The Impact of Covid-19 on the Food and Beverages Department of the Hospitality Industries in the Kumasi Metropolis of the Ashanti Region, Ghana

Bachelor Thesis, 2021

54 Pages


Table of Contents



Table of Contents


1.0 Background to the Study
1.1 Statement of the Problem
1.2 Purpose of the Study
1.3 Research Questions
1.4 Significance of the Study
1.5 Delimitations
1.6 Limitations
1.7 Organization of the Rest of the Study

2.1 Operations of the Food and Beverages Department of the Hospitality Industry
2.2 Customer Service and Participation in the Food and Beverages Department
2.3 Staff Organization and Performance in the Food and Beverages Department

3.0 Research Design
3.1 Population of the Study
3.2 Sample and Sampling Procedure
3.3 Data Collection Instruments
3.4 Validity and Reliability of the Research Instruments
3.5 Data Collection Procedure
3.6 Data Analysis

4.0 Overview
4.1 Demography of Respondents
4.2 Research Question 1: What is the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the operations of the food and beverages department of hospitality industries?
4.2.1 Interpretation and Discussion of Results
4.2.2 Interpretation and Discussion of Results
4.3 Research Question 2: How has Covid-19 pandemic affected customer service and participation in the food and beverages department of hospitality industries?
4.3.1 Interpretation and Discussion of Results
4.4 Research Question 3: What is the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the staff performance in the food and beverages department hospitality industries?
4.4.1 Interpretation and Discussion of Results
4.5 Findings from Interview

5.0 Summary of the Study
5.1 Summary of key Findings
5.2 Conclusion
5.3 Recommendations
5.4 Suggestions for Further Study



Questionnaire on the Effect of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Operations of the Food and Beverages Department of the Hospitality Industry

List of Tables

Table 1: Demographic data of respondents

Table 2a: Effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the Operations of the Food and Beverages Department

Table 2b: Effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the Operations of the Food and Beverages Department

Table 3: Customer service and participation in the food and beverages department

Table 4: Effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the staff performance in the food and beverages department


I wish to express my profound gratitude to my supervisor, Dr.(Mrs) Ellen Olu for finding time behind her busy schedule to guide me in conducting this study.

My profound gratitude and appreciation is also extended to managers and workers of hospitality industries in the Kumasi Metropolis who participated in this study for providing me with valuable information to make this research reality.

To all lecturers of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism, University of Education, Kumasi who taught me and assisted in my research, I sincerely appreciate your time, support and motivation. Thank you for the endless help and encouragement to persist through all obstacles. I give thanks and glory to God for His favour and mercy. It is only by His grace that I was able to finalize this research.


The purpose of this study was to obtain evidence of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the food and beverages department of some hospitality industries in the Kumasi metropolis. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was adopted where the researcher collected data at one point in time from employees of the food and beverages departments of 10 hospitality industries in the Kumasi metropolis using simple random sampling. Questionnaire and interview guide were the main research instruments used to gather data for the study. SPSS was used to analyse the data gathered. The data was edited, coded, presented and analysed using statistical tools such as frequency, percentages, mean and standard deviation. It was revealed through the study that the Covd-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in the cost of production and reduction in the daily revenue generated. The has been a reduction in the average daily seating capacity in the food and beverages department as a result of the pandemic. The rippling effect of the pandemic has also led to the laying off of some staff whiles others had to quit due to low production and patronage. Employment of new staffs has also been on the low during the pandemic.

Based on the findings, it was recommended that, managers of food and beverages department of hospitality industries should maximise opportunities for home delivery services for customers. Customers should be encouraged to patronise the take away services and also take advantage of the home delivery services offered by management.



1.0 Background to the Study

Hospitality is the act of kindness in welcoming and taking care of the basic needs of guests or strangers, mainly in relation to food, drink and accommodation (Tuhin, 2011). The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line and additional fields within the tourism industry. (Dayour, 2020) The hospitality industry’s basic function is to offer travellers accommodation, food and beverage, as well as a friendly environment through good reception and warm greetings (Walker, 2007; Ministry of Tourism Ghana, 2013; Ghosh, 2006).

The main components of the hospitality industry are hotels, motels, inns, resorts and restaurants.

The hospitality industry has grown rapidly to become one of the world's foremost economic phenomena (Walker, 2007). Many countries have already realized the potential positive economic impact of the hospitality industry and have since taken steps towards the development of hotels. The hospitality industry in Ghana has moved from the side-lines to the centre stage of socio-economic strategies. Currently, Ghana ranks 14th on the list of most visited hospitality industry in Africa (Ghana Tourism Authority, 2015).

