If you’re not already reading online reviews with a large grain of salt, here’s even more reason to do so.
A recent Georgia Tech/Yahoo Lab study of online restaurant reviews finds that weather is associated with the positive or negative nature of online reviews.
Customers who visit a restaurant on a rainy day are more likely to leave a negative review, while customers who review a restaurant on a warm sunny day are more likely to leave a positive review.
Also, during snowy days, users rate restaurants lower than other days.
The study’s abstract states that it has “implications for designing online recommendation sites, and in general, social media and online communities.”
Some other findings:
- There are lower ratings and a higher number of reviews in July and August.
- The highest ratings come in November.
- Areas with a high concentration of educated people see more reviews—three times more, in fact—than places where fewer than 10 percent have diplomas.
Will the study lead to change in online review sites? Maybe. For now, if you’re doing marketing for a restaurant, consider building a weather-control machine.
About the author
Kevin Allen has developed social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and created content for major brands across multiple social platforms. Previously, he served as an editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, ESPNChicago.com, FoxSports.com and Ragan Communications. As a reporter, Kevin has covered MLB, NHL, NBA, PGA, NCAA football, national political campaigns, backyard barbecues and just about everything in between. He’s been a contributor to PR Daily since its launch.