Online Narratives of Restaurant Service Deviation in Botswana: A Comparative Study of Gaborone and Maun

  • Delly M. Chatibura University of Botswana
  • Biki Basupi
  • Nametsegang Motshegwa
Keywords: Restaurants, complex service recovery process, online reviews, Botswana


A comparative analysis of 71 sub-optimal TripAdvisor narratives of restaurant service recovery in Gaborone and Maun, Botswana, is undertaken. The aim is to review the service recovery processes used to address service deviation. Using the Labovian structure, the study highlights that for the two sites, reviewers presented their narratives in an emotional manner, clouded with disappointment and regret. The narratives eventually lead to the presentation of codas, some that communicate decisions not to visit the facility again. In minor incidents, a balancing act through the use modal verbs and adverbs of contrast in the coda is achieved; that rouses an optimistic decision for repeat visitation. However, some of the narratives suggest the existence of highly complex service recovery processes, this evidenced by the occurrence of ‘quadruple’ deviation. Further research is required to ascertain whether it is widely existent. 

Author Biographies

Delly M. Chatibura, University of Botswana

Department of Tourism & Hospitality, University of Botswana

Biki Basupi

Department of Tourism & Hospitality, University of Botswana

Nametsegang Motshegwa

Hospitality Department, Botho University, Botswana