From “Hypercritics” to “Happy Campers”: Who Complains the Most in Fine Dining Restaurants?

Jalayer Khalilzadeh, Ladan Ghahramani, Saloomeh Tabari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This article describes a cluster analysis of the complaining behavior of customers in fine dining restaurants using past visit frequency, public actions against the restaurants, recovery action requests, negative marketing actions, and satisfaction from previous experiences as the criteria variables. Four customer groups were recognized, termed hypercritics, silent killers, friendly complainers, and happy campers. Characteristics of the customer groups based on all criteria variables differed according to service delivery failure reactions. Overall, hypercritics and friendly complainers informed a restaurant and gave it the opportunity to make corrective actions; silent killers resorted to negative marketing actions rather than complaining on site; and happy campers did not complain. The analysis indicates several ways to turn silent killers into more favorable consumer groups. The results suggest that service stages should be treated uniquely while designing the best recovery response strategies for different customer groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-473
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Hospitality Marketing and Management
Issue number5
Early online date23 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


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