Tourism and hospitality is one very important facet of Ghana’s economy. The sector is one of the fastest growing industries in Ghana (ISSER, 2009). The relevance of tourism is demonstrated by the performance of the sector with respect to tourist arrivals in the country which has been growing steadily over the years. A lot of revenue is generated from the tourism industry as a result of the influx of foreign visitors to the country. These visitors often have nowhere to stay than to book hotels and guesthouses. (Ghana Business Talk, 2016). According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs. (WTTC, 2020). This makes the tourism and hospitality industry the 4th largest contributor to the country’s GDP after cocoa, gold and oil (Oxford Business Group, 2020). These are evidences to prove that the hospitality industry is a vital part of the global economy. The contributions of the industry to national economies cannot be over emphasized. Its benefits to national economies are: revenue earner and contribution to GOP for most governments, generation of employment, improvement of social services, and development of infrastructure and above all rural development (Mensah, 2009; COTVET, 2019). Foodservice operations, an important component of the hospitality industry, are continuing to improve and develop, together with advances in quality. The demand for food and beverages away from the home has increased and with a broader spectrum of the population eating out. However, due to increased globalization, the ripple effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has resonated through every corner of the globe, causing loss of lives and jobs as well as a slump in general economic activities. The effect of the pandemic has brought untold pain and hardships to many individuals and organizations from all corners of the world. The hospitality industry especially the food and beverages sector in Ghana wasn’t spared as it has been hard hit by the pandemic. (Mensah, 2020; Gössling, Scott, & Hall, 2020). Travel restrictions, shelter-in-place orders, closure of non-essential business and other restrictions on gatherings and social distancing guidelines have brought hotel occupancy, demand for food and beverages away from the home and revenues generation through these activities to a halt, causing an almost immediate and material economic decline. The Covid-19 preventive measures coupled with media sensationalism in news reports render destinations affected by pandemics unattractive and this drastically affected the operations of the hospitality industries especially the food and beverages sector.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

One of the industries that has suffered the most immediate consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic is the hospitality and leisure industry. (Gössling, Scott, & Hall, 2020; Mensah, 2020). There has been a decline in demand for hotel accommodation which required hotels to embark on cost-cutting measures such as laying off worker, running shift while other industries such as the tourism industries were shut down as they experienced low patronage. This development has been as a result of postponement and cancelation of events, conferences, conventions, and sports leagues due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is the need for thorough investigation into the hospitality industries to ascertain the impact of the strict measures put in place to curb Covid-19 on these industries which provided crucial services and generated lots of revenue before the pandemic.

1.2 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the impact of covid-19 on the food and beverages department of the hospitality industries in the Kumasi metropolis of the Ashanti region, Ghana.

1.3 Research Questions

This study sought to find answers to the following question.

1. What is the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the operations of the food and beverages department of hospitality industries?
2. How has Covid-19 pandemic affected customer service and participation in the food and beverages department of hospitality industries?
3. What is the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the staff performance in the food and beverages department hospitality industries?

1.4 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will expose to the general public and the government, the reality on the ground and provide vital information with regards to the impact of Covid-19 on hospitality industries. The government and stakeholders in the hospitality industries such as local and foreign investors will be well informed to be able to provide the needed assistance to help revamp the hospitality industries.

1.5 Delimitations

This research was restricted to hospitality industries in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The hospitality industry is a huge industry which is made up of a number of sectors. The study specifically concentrated on the food and beverage sector of the hospitality industry. The study was conducted based on data collected from some selected foodservices in the Kumasi metropolis.

1.6 Limitations

Lots of difficulties and challenges were anticipated to be encountered in this study. A close ended questionnaire was designed for distribution to respondents as an instrument for collecting data during the study. This limits participants’ ability to respond to the issue in varying ways. One limitation of this study is that, respondents were drawn using simple random sampling which gave all respondents equal chances of being selected. By this, only sections of the target population were involved in the data collection process. Studying the whole population would have greatly enhanced the outcome of the study. However, this is often most impracticable owing to the limited academic period. Sampling therefore became the only effective means for conducting the study.

1.7 Organization of the Rest of the Study

The remaining chapters are organized as follows:

Chapter two, the second in this research report will be devoted to review related literature to this research topic. Literature on the operations of the food and beverages department, customer service and participation in the food and beverages department and staff performance in the food and beverages department.

