Ethnographic Analysis of Fast Food Restaurant

Ethnographic Analysis of Fast Food Restaurant

Analysis of fast food restaurant

The decision making process of customers in a fast food restaurant is influenced by several factors. Additionally, the consumers have a prior knowledge concerning the market that affects their purchasing power. According to consumer behavior model, it indicates that the consumers are aware of their desires and needs and they know the best way to satisfy them (Counihan & Van, 2013). When certain conditions prevail within the environment of consumers, they develop a specific character that is logical. The ultimate objective is to receive maximum value of the money spent. As a result, the price of the commodity forms the basis of the final decision. Additionally, the amount to be paid is determined by the income. Therefore, there is a significant impact on the price and income of respective buyer (Counihan & Van, 2013).

Moreover, when Marshallian consumer behavior model is applied in the fast food restaurant, it is found that many consumers spend their money on food items that reap greatest satisfaction. Therefore, the purchasing power is influenced by taste and preference. Additionally, their purchasing decision can be influenced by the price of related items. Conversely, it results into earnings and substitution influence of the buyer behavior theory (Counihan & Van, 2013). The Marshallian theory presents the cardinal output of the Marshallian utility function. That is given by U= AB, the variables A and B represents two quantities of two fast food. Therefore, the buyer obtains full satisfaction after consuming both commodities. As a result, the utility increases as the consumer continues to obtain unlimited quantity of both products in a fast food.

Additionally, the consumer behavior can also be analyzed by critically understanding the interaction between the fluctuation in price and the buyer demands. Fast food industry is not a monopoly market; hence, there are other restaurants that compete for the share of the buyer’s income. Therefore, the consumer behavior is most likely to be influenced by the prices in other stores. Apart from internationally known fast food chains, there are local fast food shops that provide similar services. Therefore, the fast foods are closely related and they satisfy the same consumer needs, despite having different utility (Counihan & Van, 2013).

Similarly, the consumer behavior can be influenced by the ingredients used to make fast food. The consumer can be willing and able to buy a particular food due to specific ingredient that has been used to make the product. Additionally, different gradient generates varied types of brands that can impact the consumer purchasing decision. Price fluctuations of particular fast food affect the demand of products in the market. Consequently, when there is a decrease in a certain brand, the demand of that particular brand increase in the market. The high demand is triggered due to a decrease in price of the commodity. At that period, the consumer behavior is altered and they are willing and able to obtain that particular brand in large quantities. The affect can also be as a result of substitution effect, because the products serve the same purpose (Counihan & Van, 2013).

Interior design of fast food restaurants

The interior design of a fast food significantly affects the revenue generated and the amount of income spent by the customers. There are other factors that can influence consumer decision, but the interior design has a long term advantage (French et al., 2001). The ambience can influence the whole thing form perception on receptiveness and dependability. Additionally, it determines how fast the customer eats, amount of money spent and the duration taken in the fast food restaurant. Therefore, the interior design acts as an attractive factor that lures buyer to visit the restaurant again (French et al., 2001). If the owner of a restaurant creates conducive environment, the customer feels more comfortable and appreciates the experience at the restaurant. Some of the factors to consider for interior design are spacing, lighting, sound system and staff. Therefore, the interior design makes fast food fast (French et al., 2001).

Architecture of fast food restaurants

Architectural design of a fast food restaurant has a great impact on the behaviors of the consumer. For instance, most people tend to admire the architectural design of residential homes. Such admiration can be extended into places of recreation such as restaurants. A fast food restaurant with a magnificent hospitality design is in a position to attract more customers (French et al., 2001). Architectural design also adds some utility to the product that is consumed by the buyer making them to have a great experience at the restaurant. Therefore, during designing of fast food restaurant, it requires architecture with a wide experience in the field. Once the consumers are attracted by the architecture, the sales of fast foods automatically increase (French et al., 2001).

