Barriers to the practice of benchmarking in South African restaurants

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The main purpose of this study is to find the barriers of benchmarking use in independent full-service restaurants in South Africa. The global restaurant industry entities operate in a highly competitive environment, and restaurateurs should have a visible ad¬vantage over competitors. A competitive advantage can be achieved only if the quality standards in terms of food and beverage products, service quality, relevant technology and price are comparable to the industry leaders. This study has deployed a descriptive, quantitative research design on the basis of a relatively large sample of restaurateurs. The data was collected through the SurveyMonkey website using a standardised questionnaire The questionnaire was mailed to 2699 restaurateurs, and 109 respondents returned fully completed answer sheets. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. The main findings were as follows: 43% of respondents had never done benchmarking; only 5.5% respondents considered themselves as highly knowledgeable about benchmarking; respondents thought that the most significant barriers to benchmarking were difficulties with obtaining exemplar (benchmarking partner) best-practice information and adapting the anomalous (own) practices to derive a benefit from best practices. The results of this study should be used to shape the knowledge about benchmarking practices in order to develop suitable solutions for the problems in South African restaurants.

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    • Table 1. Barriers to benchmarking
    • Table 2. Ranked barriers
    • Table 3. Barriers’ standard deviation