Research methods employ several ways in the data collection process, and data can be classified as qualitative or quantitative. In data collection measurement of the responses by assigning numerical values to be used for data analysis is an important aspect. Scaling methods in measurement can be classified into nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio..
Nominal data can be figures just meant to represent a particular response. A questionnaire using multiple choice items can be a nominal data. In this type of response choice A can have no direct relation to choice B, etc. Ordinal scales or ranking scales are values arranged according to levels in increasing order such as great, greater, and greatest. Responses have direct relationships among each other. Interval measurement uses responses arranged in equal intervals such that if response A is 1 unit lower that B then response C must be one unit higher than B, etc. A ratio is an interval data but a measure of two values. These data classification although widely used and accepted have faced several criticism as to its validity (Velleman & Wilkinson, 1993).
In studies involving surveys the most common approach is obtaining responses using a list of possible replies or rating an idea through a given scale. Based on the above classification, these data can be nominal or ordinal.
The study involved 10 respondents and the data were obtained using the questionnaire presented in Appendix A.
Using questions with multiple choice responses, respondents were asked about frequency, reasons, and other concerns in dining out. Result of the survey showed that 60% of the respondents dine frequently from 3 to 5 times in a week, 30% dine at least once to 2 times weekly while about 10% dines more often at more than 6 times weekly or an average of 1 meal everyday. As far as reasons for dining out are concerned, 40% of the respondents dine out because of their favorite restaurants while 40% eat out because they don't want to cook. Ten percent said they prefer restaurants because of their job and another 10% dines out because of special occasions. Although majority dines out frequently 70% of them are worried or anxious about the cost of the food they take. Thirty percent however are more concerned on the health values of the food they eat in restaurants.
Respondent were also asked to rate certain properties and other factors in dining out using an ordinal scale of importance: extremely, somewhat, not very, and not at all. Eighty percent or 8 of the respondents considered taste as an important factor while 20% consider it somewhat important. Although temperature of the food is extremely important to just 20% of the respondents, it is somewhat important to 70% and 10% consider it not very important. The availability of sauces, dressings, seasonings is not very important to majority of the respondents at 60%, but it is extremely important to 20% and somewhat important to another 20%.
It seems most of the customers do not strictly care about cleanliness as 80% of them rated it only somewhat important, while twenty percent cared. Quality of service is extremely important for 50% of the panel, 30% rated it somewhat important, and not very important