October 2, 2014

TripAdvisor Study Reveals Higher Traveler Interest in Restaurants That Post Photos and Respond to Reviews

World's Largest Travel Site Demonstrates the Factors That Drive Higher Online Engagement From Prospective Customers on Restaurant Pages

NEWTON, Mass., Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today 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 site's restaurant pages. The study analyzed data such as number of reviews, management responses, photo content and the presence of opening hours across a representative sample of restaurants to reveal the factors most likely to encourage consumers to look for more information about a restaurant by clicking 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 keen to preview the appearance of the restaurant and the food they can expect to find there. Just by displaying photos on TripAdvisor restaurant pages, owners attract 73 percent more engagement from users as compared to pages that do not have photos. Restaurants with more than 35 pictures see an increase of 107 percent in the level of engagement.

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. Travelers 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 with management responses, the higher the average review rating.

Average restaurant review rating vs. rate of response for recent reviews

  • 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," said Severine Philardeau, vice president, global partnerships, TripAdvisor. "Prospective diners want to know what kind of experience they can expect from a restaurant before selecting where to eat, and they show more interest in eateries that have plenty of pictures and reviews to help them make their dining decision. 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."

"We encourage our guests to share their candid feedback on TripAdvisor and we believe it's important to respond to their reviews on the site," said Manuel Enfedaque, general manager, Bouley. "By taking these steps, we are increasing our engagement with current and potential guests and demonstrating our dedication to providing exceptional food and service."

Methodology

1For the purpose of this study, TripAdvisor analyzed data from a sample of restaurants from the 25 most reviewed cities* on the site from July 7 - August 7, 2014. The study reveals how review ratings change based on management response rates and the level of user engagement (defined as page views per session) relative to various content factors including the number of reviews, photos, videos and rate of review responses from management.

*Cities included in the study sample are: London, Rome, Paris, New York City, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Orlando, Milan, Florence, Bangkok, San Francisco, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Prague, Edinburgh, Venice, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Dublin, Marrakech, New Orleans.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching nearly 280 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 170 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.lafourchette.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, www.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, Q1 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q2 2014; does not include traffic to daodao.com

CONTACT: Kevin Carter

         (617) 795-7577

         kcarter@tripadvisor.com


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