Chain Attributes and Customer Experience Impact on Coffee Shop Patronage

The Criterion Variables

The previously-stated study hypotheses are:

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  • There is a difference with respect to the products and services that are offered by independent coffee retail shops, and their retail chain coffee shops
  • Customers perceive Independent retail coffee shops differently from the retail chain coffee shops.

One may formulate even more specific hypotheses as follows:

  1. Patronage incidence itself correlates better with relaxation and socialisation needs than functional beverage and food offerings.
  2. Preference for independents versus coffee chains is a function of socio-demographic or customer factors. On the other hand, coffee chains bear an inherent advantage in point of beverage variety.
  3. Patronage frequency and other characteristics differ meaningfully in respect of customer characteristics, expectations and image perceptions, including ambience.
  4. The customer satisfaction implied by patronage intentions correlates better with establishment image and service rather than product quality and affordability.

Given these objectives and the fact that the questionnaire consists solely of categorical or scale variables, data analysis consists chiefly of:

Descriptive cross-tabulations

  • The t test for significance of differences in means, the chi-square and Kolmogorov-Smirnoff tests for differences of frequency distributions;
  • Several correlation runs among the items comprising each factor (e.g. question 7 that rates the importance of 19 product quality, establishment image, service and ambience variables);
  • The ANOVA for variables that are uncorrelated;
  • The multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) for simultaneously testing the differences of means among items that are correlated;
  • Factor analysis to identify underlying dimensions across several ‘factors’ in the study that may then be re-run in MANOVA’s, discriminant analysis, or multivariate analysis regression. The rationale in this case is to identify a smaller set of consumer dimensions that impact significantly on patronage behaviour.

Principal Findings – Chains versus Independents

All told, the survey yielded a net count of 464 respondents. Slightly more than half (57.1%) patronised chain coffee shops while the balance of 43% were found in independent establishments at the time of fieldwork. In this section of the analysis, we posit coffee shop type preference as the dependent variable (DV) and the influencing or independent variables (IV) as ‘real’ outlet type preference (question 12), gender, age group, educational attainment, employment status, income class, and being a native Australian or of immigrant stock.

In response to question 12, type of coffee shop really preferred (Table 1 below), over three-fourths of those interviewed at chain outlets affirmed that they really preferred this type of coffee shop while less than half of independent coffee shop patrons were confident enough about their choice to say they routinely patronised this establishment type.

Table 1: Patronage Location at Time of Survey versus Type Preferred (Q. 12)

Crosstab
type of coffee outlet
chain independent Total
What is your preference Chain Count 200 26 226
Expected Count 129.1 96.9 226.0
% within type of coffee outlet 75.5% 13.1% 48.7%
unsure Count 41 91 132
Expected Count 75.4 56.6 132.0
% within type of coffee outlet 15.5% 45.7% 28.4%
Indepedent Count 24 82 106
Expected Count 60.5 45.5 106.0
% within type of coffee outlet 9.1% 41.2% 22.8%
Total Count 265 199 464
Expected Count 265.0 199.0 464.0
% within type of coffee outlet 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Table 2: Chi Square Result for Coffee Shop Type Preference

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Chi-Square Tests
Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 178.8709 2 0.000000
Likelihood Ratio 195.516 2 0.000000
Linear-by-Linear Association 156.3225 1 0.000000
N of Valid Cases 464
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 45.46.

The chi square result for the above difference of frequency distributions between those who are assumed to prefer chain and independent coffee shops by virtue of where they had been found at the time of the survey reveals a very high Pearson chi square value of 178.9. At two degrees of freedom (df) – given the three possible answers to question 12 – that Pearson value bears a significance statistic of p < 0.00001. Since this means that such a difference in frequency distributions can happen by chance less than once in 100,000 resurvey tries, one rejects the null hypothesis inherent in the above cross-tabulation (that there is no association between the two variables) and concludes with a great degree of confidence that question 12 does discriminate across the two coffee shop type segments. In other words, coffee shop type preference is distinctive one from the other, albeit one notes the reticence with which those interviewed in independent coffee shops admitted this type was their favourite.

More usefully, there is some evidence that occupation profiles differ across the two patronage segments since the chi square tests (see Table 4 overleaf) reveal a Pearson value that, at 11.6 and a df of 5, bears a significance statistic of p < 0.05. Since this means that the youthful skew of chain coffee shops (more students) and the greater number of the self-employed among independent coffee-serving outlets (Table 3) could have occurred by chance less than 5 times in a hundred measurement attempts (the minimum acceptable for empirical research), one rejects the null hypothesis and accepts the alternative that there is an association between the IV of occupation and the DV of type patronage.

Table 3: Crosstabulation of Occupation and Coffee Shop Type Preference

Crosstab
type of coffee outlet
chain independent Total
categories best describes your current position Employee Count 117 92 209
Expected Count 118.8 90.2 209.0
% within type of coffee outlet 43.3% 44.9% 44.0%
Self employed Count 23 24 47
Expected Count 26.7 20.3 47.0
% within type of coffee outlet 8.5% 11.7% 9.9%
Retired Count 3 5 8
Expected Count 4.5 3.5 8.0
% within type of coffee outlet 1.1% 2.4% 1.7%
Housewife/man or carer Count 10 17 27
Expected Count 15.3 11.7 27.0
% within type of coffee outlet 3.7% 8.3% 5.7%
Student Count 113 62 175
Expected Count 99.5 75.5 175.0
% within type of coffee outlet 41.9% 30.2% 36.8%
Unemployed Count 4 5 9
Expected Count 5.1 3.9 9.0
% within type of coffee outlet 1.5% 2.4% 1.9%
Total Count 270 205 475
Expected Count 270.0 205.0 475.0
% within type of coffee outlet 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Table 4: Chi Square Tests for Occupation and Coffee Shop Type Preference

Chi-Square Tests
Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 11.623a 5 .040
Likelihood Ratio 11.629 5 .040
Linear-by-Linear Association 1.593 1 .207
N of Valid Cases 475
a. 3 cells (25.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 3.45.

On the other hand, there is no reason to expect that gender discriminates coffee shop type preference. Since tables 5 and 6 (below) reveal an approximately similar frequency distribution and the significance tests reveal probabilities approximately like those achieved by a coin-toss experiment, one accepts the null hypothesis and concludes that there is no association between the two variables.

Table 5: Coffee Shop Type Preference by Gender

Crosstab
type of coffee outlet
chain independent Total
Gender Male Count 121 86 207
Expected Count 117.5 89.5 207.0
% within type of coffee outlet 45.0% 42.0% 43.7%
Female Count 148 119 267
Expected Count 151.5 115.5 267.0
% within type of coffee outlet 55.0% 58.0% 56.3%
Total Count 269 205 474
Expected Count 269.0 205.0 474.0
% within type of coffee outlet 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Table 6:

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Chi-Square Tests
Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided) Exact Sig. (2-sided) Exact Sig. (1-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square .434a 1 .510
Continuity Correctionb .320 1 .572
Likelihood Ratio .435 1 .510
Fisher’s Exact Test .515 .286
Linear-by-Linear Association .433 1 .510
N of Valid Cases 474
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 89.53.
b. Computed only for a 2×2 table

Similarly, one finds that coffee shop type preference does not appreciably differ by age group (Tables 7 and 8), educational attainment (Tables 9 and 10), income (Tables 11 and 12), and ethnicity (Tables 13 and 14).

Table 7: Coffee Shop Type Preferred and Age Cohort

Crosstab
type of coffee outlet
chain independent Total
Age group Under 16 Count 4 1 5
Expected Count 2.8 2.2 5.0
% within type of coffee outlet 1.5% .5% 1.1%
16 – 19 Count 31 25 56
Expected Count 31.9 24.1 56.0
% within type of coffee outlet 11.5% 12.3% 11.8%
20 – 29 Count 136 106 242
Expected Count 137.8 104.2 242.0
% within type of coffee outlet 50.4% 52.0% 51.1%
30 – 39 Count 50 42 92
Expected Count 52.4 39.6 92.0
% within type of coffee outlet 18.5% 20.6% 19.4%
40 – 49 Count 32 19 51
Expected Count 29.1 21.9 51.0
% within type of coffee outlet 11.9% 9.3% 10.8%
50 – 59 Count 13 5 18
Expected Count 10.3 7.7 18.0
% within type of coffee outlet 4.8% 2.5% 3.8%
60 or over Count 4 6 10
Expected Count 5.7 4.3 10.0
% within type of coffee outlet 1.5% 2.9% 2.1%
Total Count 270 204 474
Expected Count 270.0 204.0 474.0
% within type of coffee outlet 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Table 8: Chi Square Tests for Coffee Shop Type and Age Group

Chi-Square Tests
Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 5.035a 6 .539
Likelihood Ratio 5.213 6 .517
Linear-by-Linear Association .087 1 .768
N of Valid Cases 474
a. 3 cells (21.4%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 2.15.

Table 9: Crosstabulation of Coffee Shop Type Preference and Educational Attainment

Crosstab
type of coffee outlet
chain independent Total
Highest level of educational qualification Primary school Count 9 2 11
Expected Count 6.3 4.7 11.0
% within type of coffee outlet 3.3% 1.0% 2.3%
Secondary school Count 34 35 69
Expected Count 39.2 29.8 69.0
% within type of coffee outlet 12.6% 17.1% 14.5%
Vocational education Count 25 24 49
Expected Count 27.9 21.1 49.0
% within type of coffee outlet 9.3% 11.7% 10.3%
Bachelor degree Count 138 90 228
Expected Count 129.6 98.4 228.0
% within type of coffee outlet 51.1% 43.9% 48.0%
Master or Doctoral degree Count 64 54 118
Expected Count 67.1 50.9 118.0
% within type of coffee outlet 23.7% 26.3% 24.8%
Total Count 270 205 475
Expected Count 270.0 205.0 475.0
% within type of coffee outlet 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Table 10: Crosstabulation of Income and Coffee Type Preference

Crosstab
type of coffee outlet
chain independent Total
Annual household gross income group AUS8,000 or less Count 79 39 118
Expected Count 67.2 50.8 118.0
% within type of coffee outlet 29.4% 19.2% 25.0%
AUS8,001-AUS16,500 Count 32 29 61
Expected Count 34.8 26.2 61.0
% within type of coffee outlet 11.9% 14.3% 12.9%
AUS16,501-AUS33,000 Count 38 30 68
Expected Count 38.8 29.2 68.0
% within type of coffee outlet 14.1% 14.8% 14.4%
AUS33,001-AUS49,500 Count 41 37 78
Expected Count 44.5 33.5 78.0
% within type of coffee outlet 15.2% 18.2% 16.5%
AUS49,501-AUS66,000 Count 39 28 67
Expected Count 38.2 28.8 67.0
% within type of coffee outlet 14.5% 13.8% 14.2%
AUS66,001-AUS82,500 Count 14 17 31
Expected Count 17.7 13.3 31.0
% within type of coffee outlet 5.2% 8.4% 6.6%
AUS82,501-AUS99,000 Count 16 11 27
Expected Count 15.4 11.6 27.0
% within type of coffee outlet 5.9% 5.4% 5.7%
More than 99,000 Count 10 12 22
Expected Count 12.5 9.5 22.0
% within type of coffee outlet 3.7% 5.9% 4.7%
Total Count 269 203 472
Expected Count 269.0 203.0 472.0
% within type of coffee outlet 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Table 11: Chi Square Tests for Income and Coffee Shop Type Preference

Chi-Square Tests
Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 9.004a 7 .252
Likelihood Ratio 9.087 7 .246
Linear-by-Linear Association 3.844 1 .050
N of Valid Cases 472
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 9.46.

Table 12: Crosstabulation of Coffee Shop Type Preference and Ethnicity

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Crosstab
type of coffee outlet
chain dependent Total
your place of birth Australia Count 133 100 233
Expected Count 132.5 100.5 233.0
% within type of coffee outlet 49.4% 49.0% 49.3%
Asia Count 93 61 154
Expected Count 87.6 66.4 154.0
% within type of coffee outlet 34.6% 29.9% 32.6%
Europe Count 28 25 53
Expected Count 30.1 22.9 53.0
% within type of coffee outlet 10.4% 12.3% 11.2%
America Count 8 11 19
Expected Count 10.8 8.2 19.0
% within type of coffee outlet 3.0% 5.4% 4.0%
Africa Count 7 7 14
Expected Count 8.0 6.0 14.0
% within type of coffee outlet 2.6% 3.4% 3.0%
Total Count 269 204 473
Expected Count 269.0 204.0 473.0
% within type of coffee outlet 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Table 13: Chi Square Tests for Coffee Shop Type Preference and Ethnicity

Chi-Square Tests
Value df Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 3.093a 4 .542
Likelihood Ratio 3.073 4 .546
Linear-by-Linear Association 1.079 1 .299
N of Valid Cases 473
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 6.04.

Satisfaction Ratings

A third step after testing for association between coffee shop type preference on one hand, and consumer characteristics as well as satisfaction ratings, on the other hand, is to assess mean ratings for self-assessed patronage loyalty (question 11). The results (tables 14 and 15 below) show, first of all, that those found at independent coffee outlets are always marginally more loyal on each of the five items comprising the predicted loyalty and repeat patronage factor. They are somewhat more likely to claim that they would: engage in favourable word-of-mouth, “recommend this coffee outlet to someone who seeks my advice,” perennially make the coffee outlet in question their first choice, be concerned about the success of that coffee outlet and, in all other ways, be a loyal customer.

However, these marginal differences between chain and independent outlet patrons are not statistically significant. The computed F values for Levene’s test for equality of variances are too low to meet the even the p < 0.05 minimum hurdle, suggesting that the homogenous-variance assumption that is basic to the t test does not hold. Regardless of which variance equality assumption is taken, the significance statistics are too high (Table 15) and one cannot reject the implied null hypothesis. Chain and independent coffee shop patrons do not differ materially on their acid test of customer satisfaction: predicted loyalty.

This is not altogether strange since location at the time of the survey is not incidental but very likely true patronage preference. In that case, coffee shop habitués evince very much the same satisfaction and loyalty indicators that car owners do. No matter the objective differences in their vehicles, those who drive popular models such as the Holden Cruze CDX, Hyundai Getz, Mazda 3 Neo, Toyota Hilux SR5, Subaru Forester, Nissan Navara, Toyota Corolla Ascent, Mitsubishi Lancer ES, Honda CR-V Wagon 4dr 4×4 2.4i, or the Suzuki Swift Hatchback are generally very loyal to their makes and models, having to justify their ‘investment’ in self-image even to themselves.

Table 14: Mean Ratings for Self-Assessed Loyalty by Type of Coffee Shop Patronised (Q11)

Group Statistics
type of coffee outlet N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
I will say positive things about this chain 270 3.8667 .88187 .05367
independent 205 3.9561 .81831 .05715
I will recommend this coffee outlet to chain 270 3.8296 .84959 .05170
independent 205 3.9268 .85148 .05947
I will consider this coffee outlet my chain 270 3.5852 1.04105 .06336
independent 205 3.6976 1.03670 .07241
I really care about the success of this chain 270 3.1519 1.12222 .06830
independent 205 3.2439 1.13717 .07942
I will be a loyal customer of this chain 270 3.4000 1.11228 .06769
independent 205 3.5024 1.12295 .07843

Table 15: Significance Analysis for Independent Samples T Test , Self-Assessed Patronage Loyalty and Coffee Shop Type Patronised

Independent Samples Test
Levene’s Test for Equality of Variances t-test for Equality of Means
Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Lower Upper
I will say positive things about this Equal variances assumed 3.45384 0.063726 -1.12905 473 0.259447 -0.08943 0.079209 -0.24508 0.066214
Equal variances not assumed -1.14067 454.4284 0.254607 -0.08943 0.078402 -0.24351 0.064644
I will recommend this coffee outlet to Equal variances assumed 0.497709 0.480856 -1.23382 473 0.217882 -0.0972 0.078779 -0.252 0.057601
Equal variances not assumed -1.23345 438.8194 0.21807 -0.0972 0.078803 -0.25208 0.057679
I will consider this coffee outlet my Equal variances assumed 0.17558 0.67539 -1.16733 473 0.243664 -0.11238 0.096267 -0.30154 0.076789
Equal variances not assumed -1.168 440.2519 0.243438 -0.11238 0.096212 -0.30147 0.076716
I really care about the success of this Equal variances assumed 0.107995 0.742584 -0.88036 473 0.379109 -0.09205 0.10456 -0.29751 0.113408
Equal variances not assumed -0.87877 436.3123 0.380011 -0.09205 0.10475 -0.29793 0.113826
I will be a loyal customer of this Equal variances assumed 0.03083 0.860696 -0.99007 473 0.322648 -0.10244 0.103467 -0.30575 0.100873
Equal variances not assumed -0.98877 437.1584 0.323322 -0.10244 0.103602 -0.30606 0.101182
  1. Relaxation and Socialisation Needs versus Functional Beverage And Food Offerings.
  2. On Coffee Chains Bearing Inherent Advantages in Point of Beverage Variety.
  3. Patronage Frequency and Other Characteristics Differing Meaningfully in Respect of Customer Characteristics, Expectations.
  4. Image Perceptions, Including Ambience.
  5. The Relationship amongst Customer Satisfaction, Establishment Image, Service, Product Quality and Affordability.
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