After the death of its founder, Dave Thomas, Wendy’s has had difficult times. There arose a need to know the needs of the customers in specific areas in terms of service delivery and customer satisfaction and for the achievement of this goal; the company used a customer survey.
a. Thesis Statement
This study aims at investigating the importance of qualitative research for the improvement of products and service delivery in fast food restaurants. This objective can be achieved through a case study of Wendy’s to formulate the conclusion on the importance of qualitative techniques in data collection for fast food restaurants.
b. Purpose of the paper
This paper aims at enumerating the importance of qualitative research in the improvement of profitability and rising of the market share of Wendy’s. A study of customer demographics and understanding of different competing fast-food chains; satisfaction responses of consumers in terms of family orientation, comfort, price, quick service, healthy foods, cleanliness, and so on; and the patronage preferences of consumers in terms of eat-in or drive-through aids in achieving the purpose of the study. The study also aims at ascertaining areas in the development of the questionnaire and interviewer selection and training for the collection of high quality data.
c. Overview of the paper
The paper begins with determining the importance of qualitative research in Wendy’s further expansion in the United States. The following section deals with the sections of the questionnaire that need to be developed to ensure access to consumer preference for fast food restaurants. In-depth analysis of the important aspects in the questionnaire follows, which will aid in understanding the preferences of consumers in fast food restaurants. Selection and training of field workers to be involved in data collection is detailed to aid in making the questionnaire a success for the generation of valid and reliable qualitative consumer data. Summary, lessons, and recommendations form the last part of the paper.
Role of qualitative research in helping Wendy's expand further in the United states
The flexibility of the assumptions in qualitative research provides the respondents a wide range of answers, hence the ability to gather information on all areas related to the success of Wendy’s (Taylor, 2007). Qualitative research gives an opening for the collection of information on customer experience, which is impossible using quantitative method. Qualitative research allows collection of data in its original form as interviewees give the data in their own words. This gives an opportunity for Wendy’s to learn customer preferences and tastes required for augmenting the profitability of the company.
Qualitative research gives more in-depth study; hence, allow collection of information on customer satisfaction, product quality, safety, and cleanliness in Wendy’s (Leavey and Hesse-Biber, 2010). Qualitative research allows the collection of unquantifiable items such as opinions, statements and believes. Data on customer satisfaction, quality of food, cleanliness level, experience, employee performance and culture at Wendy’s is unquantifiable making qualitative research an invaluable tool that aids in Wendy’s further expansion in the United States. Another way in which qualitative research will aid Wendy’s in its further expansion in U.S is that it covers all facets of the problem by giving leeway for the collection of information not requested in the questionnaire (Flick, 2009). It provides a broad array for the collection of all the details necessary for decision-making, therefore, augment chances of success of the decisions made from the research. Qualitative research deals with human experiences making it a valuable tool for the realization of information requirements for Wendy’s expansion as it mainly deals with getting information on customer experiences, product quality, satisfaction, and need for improvement (Enz, 2010). Use of open-ended questions in qualitative research aids in achievement of Wendy’s expansion aims in the United States due to the large data collection capabilities. Qualitative research allows identification of consumer behavior of individuals hence pivotal in meeting Wendy’s expansion needs (Flick, 2009).
Sections of a questionnaire to develop for assessing consumer preferences for fast food restaurants
The main sections that need to be developed to fit consumer preference include quality of food offered in fast food restaurants, restaurant cleanliness, employee motivation and service delivery, location and time preference, number of visits to a fast food. The other sections to consider in the questionnaire are where it seeks to find out answers on healthy menus, consistency, and speed. This gives the required information for decision-making on menu formulation and pricing, speeds in service delivery and consistency in the restaurant to ensure the realization of customer preference. Development of the section on demographics and income of consumers in a certain demographic grouping will clarify their preferences. Questions on costs and tastes to identify the preference of the consumer on the costs and tastes will be included in the questionnaire.
Selection and training of Fieldworkers to conduct fieldwork for the questionnaire
Fieldworkers play a pivotal role in conducting research including meeting respondents, explaining the research, convincing respondents to participate in the research, data collection, and recording of the information accurately to make the survey successful. Fieldworkers selected should have good writing and reading skills, good communication skills, appropriate behavior, and effective time management skills (Gubrium and Holstein, 2001). Training of the fieldworkers will cover various areas including a description of the study, lessons on survey, interview bias, and ways to avoid bias in interviews. This will aid in making the field workers ready to carry out the interviews and avoid bias. Further rehearsal of the interview, scheduling of the research and supervision in the course of the study will ensure quality fieldwork and success of the survey research.
Summary of the Points
Qualitative data is crucial in the improvement of profitability and market share of Wendy’s, and this will be achieved in development of a comprehensive questionnaire and well-selected and trained fieldwork personnel.
Lessons Learned and Recommendations
A lesson is that successful completion of Wendy’s research survey will be through inclusion of a high number of service areas in the questionnaire and the use of trained research personnel. Recommendations are that the survey makes use of personnel that have good communication skills and are trained on research to avoid interviewer bias. Further recommendation is that the study has to make use of both qualitative and quantitative techniques in the analysis of the data for the successful formation of conclusions to aid in the expansion of Wendy’s in the United States.