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An assessment of guest satisfaction on Foreign and Traditional food in Buea, Southwest Region

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Research on Catering establishments in Buea South West region in Cameroon on the assessment of guest satisfaction with foreign and traditional meal. This paper will seek to investigate the problems affecting guest satisfaction in selected catering establishments in Buea and the way forward. In addition, this paper will find out the different catering establishments and their production processes, the different meals provided, the problems in acquiring guest satisfaction and the impact on guests. Literature review on this topic is not well developed thus it’s a pioneer study in Cameroon which needs further studies.

The main models on which this topic lies is the four levels of customer satisfaction and model of customer satisfaction which characterizes meeting customers expectation, surpassing customers expectation, delighting your customers, amazing your customers, customers expectation, perceive quality and value, customers satisfaction, customers complaint and loyalty.

Based on the background, questionnaires, interviews and field observation was carried out. The data gotten was analyzed using arithmetic mean, percentages, method and the results were presented in tables, graphs and pie charts.The data analyses led us to the main findings on objectives and the verification of hypothesis.

The different meals offered by these selected catering establishments were; kwacoco and banga soup, ndole and plantains or yam, eru and garri or water fufu, pepper soup, kati kati, pizzas, pasta, salad, chicken chips, hamburge, French fries. With menu providing the types of meals and prices. The way forward was based on establishments to sent their workers for further training programs in order to discover different dishes, meals should be cooked partially inorder to avoid waistage of time. This study is going to reveal the important of guest satisfaction with foreign and traditional meals to the catering establishment around Buea and Cameroon as a whole.




Catering is a business of providing food services at areas like hotels, aircraft, parks, event venues etc. catering began from 1820 centering Philadelphia, and became a Profitable and Respectable business. The early catering industry was disproportionately founded by African Americans and began professionalizing under the reign of Robert Bogle who was recognised as “the Originator of catering”. By 1840, the second generation of Philadelphia blacks caters formed and began combining their business with restaurants they owned. White businessmen entered the business by 1930s. A rationing system was introduced during World War II and people became used to public catering and after the war, many embraced catering as an alternative way of staying in business after the war and by 1960s, homemade food was taken over by eating in public catering establishments. Catering dated back in the 4th millennium BC in China (www.tgis The culture of grand eating and drinking was present in old Egypt at that time. Most services were provided by slaves. The ancient Greeks are credited with\ making catering a trade by offering free services at their inns and hostels which continued into the Roman Empire, primarily to serve soldiers. In the Middle Ages catering centered on monasteries and the Christian pilgrimages in Europe. The trade spread during the reign of Charlemagne. By late Middle Ages the bourgeoisie (people of the city) and a monetary economy helped the popularity of catering to flourish.

When the industry drew the attention of German legislators in the 14th and 15th century. Food and Beer regulations began to take form. But much of the industry was still primarily seen in feasts and celebrations for kings and other noblemen. After the revolution of the 18th century and the lack of aristocracy, catering guilds were forced to find new ways to sell their talents and the first French restaurant was started (Hitesh Bhasin, 30,2020). The catering industry is one of the most important element in the restaurant and take away outlets, but it can also include catering providers to the hotels and airlines. Catering and food service industry plays an important role in the promotion of local food feature and culture of tourism destination through providing catering products and services for tourists. As an important part of tourism industry, is an important carrier of the brand and culture for a country or region with the characteristics of wide market, extensive influence and more employment opportunities.

In recent years, the development of global catering and food industry maintains a rapid and healthy momentum of tourism development. A wide variety of catering products and different styles of food culture has been shaped in the background of different regions and cultures. It has been seen that the gradual development of catering markets has helped with the rapid development of economy and society. In many countries like France and Italy, catering establishments are regarded as a means of developing wealth and creating employments, especially when traditional activities are on the decline. It is expected to contribute significantly to increase GDP and provide jobs in the tourism sector. Catering is still perceived as an opportunity to people of all ages which do not require much capital investments of many qualifications. Anyone can open a restaurant and only those working in the trade to take a basic training course in manufacturing and processing. Thus, in a way the development of hotels and restaurant chains is gradually increasing the amount of wage-earning jobs available, which came to further increase the economic development of tourism industry. There are two main types of Catering that is On-site and Off-site and these are classified into three that is, Transport, Commercial and welfare Catering.

           On-site catering means the food is prepared in a kitchen in the same location where your event will occur, Off-site catering means the food is prepared in a kitchen off-site and brought to your location, Commercial Catering involves satisfying the customers and to gain profit after the service, Transport Catering refers to catering done in the various modes of transport systems like railways, sea, road and air, Welfare Catering is the type that refers to catering without the motive of any profit. It is generally done out of need or obligation or an act of charity. There are also different types of catering which takes place in our every daily lives like; Wedding Catering (for weddings), Corporate Catering (for office meeting, large regional events), Social Catering (birthday parties, retirement parties) and Concession Catering (sporting events).

