Exploring the Impact of Culture in Ethnic Restaurants: Case of a Spanish Restaurant in London

Saloomeh Tabari, Hadyn Ingram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Literature suggests that culture is a powerful force, but this concept is difficult to define and characterise. Service interactions occur between customers, service providers and their stakeholders, and their individual and organisational culture affect all parties. This study examines why Londoners are attracted to ethnic restaurants and whether culture acts as an attraction or a barrier their visit. These service interactions are rich and simultaneous phenomena that are best explored through qualitative research. Accordingly, customer interviews and observational data were taken in a Spanish restaurant in London. The case study data reinforces the view that restaurants satisfy more than biological needs, acting as a social meeting place for like-minded people. The conclusions emphasise the strength of culture as a formative force and how difficult it may be to change cultural behaviour. Nevertheless, authenticity in ethnic restaurants may be diluted over time, giving way to a gastronomic interpretation that may be more acceptable to diners in the host nation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnhancing Customer Experience in the Service Industry
Subtitle of host publicationA Global Perspective
EditorsLevent Altinay, Surya Poudel
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781443884969, 1443884960
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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