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Posting photos of luxury cuisine online: an exploratory study

Glyn Atwal (Burgundy School of Business, Dijon, France)
Douglas Bryson (Rennes School of Business, Rennes, France)
Valériane Tavilla (Burgundy School of Business, Dijon, France)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 23 October 2018

Issue publication date: 1 May 2019




The purpose of this paper is to identify the motives for posting or sharing food photos using social media, focussed within the context of fine dining (FD) restaurants.


Ethnographic fieldwork was conducted in France by combining analysis of qualitative diary research and transcripts of focus group discussions.


The motivation to take food images can be broadly categorised according to experiential (hedonism, altruism and passion collecting) and symbolic (social status, uniqueness, self-esteem and self-presentation) benefits.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited by its relatively small sample size and the inability to consider the direct influences of demographic variables and attitudes to FD and social media. Moreover, the cultural context of the study needs to be considered as the study took place in France.

Practical implications

User-generated images are increasingly an integral aspect of the holistic dining experience. Luxury restaurants need to leverage the opportunities of user-generated content. The FD experience needs to be visually captured and expressed. This can include both tangible and intangible attributes.


Although the literature has provided a comprehensive overview of social media behaviour, the efficacy of a gastronomic perspective is limited. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to investigate consumer-generated postings of images of food within the luxury restaurant classification.



Atwal, G., Bryson, D. and Tavilla, V. (2019), "Posting photos of luxury cuisine online: an exploratory study", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 2, pp. 454-465.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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