Dining habits and preferences of young patrons of fast food restaurants in Singapore and Las Vegas, 1994

Gerry Eng Seng Koh, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare the dining habits, preferences, and expectations of 1,012 young patrons of fast food restaurants in Singapore and Las Vegas. The Singapore respondents were students from a Pre-university and SHATEC, a hospitality industry vocational institute. In Las Vegas, the respondents were from the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV); Overall results indicated that there existed more similarities between Pre-university and UNLV students than between Pre-university and SHATEC students. This conclusion was unexpected given differences between Pre-university and UNLV students in terms of age, marital status, country of residence, and type of educational institution. Pre-university and SHATEC students were more similar in these demographic areas. Furthermore, findings show that although Pre-university and SHATEC students share a similar cultural background, their behavior pattern with regard to fast food consumption was significantly different; Although similarities among the three sample groups occurred in frequency of patronage, their reasons for visiting fast food restaurants were not correlated. Pre-university students cited socializing with friends as the main reason for visiting fast food restaurants; Overall, means comparison revealed that although students of both cities displayed fairly similar levels of importance in the way they perceived the four attributes categories, Pre-university students felt that food and environment attributes were more important, while SHATEC students ranked service attributes as being more important. In contrast, UNLV students felt that marketing attributes were more important than food, environment, or service; The findings of this study would hopefully shed some light on the study of fast food culture both in Singapore and the United States. Some results generated by this study would provide fast food restaurant operators with more information of their customers to assist them to better market their product in a dynamic marketplace.