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Post-print of: Cairncross, G, Wilde, SJ & Hutchinson, L 2008, ‘Training and service quality: a case study analysis of regional Australian restaurants’, Tourism and Hospitality Planning and Development, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 149-163.

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The incorporation of training procedures, both formal and informal, within hospitality firms is recognised as a vital element in achieving sustainable perceived service quality. Yet, despite this importance, relatively little is known about the extent, nature and determinants of training in hospitality firms in regional Australia. Restaurants in particular have proven hard to analyse because many are what the Australian Bureau of Statistics calls micro-businesses who employ less than five staff, or are small businesses with five to twenty employees, and have little in the way of training resources and expertise in the area. An examination of six restaurants in Northern New South Wales identified that medium sized boutique operations owned and managed by operators with a passion for fine food and service had training policies that were more extensive than larger organisations such as resorts even though the latter often had a higher star rating. It was apparent that organisational size and resources had more of an effect on the adoption of formal training strategies such as induction and the establishment and provision of a formal training manual.

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