An investigation into the effect TripAdvisor is having on the restaurant industry and consumer perception in South– East Wales
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this research project was to investigate how the views and opinions that a consumer has on a restaurant is effected by Trip Advisor in today’s society in South East Wales. The website was founded 15 years ago in 2000 but it only recently has become a trend for a consumer to use and also appeared now as an ‘app’ for mobile phone users. The website has many criticisms from hospitality professionals claiming that it can be biased and untrustworthy, therefore having a negative effect on certain restaurant establishments. Prior to the investigation beginning, the researcher gathered a literature review – this enabled the researcher to demonstrate the recent and existing issues surrounding Trip Advisor and the restaurant industry. Creating this literature review helped to develop a relevant research strategy to obtain the primary research needed to fill the gaps. To obtain the relevant data needed, both qualitative and quantitative methodological tools were utilised in order to gather valid and reliable information. Four focus groups were conducted, which included 5 participants; these focus groups were in-depth and allowed the participants to elaborate on their views and opinions on Trip Advisor in association with the restaurant industry. The researcher also used questionnaires to gather a wide range of data from regular restaurant diners that are aware and utilise Trip Advisor in South East Wales. The focus groups revealed that the participant’s opinion and restaurant choice were adapted and changed after viewing Trip Advisor and that other people’s perceptions had an effect on their own. The key discovery from the questionnaires was that although consumers believed that ‘quality of food’ and ‘value for money’ are the most important factors when selecting a restaurant, after viewing the ratings of the 4 restaurants involved in the investigation, the respondents still admitted they would choose to dine at the #1 rated, even though the focus group rated it the food that was the most poor out of the 4 restaurants and Trip Advisor only gives the establishment 4 stars for value for money. The researcher has concluded that Trip Advisor needs to implement a strategy that judges a restaurant fairly, while restaurant managers need to be aware of the power social media has on the consumers in today’s society.
BA (Hons) International Hospitality & Events Management
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