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The importance of user-generated photos in restaurant selection

Bruno Oliveira (Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal)
Beatriz Casais (School of Economics and Management, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal and Universidade Europeia, IPAM Porto, Porto, Portugal and Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal and CiTUR, Leiria, Portugal)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 17 December 2018

Issue publication date: 8 March 2019



User-generated content and online reviews are highly relevant in purchase decision in the hospitality sector, including restaurants, but there is a lack of knowledge about the effect of sharing pictures in this context. This study aims to focus on the relevance of user-generated photos in online platforms for restaurants’ selection.


A research was conducted with a sample of 319 residents of Porto region, who had at least one meal in a restaurant over the 30 days before the answer of the survey and had searched online to select the restaurant.


The results show that while doing online research about restaurants, it is important for potential consumers to find pictures of food and physical evidences of restaurants generated by other users. Findings also show that consumers find user-generated photos especially at websites of reviews, although the importance of restaurant owned platforms, such as official social media pages and websites.

Practical implications

The research results appeal restaurant managers to understand the importance of user-generated photos in online platforms by promoting photo sharing in their restaurants with appropriate marketing activities for that purpose.


This paper expands the state-of-the-art about the importance of user-generated content, focusing on the importance of photos from restaurants shared by consumers in online platforms.


用户生成内容和在线评论, 与酒店行业, 包括饭店业中的购买决策是密不可分的。但是在这个研究领域里, 对于分享照片的影响力还尚未可知。本论文旨在研究在线平台中的用户生成照片对于饭店选择的影响。


本论文采用问卷采样形式, 问卷样本为在30天之内通过上网搜索选择饭店并且就餐至少一次的葡萄牙波尔图地区居民, 有效样本数量为319份。


人们在上网搜索饭店时, 找到食物图片和其他用户生成的有关饭店评论对于消费者决策有着至关重要的作用。本论文结果还表明, 尽管饭店运营的在线平台比如官方社交媒体网页和网站等很重要, 但是消费者在决策中最考虑的因素是那些评论型网站, 消费者会更倾向于找到用户生成的图片来帮助他们的消费决策。




本论文拓展了用户生成内容的现有认识, 研究了饭店照片被消费者分享到在线平台的重要性。


线上口碑效应 e-WOM、在线平台 、在线评论 、照片分享 、饭店管理 、社交媒体 、用户生成内容





Oliveira, B. and Casais, B. (2019), "The importance of user-generated photos in restaurant selection", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 2-14.



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