Layout of fast food restaurants

The sales of fast food product can be affected by the layout plant and the staff interactions with the customers. A successful restaurant requires an integrated layout plan that is appealing to the customers. In most fast food restaurants, the layout plan is developed based on the comfort of the customers. The layout is designed based on expected buyer during peak hours. Therefore, a fast food restaurant with a well developed layout plan can attracts more customers that increase the sales of products. The sale of food is fast because restaurants have a unique layout plan than any other business premises (French et al., 2001).

Moreover, the staffs that are employed in the fast foods are well trained and they handle customers professionally. Additionally, they use good command of language that influences the turnout of buyers at the premises. When customers are served accordingly, there is high probability that they can come back to the restaurants. Similarly, the fast food restaurants are highly organized (French et al., 2001). Every department is assigned specific responsibility thus eliminating errors that can arise due to poor delegation of duties. When the customers realized that there is order in service delivery, they feel satisfied and that can boost the sales of fast food (French et al., 2001).

The restaurants have a great impact on the social well being of people who are found within the vicinity. For instance, many people can hold meetings and conferences in such places; hence, bringing people of different race together and they develop mutual understanding. A new culture can be developed due to the existence of the restaurant (Counihan & Van, 2013). People who visit fast food have different cultures; therefore, the management integrates their service so that they meet the demand of every person in terms of culture diversity. When the restaurants are in a position to meet the needs and demands of varied cultures, then the fast food can move faster (Counihan & Van, 2013).

Ethnography of coffee chain

In most of the fast foods, there is disintegration of buyers that depict a specific character that requires a lot of consideration. That can help in products modification that meets consumer needs. Most young people tend to visit fast food, because they are not satisfied with the food prepared at home (Watson, 2006). Additionally, they go to restaurants when there is no one to cook or they are far away from home. Similarly, most people find themselves in restaurants when they want to socialize with friends. Therefore, such attitude increases the sale of fast food (Watson, 2006).

Some are addicted to fast food because of nutritional value of the food. The foods that are prepared at the restaurants have more value than homemade foods. Similarly, fast foods are famous as they are served fast and they are relatively cheap. Therefore, restaurant foods are substitutes of home made food. Fast foods are growing at a rapid rate since most people are always busy, hence they do not have time to prepare their own meals (Watson, 2006). These foods are commonly known to contain high level of calories, fats and sugar, but majority are reluctant to change from that habit of eating in restaurants.

According to the observation made in some of the coffee restaurants such as coffee bean, there are a number of factors that made fast food to be fast. Some of the factors include quality of the products, serving services, and physical environment.

Quality of product

Consumers’ needs and expectations are fully satisfied by the quality of the products. According to the staff in the restaurants, they claim that when the quality of commodity is low, the number of buyers reduces and it affects the sales (Watson, 2006). Additionally, apart from the quality, there are certain elements that attract customers in the fast food. They suggested that product presentation and variety are also vital in restaurants. Additionally, the products freshness and temperature are the determining factors of product quality (Watson, 2006).

Serving services

Apart from the food itself, serving is another element that is quite significant in a restaurant. Some customers suggested that, the quality of serving greatly determines their decision. A strong relationship is established between the restaurants and the customers through front-office staff. Their skills and performance influence the customer’s moods (Watson, 2006).


Physical environment

Another significant component in a restaurant is the physical environment. Therefore, the restaurants must be spacious enough for serving purposes and food preparation. Additionally, the sitting areas must be widely spaced. There are several factors to consider when evaluating physical environment. First, the physical condition refers to the internal temperature and noise (Watson, 2006). Secondly, there is physical space in terms of equipments that allows free movements of customers and staff. Finally, signs and symbols must be properly allocated that shows different directions within the restaurants. When the managers invest heavily on physical environment, the general performance of restaurant is improved (Watson, 2006).

















Counihan, C., & Van Esterik, P. (2013). Food and culture: A reader. New York: Routledge.

French, S. A., Story, M., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Fulkerson, J. A., & Hannan, P. (2001). Fast food restaurant use among adolescents: associations with nutrient intake, food choices and behavioral and psychosocial variables. International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders: journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 25(12), 1823-1833.

Watson, J. L. (2006). Golden arches east: McDonald’s in East Asia. London: Stanford University Press.


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