The objective of the study was to identify factors influencing decisions made by catering services consumers, to hierarchize them, and to determine the position of meals quality within the system of consumer preferences. The study was conducted in the year 2007, in the Dolnośląskie and Wielkopolskie voivodships. 234 questionnaires were filled out by persons who used to buy catering services at least once a month. It was determined that the following factors influenced, one after the other, the decisions taken by the catering services customers: quality of meals served, attributes of gastronomic outlet, quality of service, and price. The idea of meals quality was, mainly, equated with the sensory properties of meals, and, to a smaller extent, with the quality of raw materials used to prepare food and with the variety of the offered meals. The category of health safety of food did not appear at all in the respondents’ answers; this fact proves the insufficient level of the respondents’ knowledge in this field.
catering services, consumer preferences, quality of meals