A customer menu is very essential as it helps a guest determine how much food person will need at a catering event. It allows you to highlight and clarify what needs to be included in your budget while accounting for people with dieting restrictions. A Menu is a list of specific order of dishes to be served at a given meal. Menu is central to the food service concept. It defines the product offering, establishes key elements of financial visibility namely price and contribution, margin and provides a powerful marketing tool. A good restaurant menu design is key to any restaurant’s market plan when a menu is designed it should express the eatery’s personality, focuses its overall operations promotes profitability, establishes its budget and keeps its brand fresh in the minds of guest. Through the menu, guest are kept informed at what dishes are available in the establishment and the prices per dish. The menu also allows restaurant operators to promote certain dishes in high visibility positions.

1.1 Types of Menus

We have menus like, Cycle Menu, Table d’hote, Beverage menu, Wine captain’s books, Dessert menu (, Oct,01,2015)

Foreign food was derived from the French Cuisine. Auguste Escoffier’s modernization of Classical French cooking techniques serves as the base of culinary world today. In particular his popularization of the 5 mother sauces that is sauce béchamel, espagnole, veloute’, hollandaise and tomato are names that every cook should know by heart. In fact, most modern sauce that forms foreign food are a variation of this sauce tree. Despite its changing definition, foreign food does have certain rules that stay true to the classics. Plating for example has not changed too drastically and it is still common to see a plate of protein (either meat, fish or poultry) in combination of starchy sides like potatoes, rice or pasta and vegetable for main course soup and salads are still served as starters and a meal still closes with dessert. Foreign menus comprises of dishes like the popular French Fries, Hamburger, Salads, Chicken wings, Pizza. Below are some foreign meal which are served in our countries catering establishments.

 Italian CapreseSalad:

It is a classic Italian dish made with fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella slices, basil, olive oil, cheese, salt, pepper and is traditionally placed on a plate in layered circular pattern. It can be served as an appetizer, a light lunch or as a side salad with dinner. It is paired well with grain crusty bread and grilled protein and delicious with grilled apple cider vinegar chicken.

Italian Pizza:

It is an Italian dish, flat base of leavened wheat-based dough topped with tomatoes cheese and other various ingredients baked at a high temperature in wood-fired oven. It is eaten at a Pizzeria at night.


It’s a meal made with ground chuck, crushed crackers or bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, milk, seasonings that is garlic, onions, pepper and others and it is served with French fries.

French Fries:

It is a French finger chips fried potatoes, deep fried, prepared by cutting the potatoes into even strips, then drying and frying it usually in a deep fryer. Most French fries are produced from frozen russet potatoes and are served hot either soft or crispy and served with ketchup vinegar, mayonnaise and tomato sauce.

Chicken Buffalo wings;

These are hot and crispy buffalo wing and are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and are coated in tangy, spicy buffalo sauce which are always an absolute winner. Spices are salt, garlic, onion, buffalo sauce, either avocado, coconut oil or Ghee and tablespoon of cooking fat.

Before people started farming, African hunters and gatherers ate mainly fruits (especially figs), with some meat and fish and sea food and eggs. Along the coasts, Africans also fished and gathered shellfish. They harvested wild grains and nuts to eat and also gathered honey. They got a lot of their food from nuts, groundnuts and palm oil. By 7000BC, people in Africa also began herding local Cattle. People milked the cows and made yogurt and cheese. A typical African meal or traditional meal is with starchy items and contains meat, fish as well as various spices and herbs.  Wide array of staples are eaten across the regions including fufu, gari, rice, which are served alongside soup and stew. Cameroon has different traditional dishes which differ from region to region. Our traditional dishes are one of the growing factors in the tourism and hospitality industry that boost our countries image because every meal leaves a wonderful experience to Guests. We have traditional meals like Achu, katikati, Cornfufu and Vegetable, Nkwi, Fufu and Eru, Koki Corn, Koki Plantains and many others. Here are a few traditional meals of the people of the southwest region.


It is a staple food eaten in Cameroon by the southwest region people, oroko, precisely the Barondo tribe. Some call it Ekpang or Ekwang coco. It is made from freshly grated Cocoyams, wrapped in cocoyam leaves, fresh or smoked fish, meat, palm oil, crayfish and Cameroon seasoning.

Kwacoco Bible:

It is a staple meal of the Bakweri people and some call it Ekwang bible and it is made of grated Cocoyams, mixed with spinach smoked fish palm oil and other Cameroon spices, it is wrapped in plantain leaves, steamed until cooked through.

Koki Beans and Plantains:

It is mostly, tasty pudding-like steamed treat made with coarsely grounded black eyed peas and some spinach. It is a great meal on its own or with boiled plantains and this is eaten by the bafaw people in Kumba.

Kwacoco and Banga soup:

This is another traditional meal of the Bakweri people and said to be a finger licking-meal and prepared with grated Cocoyams, seasoned with salt and wrapped in banana leaves to steam. The soup is made with fresh palm nuts which is boiled, crushed to extract the pulp which they are sieved. Other ingredients are added like crayfish, fish, meat, pepper and other Cameroon seasonings.