Chapter three will deal with the methodology used to arrive at the findings. Under this, issues such as population and sample size, sampling procedures, instruments and materials used for the study will be discussed.

The forth chapter will delve into the interpretation and analysis of data collected from the proceedings in chapter three. The results of the whole research study will be captured in this chapter.

Chapter five is the last chapter of this work and will involve the summary, conclusions and recommendations for further research.



2.1 Operations of the Food and Beverages Department of the Hospitality Industry

Food and beverage (or foodservice) operations in the hospitality industry are basically concerned with the provision of food and drink ready for immediate consumption. Food and beverage operations include various types of restaurants (bistros, brasseries, coffee-shops, first class/fine dining, ethnic, themed), cafés, cafeterias, takeaways, canteens, function rooms, tray service operations, lounge service operations, home delivery operations and room service operations for hotel guests (Lillicrap & Cousins, 2010). The food & beverage industry is usually defined by it output of products and its establishment is essentially aimed at satisfying the various needs and demands of food & drinks of people. But it doesn’t include the manufacturing of food & drink and its retailing. According to Hamid (2018), the basic function of the food and beverage industry is to satisfy the various types of needs of people through the provision of food & drinks so as to achieve customer satisfaction. Hamid (2018) further proposes that customers might be seeking to satisfy various needs such as:

i. Physiological: the need of special food items
ii. Economic: the need for good value for the price paid
iii. Social: a friendly atmosphere, to express feelings frankly
iv. Psychological: the need for enhancement of self‐esteem
v. Convenience: the desire for someone else to do the work.

(Hamid, 2018)

Food can include a wide range of styles and cuisine types. These can be classified by country, for example, traditional, British or Italian; by type of cuisine, for example, oriental; or a particular speciality such as fish, vegetarian or health food whilst beverages include all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic beverages include wines and all other types of alcoholic drink such as cocktails, beers and cider, spirits and liqueurs. Non-alcoholic beverages include bar beverages such as mineral waters, juices, squashes and aerated waters, as well as tea, coffee, chocolate, milk and milk drinks and also proprietary drinks such as Bovril. (Lillicrap & Cousins, 2010)

An organization is where resources come together. Organizations use different resources to accomplish goals. An industry’s performance superiority is not from one source but from a package of resources both tangible and intangible. Tangible resources such as physical building and land would only result to a temporal competitive advantage which is inadequate in the long run since the competitors are in a position to obtain crucial resources through substitutes hence eliminating above average profitability of a firm. Intangible resources are the only resources that are able to produce superior performance since they are valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable (Gamero, Patricinio, Enrique & Jose, 2011; Costa, Cool & Dierick, 2013). Three main resources used in foodservice operations are: material (e.g. Food and beverages), labour (staffing cost) and facilities (Premises, equipment etc.). A firm’s performance is a function of how well managers build the organization around the resources and capabilities within their reach. Which implies that the effective use of these resources by managers of food and beverage department of the hospitality is major source of revenue generation. Managers are responsible for acquiring and managing the resources to accomplish goals. Lillicrap and Cousins (2010) admonishes management team to ensure that customer service requirements are satisfied, while at the same time ensuring productivity in all of the resources being used.

Operators of foodservice are basically concerned with:

a) The consumer needs and market potential in the various sectors of the foodservice industry.
b) The formulation of policy and business objectives that will guide the choice of operational methods that will be used.
c) The interpretation of demand in order to make decisions on the range and type of food and beverages to be provided, as well as other services, and the service levels and prices to be charged.
d) The planning and design of facilities required for the food and beverage operations and the plant and equipment required.
e) The organisation of provisioning for food and beverages and other purchasing requirements to meet the needs of the food production, beverage provision and the service methods being used.
f) Knowledge of the operational and management requirements for the food production, beverage provision and service processes and methods, and decision making on the appropriateness of the various processes and methods, together with the management and staffing needs in order to meet the requirements of the operation.
g) Control of costs of materials and other costs, such as labour and overheads, associated with the operation of food production, beverage provision and other services, and the control of revenue.
h) The monitoring of customer satisfaction to continually check on the extent to which the operation is meeting customer needs and achieving customer satisfaction. (Lillicrap & Cousins, 2010)

