from the introspection appendices.

On the other hand, we have established that Las Iguanas need to carry the excellent quality service throughout the entire building. Facilities like toilets which can be achieved by applying music, scent and relevant decor improving the ambience of this facility which contribute to enhancing customer satisfaction. Additionally, the expansion of the restaurant overall can accommodate for most service faults by providing more space to improve accessibly, functionality and provide opportunity for waiting areas which all enhance customer satisfaction however this is the most costly amendment and may planning permission from Liverpool One.

By advertising their services to new markets like local corporations and promoting their restaurant as a more child friendly environment will assist them increasing their market share by acquiring new customers.

If Las Iguanas continue to monitor their service and implement service design modifications were needed, it will assist them in reaching the strategic marketing goals set.

REFERENCES

Bitner, J. (1992). Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and Employees. Journal of Marketing. 56,

Emma Eversham. (2012). Las Iguanas reports profit rise of 42% and double digit growth for festive bookings.[online] Available at: http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Business/Las-Iguanas-reports-profit-rise-of-42-and-double-digit-growth-for-festive-bookings?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright. Last accessed 10th March 2013.

Lovelock, C & Wirtz, J (2011). Services Marketing, People, Technology, Strategy. 7th ed. New Jersey, USA: Pearson. p58

Oakes, S. (2003). Musical Tempo and Waiting Perceptions. Psychology & Marketing. 20 (8)

APPENDICES

Introspection Appendix 1

Las Iguanas is a South American themed restaurant situated amongst a strip of other competitors such as Caf Rouge and Wagamammas. I was drawn to this restaurant in particular because of its bright Yellow, Red and Green sign separating itself from the other restaurants and making me curious of what was inside.

The outside seating area, accompanied with outdoor heaters creates a perfect setting for casual drinks and snacks, when going inside; we were escorted to a table straight away by a lovely, friendly waitress and the ambience was buzzing. The service was efficient and we were given personal recommendations. We were sat by the window, giving us a lovely, relaxing view of Chavvasse Park, however I felt excluded from the heart of the liveliness. The Green and Orange decor provided a warm and fun feeling and accompanied with dark wood throughout and mosaic floors provided an authentic South American atmosphere The Latin music was well suited to the theme of the restaurant and provided a lively, energetic setting resulting
in our friends dancing! The restaurant was noisy; however it did not interrupt any conversation. My trip to the toilets was very tiresome, as they were up two flights of stairs, to cause further frustration, lifts were broken. The dcor and cleanliness did not match the standards of the rest of the restaurant.

Introspection B Appendix 2

Las Iguanas was easily accessible due to clear road signage directing me to the City Centre. The QPark Car Parking facility below provided me with a short walk to the restaurant which was relieving. I arrived late, resulting having to locate it alone, however, the bright signage allowed me to do this with ease. Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was a queue outside with some people expressing frustration. The two floor restaurant was packed as expected due it being peak time on a Friday evening but the bursting atmosphere made it seem very lively and exciting. I really enjoyed the Salsa music which matched the concept of the design and food. I could not fault the service as the smiley waitress offered us drinks and brought us menus, explaining some of the dishes which I was unsure of in a kind, friendly manner making me feel comfortable and relaxed. I liked the Moroccan style furnishing of our table, however there were many smaller, crammed tables throughout. We were seated close to the door so it was a little cold, and I felt like we were sectioned off from the rest of the restaurant.

Introspection Appendix 3

Immediately on arrival we were greeted by a manager who efficiently found our Telephone Reservation. The waitress showed us to our tables, asked if we wanted any drinks and brought us the menus. The service is indeed very friendly and mostly non-pushy. The menu was categorised into easy to follow sections and the waitress assisted us with courteously and had a great sense of humour. The only problem with service would be that the bill was inaccurate so after paying we were approached again to say there had been a mistake, which was a little disappointing.

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