The history of guest satisfaction has parralled changes in the way goods and services are been rendered and also brought about a change in the relationship between organisation and customers. Before the industrial revolution which brought in large factories in Europe and America in the 18thand 19thcentury, goods and services were provided by small shop owners and highly skilled craft people who kept personal contact with their clients. Though customers enjoyed been cared for, cost of production was high and only the rich could afford and goods and services were made available to them. This change brought a rise in manufacturing factories and amass increase in production pioneered by Henry Ford (1863-1947) in America automobile industries in the early 20th century.

Mass production then brought about a decrease in cost of production and with this importance of individual customers was lessen. During 1910 and 1920, several supply shortage brought about the great depression which contributed the willingness of customer to take whatever they could get. The United State maintained an upper hand over their customers until 1980s onslaughter of foreign competitors (especially Japan) which exposed the poor quality of American goods and services and with that a new choice about how to spend their money. Therefore, U.S consumers gained significant power in the market place and American companies were forced to swallow the new wisdom that quality matters and each and every customer matter. And now, many people are very concerned with measuring the level of satisfaction in their organisation and also identifying areas where they need improvement

Guest satisfaction is a term used in marketing it is a measure of how products and services meet guest expectation. It is said to be the number of guest whose reported experiences with the organisation, product or services exceeds specified satisfaction goals. In a competitive market place where organisations scramble for clients, guest satisfaction is a major differentiator and an increasingly important element of business strategy.

Guest satisfaction has developed two different types of evaluation that is transaction-specific satisfaction and cumulative satisfaction (Johnson, Anderson and Fornell,1995). Economic psychology-based approach defines satisfaction as customer’s overall experience to date with product/service providers (Johnson and Fornell, 1991). This definition is consistent with both economic psychology (Warneryd, 1988) and welfare economics (Simon, 1974) where customer satisfaction is more synonymous to the concept of consumption utility. An important advantage of cumulative satisfaction construct over a more transaction- specific view is that it is better to predict behavior and economic performance (Fornelletal., Johnson etal.,1995). This is because customers make repurchase evaluation and decisions based ontheir purchase and consumption experience to date, not just a particular transaction.


In different countries, their catering establishments tend to use their traditional and favorite dishes to generate income and also to derive guest satisfaction but it is not the case in Buea, Southwest Region of Cameroon.

In Cameroon we are blessed with varieties of dishes from the different regions and tribes and these dishes are rich in protein, calcium, carbohydrate, etc and are balanced diet. But we turn to neglect our own traditional dishes when carrying out catering in our different regions. In the world, there is a rapid growth in Culinary tourism where tourist go from country to country to explore and try out new dishes or to try out their main and famous dishes just for pleasure, fulfilment and to get experience and not because food is a necessity to satisfy hunger. But our catering establishments in Cameroon, precisely Buea in the South West Region has not realised the importance of our traditional dishes to guest satisfaction and a means to increase revenue in the catering industry and they also do not realize that Foreigners love our traditional dishes which they have been hearing of and will want to try or have them rather than what they are used to in the place of their origin. For example, an Italian has been be hearing about Kwacoco and Banga soup and when he comes to Cameroon, he expects to consume Kwacoco and Bangasoupin Southwest because he know is a traditional dish prepared and enjoyed by the southwest region people (Bakweri) but when he visits a catering establishment and does not see that meal on the establishments menu, he will be dissatisfied because what he expected to order is not been offered.

In most catering establishment in Buea, traditional dishes of the southwest region of Cameroon which is a symbol of our culture and origin are neglected and are not prioritized over foreign dishes. For this reason, we will want to assess the level of guest satisfaction when presented with traditional dishes compared to foreign foods in selected catering establishments in Buea.

Again, in our various catering establishment most of the traditional dishes are either not been prepared well or in a condussive environment or they have lost their originality because of modernization take a dish like ekwang many people add other spices like onions, garlics and even tomatoes which makes it lose its original form.

Again a good customer service is gotten from proper services but Buea South West Region and Cameroon at large lack skilled and professional employees to provide clients with the satisfaction they need




What are the role of guest satisfaction in the consumption of foreign and traditional food in selected Catering Establishment in Buea South West Region.


  • What are the production procedures of traditional and foreign food amongst Catering Establishment in Buea?

  • What is the level of Guest Satisfaction with traditional and foreign food amongst selected catering Establishment in Buea?

  • What are the challenges faced by the Catering Establishments in providing guest satisfaction through the serving of foreign and traditional meals in Buea?

  • What are the possible ways in which you will suggest to the catering establishments to use in providing quality guest satisfaction through the serving of foreign and traditional food in Buea?



The studies is out to assess the role of guest satisfaction in the consumption of foreign and traditional food in selected Catering Establishment in Buea Southwest Region.


  1. To examine the production procedures of traditional and foreign food amongst selected catering establishments in Buea.
  2. To assess the level of Guest satisfaction with traditional and foreign food among selected Catering Establishments in Buea.
  3. To investigate the various challenges faced by catering establishments in providing guest satisfaction through the serving of traditional and foreign food in Buea.
  4. To suggest possible solutions the catering establishments could use to satisfy guest through the serving of traditional and foreign food in Buea.
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