In Ghana and the world at large, the food & beverage service industry has expanded a lot and nowadays, it is serving millions of people meals per day. The beverages sector contributed approximately US$125m to the GDP of Ghana in 2014 and plays a critical role in the economy by providing several thousand direct and indirect employment opportunities across the value chain. Increasing demand for carbonated soft drinks, energy and sports drinks, bottled and sachet water and branded alcoholic beverages is being driven by population growth, rising urbanisation, the growth of the Ghanaian middle-class and tourism. (Veitch, 2015). The Ghanaian food service sector which consists of hotels and resorts, restaurants and institutional contracts was valued at $1 billion (Ashitey, 2008). The sector is expected to continue to grow, as convenience fast food and local Ghanaian cuisine restaurants continue to expand (Ashitey, 2008). This consistent growth is triggered by growing preference of young professionals to meet business contacts at Ghanaian restaurant and as well as a result of the changes that are envisaged in the Ghanaian demographics with increased urbanization and more women working outside the home. (Inkumsah, 2021)

2.2 Customer Service and Participation in the Food and Beverages Department

Service quality has been described as a consumer’s judgment about an entity’s overall excellence or superiority or an organisation consistently meeting or exceeding the expectations of her customers. Service quality can therefore be said to be the perception of a customer of the value he/she has received, for the cost he/she has suffered for the attributes of a service as they relate to the service’s function and form. (Kang & James, 2004). The services offered in hotels and restaurants are similar and differences occur in style and responsiveness to customer needs, courtesy and friendliness of staff, promptness in resolving customer complaints, general atmosphere of facility and relative location of hotels from the central business district centre. (Ongori, Iravo & Munene (2013). The traditional view of food and beverage service was as a delivery process, with the customer being considered a passive recipient of the service. Only the requirements of the operation itself would determine how the service was designed, planned and controlled. More recently, this view has changed significantly and for the better. The development of a diverse range of foodservice operations in Ghana has necessitated diversity and continuous improvement in the approaches to food and beverage service. The customer is now seen as central to the process and as an active participant within it. Increasing competition within the foodservice sector has meant that both the quality of the service and the perceived value of the experience by customers are the main differentiators between operations who are seeking to attract similar customers. Consequently, understanding the customers’ involvement in the process, and identifying the experience they are likely to have, and should expect, have become critical to the business success of foodservice operations.

The main aim of food and beverage operations is to achieve customer satisfaction. In other words, to meet the customers’ needs. There are many different kinds of food and beverage (or foodservice) operation, designed to meet a wide range of customer demands. These different types of operation are designed for the needs people have at a particular time, rather than for the type of people they are. That is to say that the various needs of customers play a major role in deciding the factors responsible for defining the different type of service methods in Food & Beverage service industry. (Lillicrap & Cousins, 2010). Considering the pivotal role that customer satisfaction is playing in the food service industry, it is not surprising that variety of research in academia and in industry has been devoted to investigating the determinant of customer satisfaction (Zeithaml & Bitner, 2003). Varieties of research have also cited service quality in restaurant setting, as an important determinant of customer satisfaction (Kim et al. 2009) and its associated outcomes like customers’ return intention (Weiss, Feinstein & Dalbor, 2004). Food quality is amongst the important determinants of customer satisfaction in food service industry (Sulek & Hensley 2004; MacLaurin & MacLaurin, 2000; Weiss, Feinstein & Dalbor, 2004). Other researchers have also indicated food quality, physical environment, service quality, price, and culture as constituting important determinants which influence customer participation and satisfaction in food service industry (Kim et al. 2009; Liu & Jang, 2009).

It is of essence to note that in the restaurant setting, customers tend to be motivated by environmental stimulation such as music, lights, décor, cleanliness and server’s attentiveness (Choi, Silkes & Adler, 2008). The above services which is referred to as atmospherics tend to be unique selling points for restaurant managers to their customers. These atmosphere qualities tend to be influential as well in determining outcomes like repeated patronage. (Weiss, Feinstein & Dalbor, 2004). Similarly, Inkumsah (2021) also argued that not only does ambiance and other antecedent influence customer satisfaction but as well culture, because the underlying organizational culture helps to determine the value that customers place on the service. He further emphasized that, when a Ghanaian customer repeatedly chooses an ethnic/local restaurant like Ashanti Home Touch, Mama Lit Heavy Do, Las Palmas, La Paloma, Asanka, Afrikiko, Kenkey Boutique Mukaase, Lomnava or Abga-Maami, he/she may have more positive perception of the restaurant associated with its organizational culture, which may contribute to the value of the service. (Inkumsah, 2021)

