From Cost Accounting to Customer Accounting in the HospitalityIndustry : a Constructive Approach

Abstract:  The objective of this research project is to analyse and identify the role of tools used in the restaurant industry to improve resource management efficiency and performance, to develop and test the Experience Accounting tool, and to test and evaluate if this particular system is the system that could fill a gap in the hospitality industry.The research is based on the notion that the hospitality business is part of the experience industry and is producing experiences rather than a plate of food and a bed to sleep in.By using a constructive approach to first review the current situation and then use a case study to test and try to establish the practicality of the new management accounting tool, the goal is to lay the foundations for a tool that could be used by the practitioners in their quest for better utilisation of the resources at hand, by producing experiences better aligned with the guests willingnessto pay for experiences.The research identified a need for more sophisticated management accounting methods. Further, the study resulted in a new management accounting tool - Experience Accounting, which takes a step from cost accounting towards customer accounting. This new tool was received well by the practitioners involved in the Swedish restaurant business. The tool also contributed a valuable adhoc feature in terms of a possibility to get a snapshot of the business performance at any given time, as the use could identify the current performance compared to historic data, pre set aims or budgets. It could also be applied by managers or consultants as a benchmarking feature compared to industry standards.

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