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Question 1: Analyse and evaluate the extent to which the Servuction model and the Theatre model are applicable to the service enco

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Question 1: Analyse and evaluate the extent to which the Servuction model and the Theatre model are applicable to the service encounter at T.G.I. Fridays

Marketing Services Assessment Brief

This is an individual case-based assignment that requires you to answer questions in relation to the case study below: ‘Creating a Drama at T.G.I. Fridays’.

Question 1: Analyse and evaluate the extent to which the Servuction model and the Theatre model are applicable to the service encounter at T.G.I. Fridays. (50 marks)

Question 2: Taking into consideration the likely expectations of T.G.I. Fridays’ customers, how might the firm manage service quality and customer satisfaction? (50 marks)


All work should be word processed in 12point font Times New Roman or Arial

Please submit the coursework as a Microsoft Word file with a .doc or .docx file extension.

Word limit

The word limit for this coursework is 2,500.

  • Word count includes everything in the main body of the text (including headings, tables, citations, quotes, lists, etc.).
  • The references, title page, appendices, and contents are NOT included in the word count. An abstract or executive summary is NOT required.


Essential reading for this unit is Palmer, pp. 53-57, 64-74, 94-102, and chapter 4

 Supplementary reading (Ramdas et al., 2012) How to create more value for your customers and you.



Please ensure you adhere to the principles of good academic practice and ensure you use Harvard system to reference your work.


Adapted from: Palmer, A. (2014) Principles of Services Marketing. 7th edition. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.

Is it a pub? Is it a restaurant? Is it theatre? The operators of T.G.I. Fridays would hope that their customers see it as all three. For diners who tire of the scripted industrialized service processes of many fast-food chains, the service encounter at a branch of T.G.I. Fridays may come as welcome relief. T.G.I. Fridays is a themed American restaurant and bar group started in 1965 in the USA and which has been operated as a franchise since 1986 in the UK by Whitbread plc (in 2007 Whitbread sold operating rights of its 45 UK restaurants back to a consortium consisting of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide and ABN Amro Capital).

The credo of T.G.I. Fridays, according to Richard Snead, President and CEO of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, parent company of T.G.I. Fridays, is ‘to treat every customer as we would an honoured guest in our home, and it is reflected in everything we do’. Four crucial components of the company’s philosophy contribute to successful service encounters at their restaurants:

Employees – these are seen as the key to service quality; this applies not only to front-line staff who visibly contribute to guests’ experience, but also to back-room staff

Product – a meal is a focal point of a customer’s visit and consistency of standards is important

Package – this comprises the building and furnishings, which must be well maintained

Ambience – this is an important part of the meal experience that is difficult to specify, but is memorable to customers.

The first T.G.I. Fridays was opened at First Avenue and 63rd Street in New York City in 1965 and featured the now familiar red and white stripes. Inside were wooden floors, Tiffany lamps, Bentwood chairs, and striped tablecloths. Decor has become a key element in the T.G.I. Fridays experience, transforming an otherwise bland and boring industrial-type building into a theatrical stage. For T.G.I. Fridays’ interior decor, a fulltime antique ‘picker’ travels extensively to auctions and flea markets. Memorabilia has to be authentic and, if possible, unique to the area where a new restaurant is to be located.

T.G.I. Fridays offers ‘mass customization’ in which the company offers a standard service to all customers, but customers can personalize their meal through an extensive range of menu permutations. The company’s approach to managing the service encounter distinguishes between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ elements. Hard elements include core service processes and tangible elements of the product offer, such as car-parking facilities, the menu offered, and target service times. The fundamental design of T.G.I. Fridays restaurants is remarkably similar throughout the world, with a large central bar area with dining facilities surrounding the bar and authentic American decorative memorabilia. Even the location of the toilets is standard, and an American guest visiting the T.G.I. Fridays’ restaurant in Coventry would immediately know where to look for them. Red and white striped awnings, wooden floors, Tiffany lampshades, cane chairs, and striped tablecloths create an aura of the American bar/diner. Each restaurant offers a range of approximately 100 American/Mexican food menu items and approximately the same number of cocktails. Service target times form part of the ‘hard’ element of the service encounter and the company requires that starters should be served within seven minutes of receipt of a customer’s order. A computer program helps managers to monitor the achievement of these service times. The ‘hard’ elements of the service encounter tend to be specified by head office, and branch managers are expected to achieve specified standards. Menus and the product range are designed and priced centrally at head office.

However, it is the ‘soft’ elements of the service encounter that distinguish T.G.I. Fridays from its competitors. Crucial to this is the empowering of employees to take whatever actions they see fit in order to improve customers’ experience. Employee performance requires, therefore, more than the traditional acts of greeting, seating, and serving customers. Employees have to be able to provide both the behaviours and the emotional displays to match customers’ feelings. Getting serving staff to join in a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ may not be easy to script, but spontaneous singing when a meal is served to a group of diners celebrating a birthday can make all the difference in customers’ experience of their meal. Of course, recruitment of the right kind of people becomes crucial, and prospective candidates are selected as much for their sense of fun as on the strength of their CV. Initial interviews take the form of ‘auditions’ in which potential recruits are set individual and group tasks to test their personality type. Opportunities are given for trained staff to express their personality and individuality – for example, by wearing outlandish clothes that make a statement about their personality.

T.G.I. Fridays has become a preferred place of employment for restaurant staff, who have enjoyed relatively good working conditions, above-average earnings for the sector – especially when tips are taken into account – and a sense of fun while at work. The chain has won numerous awards as a good employer, including the UK’s third best workplace according to the Sunday Times’ 2013 ‘Survey of Best UK Places to Work’. It was also the fourth most fun place to work according to the FT. Staff said that managers were ‘excellent role models’ and they felt motivated to give their best every day.

Is the pattern of service encounters developed by T.G.I. Fridays a sustainable business model? Among the portfolio of restaurant formats operated by Whitbread plc, T.G.I. Fridays has been a star performer, in contrast to some of its more traditional formats, such as Beefeater, which have become less popular with consumers. A glance at the customer review site www.ciao.co.uk provides an insight to customers’ experience of the service encounter. Overall, contributors seem to be happy with the format, although a number of people observed that service standards could decline when a restaurant becomes very busy. It may be fine for serving staff to sing to customers when times are quiet, but how can they do this and still meet their service delivery time targets when the restaurant is busy? A number of customers also commented on very high prices charged by T.G.I. Fridays, with more than one person describing them as ‘rip-off prices’. But in order to get the best staff who can create a memorable experience, is it worth paying staff a little more and passing this on to customers as higher prices

General Guidance

  • The coursework requires you to select and apply theories, frameworks, and concepts from the first six study units of the module
  • Remember that the requirement is to apply rather than describe relevant theory
  • You may use subheadings in your answer, but remember this is more essay than management report, so avoid excessive use of bullet points
  • Do not reiterate passages from the case study. Obviously, you will need to refer to the case, but do this as succinctly as you can.
  • Evidence of relevant reading beyond the lecture slides, with appropriate application of this reading, will be rewarded.
  • Please number your pages


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  • Title: Question 1: Analyse and evaluate the extent to which the Servuction model and the Theatre model are applicable to the service encounter at T.G.I. Fridays
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  • Post Date: 2018-11-09T11:55:02+00:00
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