The visually impaired and consumption in restaurants

Marina Dias de Faria (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Jorge Ferreira da Silva (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Jorge Brantes Ferreira (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 6 July 2012



The objective of this study is to determine the relative importance that the visually impaired give to restaurant service attributes during leisure outings, and the relative utility they allocate to the various levels of these attributes.


The study was conducted in two stages. The first stage consisted of exploratory research using focus groups; the second consisted of a survey using a structured questionnaire administered to 203 visually impaired consumers; conjoint analysis was used.


The ideal restaurant profile for survey respondents is one in which: the menu is read by the server; service is provided by empathetic servers; low‐intensity light and sound are used; round tables are preferred over rectangular tables; and the server can be summoned using a button.

Research limitations/implications

The use of a non‐probabilistic sample may limit the generalizability of findings.

Practical implications

This study's results can be useful to restaurant managers by improving their understanding of the needs of visually‐impaired consumers.

Social implications

The study contributes to the inclusion in society of the visually impaired as consumers by giving them a voice to express their needs and wants.


Previous studies have not considered the relative utility conferred to restaurant attributes by consumers. The use of conjoint analysis allows the evaluation of the relative importance of these attributes and their levels, while at the same time shedding light on tradeoffs made by the visually impaired consumer in selecting restaurant attributes.



Dias de Faria, M., Ferreira da Silva, J. and Brantes Ferreira, J. (2012), "The visually impaired and consumption in restaurants", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 24 No. 5, pp. 721-734.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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