It is often said that the ‘consumer is always right’ and customer satisfaction is paramount for success in a business, so when a major increase in customer complaints of a large Australian food service company occurred it initiated a review. The review identified that 75% of the complaints originated from meat meals. Product quality ranked highest by customers in a benchmark survey study of 761 customers of 12 international and national food service company outlets. This case study reports how a large Australian food service company utilised a best practice strategy, to reduce customer complaints by 96%. It did this over a two-year period by improving customer-eating satisfaction of beef and lamb meals by 34% and 53% respectively. Strategies used to achieve these results included closer relations with customers and suppliers, improvements in quality and consistency of meat meals, comprehensive and efficient quality controls, including accurate specifications and monitoring procedures, development of staff skills and moral and influential leadership. This case study discusses these outcomes in relation to the adoption of a best practice strategy within an Australian food service company and the use of product testing to achieve better specifications. An overview of the problem, outline of the implementation strategy, discussion of results and implications for other foodservice companies are presented.


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