The pricing of food and beverages in a restaurant or a hotel which varies according to the type of restaurant or hotel is a major factor that influences customers on the type of product delivered and the quality of customer service provided. Andaleeb and Conway, (2006) are of the view that if the price is high, customers are likely to expect high quality or it can induce a sense of being “ripped off”. Likewise, if the price is low, customers may question the ability of the restaurant to deliver product and service quality. Moreover, due to the competitiveness of the food and beverages industry, customers are able to establish internal reference prices. (i.e. the price in costumer’s memory that serves as a basis for judging or comparing actual prices. This implies that the price offering for the food and beverage offered for sale at a restaurant or hotel needs to be in harmony with the customer services provided and what customers expect to pay (Andaleeb & Conway, 2006). Inkumsah (2021) carried out a study to identify the determinants that influence customer participation and satisfaction in the local Ghanaian restaurant industry. The study clarified that factors such as staff attentiveness to costumers, efficient staff, staff’s knowledge about food, staff greeting customers influence the quality of service provided to customers and have the most critical impact in determining customer continues participation and satisfaction. After service quality, came food quality (which included overall quality of the food, temperature of food and presentation of food) and price (which included good value for money and appropriate portion size). The researcher recommended that improving service quality, food quality and price will help meet or exceed customer satisfaction which will ensure costumers’ continuous patronage (Inkumsah, 2021)

The provision of food and beverage services varies greatly between establishments. In order to meet customers’ expectations and to enhance their meal experience, a foodservice operation will determine the level of customer service that the customer should expect within that operation. Customer service in foodservice operations according to (Lillicrap & Cousins, 2010;

Abo-Baker, 2004; Bryant, 2021) is a combination of five characteristics. These are:

1. Service level: the intensity of or limitations in the individual personal attention given to customers.
2. Service availability: for example, the opening times and variations in the menu and beverage list on offer.
3. Level of standards: for example, the food and beverage quality, décor, standard of equipment being used and level of staffing professionalism.
4. Service reliability: the extent to which the product is intended to be consistent and its consistency in practice.
5. Service flexibility: the extent to which alternatives are available, and to which there can be variations in the standard products that are offered.

A foodservice operation will determine the customer service specification of the operation by taking account of these five customer service factors. (Lillicrap & Cousins, 2010; Kim et al. 2009; Abo-Baker, 2004; Bryant, 2021). The level of service within a specific foodservice operation may be defined as follows:

1. Technical specification: refers to the food and beverage items on offer, the portion size or measure, the cooking method, the degree of cooking, the method of presentation, the cover, accompaniments and the cleanliness of items, etc.
2. Service specification: refers to two aspects: first, the procedures for service and second, the way in which the procedures are carried out. Procedures include meeting and greeting, order taking, seeking customer comment, dealing with complaints, payment and the special needs of customers.

Operations will usually have written statements of both technical and service specification (often called a customer service specification). These may also be detailed in staff manuals that outline expected standards of performance. (Lillicrap & Cousins, 2010; Kim et al. 2009; Abo-Baker, 2004; Bryant, 2021).

In Ghana, there is increased consumer interest in food and beverages and Ghanaians’ habit of eating outside their homes. Hotels are becoming more focused on developing attractive food and beverage facilities in-house. The success of in-house catering depends on the willingness of hotels to deliver a product that is attractive to the outside market and to maintain this product so that it evolves with changing consumer tastes and trends. (Cousins & Weekes, 2018). As the Ghanaian food sector continues to grow and with Ghanaian consumers’ perception for quality food on the rise, the issue of customer satisfaction continues to engage the mind of academia and local restaurant managers. The demand for food and beverages away from the home has increased and, with a broader spectrum of the population eating out, customer needs continue to diversify. (Inkumsah, 2021). With Ghanaian consumers’ expectation for quality food which is reasonably priced seemingly been on the rise, it is of essence that owners of restaurant treat fairly the issue of customer service and satisfaction with the utmost importance it deserves (Andaleeb and Conway, 2006). As such, any factor that influence customer satisfaction ought to be useful in guiding restaurant owners and managers of food and beverages department to design and deliver the right offering. (Inkumsah, 2021)


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The Impact of Covid-19 on the Food and Beverages Department of the Hospitality Industries in the Kumasi Metropolis of the Ashanti Region, Ghana
Catering and hospitality
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impact, covid-19, food, beverages, department, hospitality, industries, kumasi, metropolis, ashanti, region, ghana
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Anita Bomah (Author), 2021, The Impact of Covid-19 on the Food and Beverages Department of the Hospitality Industries in the Kumasi Metropolis of the Ashanti Region, Ghana, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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