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Displaying photos and responding to feedback makes restaurant pages on TripAdvisor more compelling to potential diners

October 4, 2014 Social Media No Comments Email Email

Today TripAdvisor announced the results of its first ever restaurant engagement study, uncovering which factors drive the most engagement1 from consumers researching places to eat on the website’s restaurant pages. study analysed data such as number of reviews, management responses, photo content and the presence of opening hours across a representative sample of restaurants to reveal which factors most encourage consumers to look for more information about a restaurant, through clicks on their TripAdvisor pages.

Key amongst the findings: photos are essential for restaurant businesses and higher management response rates drive up average review ratings. The study reveals that both user and manager generated content can make a restaurant’s profile far more compelling to consumers researching on TripAdvisor. 

Factors that drive the most engagement on restaurant pages:

(ranked by level of impact on engagement)

  1. Overall number of photos (submitted by both users and management)
  2. Number of photos submitted by management
  3. Total number of reviews
  4. ‘Opening hours’ displayed

The more photos the better

Photos are essential in driving higher levels of engagement from prospective customers: diners are clearly keen to preview what kind of food they might expect to find, as well as how the restaurant looks. Just going from not showing any photos to having photos on TripAdvisor restaurant pages results in 73 percent more engagement from users. Restaurants with more than 35 pictures see an increase of 107 percent in the level of engagement (compared to restaurants with no pictures).

We’re open

Displaying opening hours has a significant impact – those restaurants that display their opening hours on TripAdvisor see an 11 percent increase in engagement from potential patrons.

Be a part of the conversation 

The study shows that responding to reviews is also beneficial for restaurants, not only to ensure that they are able to get their side of the story across but also in terms of increased engagement levels from visitors to their business pages on TripAdvisor. Travellers are 12 percent more engaged on restaurant pages where the owner posts management responses.

Taking part in the conversation also has a positive impact on the overall rating for a restaurant on TripAdvisor; the more reviews the management responds to, the higher the average review rating.

Average review rating vs. rate of response for recent reviews (restaurants):

  • 0% response rate = 3.91 average review rating
  • 5%- 40% response rate = 4.02 average review rating
  • 40% – 75% = 4.06 average review rating
  • 75%+ response rate = 4.21 average review rating

“The results of this study clearly demonstrate the importance of both user and manager generated content on restaurant pages,” comments Severine Philardeau, VP, Global Partnerships, TripAdvisor. “Prospective diners want to know what kind of experience they can expect from a restaurant before selecting where to eat, showing more interest in businesses that have pictures and plenty of reviews to help them make their dining decision. When selecting a restaurant, 50 percent of traveller usually or always reference TripAdvisor reviews before making a decision2. Restaurant owners should be encouraging their diners to share their experience by posting reviews and pictures on TripAdvisor. Just as importantly, they need to respond to reviews, as the study shows that increasing the frequency of management responses has a measurable impact on average review ratings.”

Allure on Currumbin is one restaurant which has replied to every one of their 490 reviews and is an example of how beneficial responding to reviewers can be. In an area with relatively low footfall, Allure relies on sites like TripAdvisor to draw in prospective guests.

“Guests are looking for unbiased advice that’s not an advertisement. The reviews are a great indicator on what to expect and provides us the feedback we need to be the best we can be. The team makes a point of replying to every single review we receive and connecting with guests through TripAdvisor helps maintain our quality here at Allure on Currumbin,” said Cheryl Fullerton, owner of Allure on Currumbin. “We take a lot of pride in ensuring a wonderful dining experience and to have that recognised in the feedback gives a real boost to our team.”

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