Food, faith and forgiveness: an exploration of service transgression in a multi-faith context

Yit Sean Chong, Pervaiz Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Food is a powerful symbolic representation of life, fertility and sociality that reflects one’s spiritual journey and vulnerability. The purpose of this study is to examine the experience of ‘service transgression’ in the forbidden consumption context where the importance of dietary practices is brought into the customers’ consciousness as religious compliance, obligation and identity. To examine customer forgiveness in such transgression events, we employed a scenario-based experimental study involving 300 participants who are working adults aged 18 and above, from the Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism faith. The results underscore the importance of apology as the central approach to conflict resolution in the event of transgression. While compensation strategies can be effective in ordinary service failure context, they need to be carefully employed in event of service transgression of a religious nature. This study offers consumer insights for service providers who serve a diverse customer base from a multi-faith background.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventEuropean Marketing Academy Conference (EMAC) 2020 - Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 26 May 202029 May 2020
Conference number: 49th


ConferenceEuropean Marketing Academy Conference (EMAC) 2020
Abbreviated titleEMAC 2020
Internet address


  • service transgression
  • customer forgiveness
  • religion

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