A group of researchers at Ohio State University unveiled how just a few negative online reviews of a restaurant could impact its favorability in the long-term. The findings were released in the journal Papers in Applied Geography.
For their study, the online reviews of nearly 3,000 restaurants in Franklin County, Ohio were examined within the online site Yelp and Tripadvisor. The reviews were published in May of 2019 and analyzed based on critical reception and geographic location.
In the list of reviews examined, certain demographic and socioeconomic factors were taken into consideration.
The study determined that restaurants with a minimal amount of online reviews tend to have a higher risk of a low rating. More reviews correlated with a higher than average rating of the restaurant.
“Our exploratory and multivariate analysis uncovers several important structural patterns as well as certain kinds of neighborhood effects, though they do not necessarily disadvantage poor or racially diverse neighborhoods,” the findings read. “Nonetheless, we find that the system of restaurant reviews can still lead to a vicious cycle of negatively influenced consumer perceptions of restaurants and neighborhoods.”