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UT professor helps develop DinEX scale to measure restaurant appeal
Date:1/13/2011

What is it that makes you want to return to a restaurant again and again?

The food? The service? Atmosphere?

Sure.

But according to research spearheaded by John Antun, associate professor in the Department of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism and director of the Culinary Institute at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Robert E. Frash Jr., chair of the HRT department at the College of Charleston (S.C.), there are two more factors that must be added to mix: the social experience and the availability of healthy menu options.

Antun and Frash Jr. collaborated with UT assistant professors Wanda Costen and Rodney Runyan to develop a 20-item scale called DinEX that can accurately predict whether diners will like a restaurant and return to it. Their research is being published in the current issue of the quarterly Journal of Foodservice Business Research.

"Given the research we did to develop and test DinEX, we're confident that this is the new generation of restaurant rating systems," Antun said. "Food, service and atmosphere have always been critical factors in a restaurant's success, but recent literature suggests restaurants have become a significant social outlet for people. And our research showed us diners also rank 'health' high among the factors that will determine whether or not they'll return to a restaurant."

Antun said DinEX can be used by restaurateurs to more accurately focus their marketing efforts, to build more fruitful relationships with their customers and to measure evolving dining trends in the marketplace and in their customers' priorities. In addition, he said, DinEx will be a useful tool for real estate professionals seeking the efficacious placement of restaurant properties.

The authors said a tool like DinEX can be especially helpful to businesspeople when tough economic conditions have forced people to curtail dining out.

According to the National Restaurant Ass
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Contact: Amy Blakely
amy.blakely@tennessee.edu
865-974-5034
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Source:Eurekalert

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