Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rainy day can ruin online restaurant review

Date:
April 2, 2014
Source:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Summary:
After looking at 1.1 million online reviews for 840,000 restaurants in more than 32,000 cities across the country, researchers have found that the weather outside can be just as significant a factor for reviews as what happens inside a restaurant. The study shows evaluations written on rainy or snowy days, or very cold or hot days, are more negative than those written on nice days.

After looking at 1.1 million online reviews for 840,000 restaurants in more than 32,000 cities across the country, Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs researchers have found that the weather outside can be just as significant a factor for reviews as what happens inside a restaurant. Their study shows evaluations written on rainy or snowy days, or very cold or hot days, are more negative than those written on nice days.

"People love to describe themselves as foodies. But in the end, it looks like we're all weather people, whether we realize it or not," said Saeideh Bakhshi, a Georgia Tech College of Computing Ph.D. candidate who led the study.

The study also found a nationwide spike in the number of reviews written during the summer, but July and August were the worst months of the year for ratings. November was the best.

"The best reviews are written on sunny days between 70 and 100 degrees," said Bakhshi. "Science has shown that weather impacts our mood, so a nice day can lead to a nice review. A rainy day can mean a miserable one."

The study covered a period of 10 years of reviews on sites that included Foursquare, Citysearch and TripAdvisor. It also found that demographic factors such as neighborhood diversity, education levels and population density have a significant impact.

For instance, areas with a high percentage of people with college degrees (more than 50 percent) average nearly three times more reviews than places where fewer than 10 percent have diplomas. However, higher education levels don't have much of an effect on ratings.

The study shows that population density of cities is closely tied to the expectations of service options. Based on reviews in busy cities, people are more patient with wait times and expect restaurants to have delivery options. In smaller cities, carryout service was rated more positively than places with delivery, but reviewers were harsher on pace of service.

"We also found that restaurants in the Northeast and Pacific get more reviews than places in the South and Midwest," Bakhshi added. "I think the difference between the South and Pacific comes mostly from the differences in education, diversity and liberal versus conservative. Blue states such as California, Washington and Oregon have a higher number of reviews per restaurant."

The research team also included Eric Gilbert, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech's School of Interactive Computing, and Partha Kanuparthy, a Yahoo Labs research scientist and 2012 Ph.D. Georgia Tech graduate in computer science.

"Our findings could help consumers better understand online reviews and ratings and help review sites calibrate recommendations," said Gilbert. "Outside factors apparently introduce bias in online ratings of a highly reviewed restaurant in big cities compared to a similar place in a rural area."

As for the ultimate "outside factor," Kanuparthy says restaurants face the same challenge as everyone else.

"You can plan the best wedding or birthday party. Restaurants can serve great food and provide spectacular service," he notes. "But no one can control the weather. In the end, you can't beat Mother Nature."

Abstract to the study can be found at: http://labs.yahoo.com/external_publication/2014/02/27/32842/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute of Technology. "Rainy day can ruin online restaurant review." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402105557.htm>.
Georgia Institute of Technology. (2014, April 2). Rainy day can ruin online restaurant review. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402105557.htm
Georgia Institute of Technology. "Rainy day can ruin online restaurant review." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140402105557.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins