An importance-performance assessment of delegates’ satisfaction with the catering component of courses offered by continuing education at the University of Pretoria

  • A Deacon
  • GE Du Rand


Using importance-performance analysis, an assessment of the catering component of courses presented by Continuing Education at University of Pretoria (CE at UP), a higher education institution, was undertaken and its contribution to hospitality and tourism management were highlighted.  CE at UP is a teaching institution that offers certificate courses to post-graduate individuals in diverse fields of study and its catering component is outsourced to food service providers situated on campus.  The catering component is an area of concern as it received the lowest score during former evaluations.

Data was collected by using an exploratory mixed methodology consisting of qualitative and quantitative research techniques.  The catering attributes were obtained by conducting an unstructured one-to-one interview and focus groups.  Thereafter a total of 357 questionnaires were collected.  The study made use of descriptive statistics including simple frequencies.  Mean ratings and standard deviations were calculated using data related to the respondents’ demographic profiles and on the 25 identified catering attributes.

The performance and importance of each catering attribute were determined and discussed. From the assessment of its catering component, a company would be able to make appropriate and necessary managerial decisions in order to retain and expand its customer base.



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eISSN: 0378-5254