ORIENTATION : In a competitive retail business environment, the essence of service quality is
invariably amplified. Within a university context, the same applies, given that the student
population of customers is relatively finite and yet there are a variety of food outlets on
RESEARCH PURPOSE : This study aims to investigate the existence (or lack of it) of a relationship
between gender, race and price and the dependent variable of students’ service quality
perception of campus-based food outlets. Although gender and race are the most obvious
defining demographic features of a student population, the variable of price is usually a major
consideration for student purchases.
MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY : The study is an applied research as it is focused on addressing an
issue with real-life business implications.
RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD : It employs the use of data collected in a crosssectional
manner from 200 respondents selected through non-probability sampling.
MAIN FINDINGS : The findings of the study indicate that no significant differences exist in service
quality perception when gender is considered. Conversely, results show that the service
quality perceptions of racial groups differ. The study also finds that a weak but positive
correlation exists between price and service quality perceptions.
PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS : These results indicate practical implications as they can
become useful condiments for refining the offerings and services of the studied campus-based
food outlets in the quest to meet or exceed customer expectations.
CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD : From an academic perspective, the study builds on existing
knowledge by exposing the association that the independent variables of gender, race and price have with students’ service quality perception in the specific context of campus-based
food outlets in Gauteng, South Africa.