Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is your restaurant server’s smile genuine?

Date:
September 3, 2014
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
New research really makes one think about the old adage service with a smile as it examines counterproductive work behavior (CWB) by restaurant workers towards customers they serve. CWB refers to “volitional acts by employees that harm or intend to harm organizations and their stakeholders,” according to the study. It is often considered a form of behavioral strain that may be used to cope with or express negative emotions, or it may be used to directly address the source of the problem.

New research published in Human Performance (Routledge) really makes one think about the old adage service with a smile as it examines counterproductive work behavior (CWB) by restaurant workers towards customers they serve.

CWB refers to "volitional acts by employees that harm or intend to harm organizations and their stakeholders," according to the study. It is often considered a form of behavioral strain that may be used to cope with or express negative emotions, or it may be used to directly address the source of the problem.

Using survey research of 438 food service employees (including servers, hosts, bartenders, cashiers, and managers), the researchers found that employees who experience extra stress from customers are more likely to lash out at customers with CWB. Customer stressors include disproportionate customer expectations, customer verbal aggression, disliked or unpleasant customers, and ambiguous customer expectations. Having frequent, demanding interactions with customers is taxing on service employees who, despite feeling frustrated with or angered by customers, must maintain a friendly demeanor. As a result, employees may have few emotional resources left to allocate toward positive service behaviors.

"Food service employees generally do their best to provide a positive experience for customers," said Dr. Lisa Penney, one of the co-authors who once worked in food service herself. "However, they are human too, and the strain of dealing with extremely rude, demanding or difficult customers can manifest in ways that do not benefit customers."

The actual CWBs food service employees admitted to, by percentage of the sample, included actions like making fun of customers to someone else (79%), lying (78%), making a customer wait longer (65%), ignoring them (61%), acting rudely (52%), arguing (43%), to absolute extremes such as refusing a reasonable request (25%), confronting a customer about tips (19%), insulting a customer (14%) increasing a tip without permission (11%), contaminating food (6%), or threatening a customer (5%).

"The laborious emotional demands of these positions make it difficult for an employee to maintain positive emotions while managing any negative emotions they may experience on the job," said Dr. Emily M. Hunter, a co-author and former server herself as well. "We hope this article is just the beginning of a line of research that digs into the motivations behind negative employee behavior toward customers."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emily M. Hunter, Lisa M. Penney. The Waiter Spit in My Soup! Antecedents of Customer-Directed Counterproductive Work Behavior. Human Performance, 2014; 27 (3): 262 DOI: 10.1080/08959285.2014.913595

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Is your restaurant server’s smile genuine?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140903092021.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2014, September 3). Is your restaurant server’s smile genuine?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140903092021.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Is your restaurant server’s smile genuine?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140903092021.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) — The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins