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Do Pictures Help? The Effects of Pictures and Food Names on Menu Evaluations

Hou, Y.; Yang, W.; Sun, Y.

Do Pictures Help? The Effects of Pictures and Food Names on Menu Evaluations Thumbnail


Y. Hou

W. Yang

Y. Sun


Presenting pictures along with food names on menus is a common practice in the restaurant industry. However, it is not clear whether adding pictures to menus always leads to positive effects. In addition, since more restaurant practitioners are creating ambiguous names for their dishes, it is valuable to study how pictures with different types of food names impact customers’ attitudes and behavioral outcomes. In the current study, we examine the joint effect of pictures, food names, and individuals’ information processing styles on consumers’ attitudes, willingness to pay, and purchase intentions. The results reveal that for common descriptive food names, adding pictures have a positive effect on consumers’ attitudes toward the menu item, their willingness to pay and their purchase intentions. More interestingly, for ambiguous food names, pictures have a positive effect only among verbalizers. Visualizers exhibit less favorable attitudes and behavioral outcomes after viewing ambiguously-named dishes with pictures than those without pictures.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 11, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 19, 2016
Publication Date Jan 1, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 31, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 19, 2018
Journal International Journal of Hospitality Management
Print ISSN 0278-4319
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 60
Pages 94-103
Public URL


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