June 2017

Faculty Research Uncovers the Relationship Between Pictures and Food Names in Menus

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to restaurant menus, this can be beneficial or detrimental.

Assistant Professor Wan Yang partnered with a marketing lecturer from Durham University in the U.K., and an assistant professor from Zhenjiang University in China to examine the joint effects pictures, food names and consumers’ information processing styles have on attitudes, purchase intentions and willingness to pay.


While studies about the effects of incorporating pictures on menus have been published, there have been no tests regarding the correlation between photos and different types of menu item names. Their article, which contains results from their experiments and considerations for restaurant managers, was published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, a top-tier journal in hospitality research.


Most consumers process information either visually or verbally. Different processing styles moderate the effects of pictures and food names in menus. Yang and her colleagues tested three hypotheses and came to some interesting conclusions.

Click here to read the full research article.

Assistant Professor Wan Yang