Restaurants have a habit of offering low-quality food that leaves customers feeling unsatisfied.
And while a good number of reviews are positive, many don’t give you an accurate impression of what’s actually on offer.
Now, a new study finds that restaurants with a good reputation tend to get better reviews and more customers, but not necessarily better ratings.
The findings suggest that, as a general rule, restaurants that receive positive reviews tend to attract more people, while those that are disliked by customers have lower scores.
It’s unclear, however, whether positive reviews are simply a byproduct of an overall better experience, or whether negative reviews are a more common phenomenon.
“I would argue that positive reviews and low-profile restaurants are the same phenomenon, so it’s not surprising that we found negative reviews as well,” said Jennifer Cawthon, a professor of management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and one of the study’s authors.
“This suggests that a restaurant’s overall reputation can have an influence on whether it gets a good rating or not,” Cawchon said.
“And we would argue this is the case for all restaurant owners.”
The study looked at more than 400 restaurant reviews posted by online users in the U.S. from 2008 to 2015.
Reviews included a variety of things, such as customer service, customer service quality and quality of food, but only the most critical ones were included.
The researchers then created an online survey where people could provide feedback about their experiences.
The researchers used data from the U:S.
Department of Commerce’s restaurant industry survey and the online survey to compile a list of the top-rated restaurants in the United States.
They also asked how many customers they had had a good experience with, whether the restaurant was new, whether it was located in a location with a low turnover, and whether it had a reputation that the average customer would be able to trust.
While the results were clear that restaurants that were well known and liked by their customers tended to get higher ratings, the researchers also found that the perception of the quality of the food was far more important than the actual food.
In general, reviews with high ratings are more likely to be positive, and reviews with low ratings are often considered negative.
“The average customer probably has a sense of what a good restaurant is, and that can have a lot of impact on how they perceive a restaurant,” Cawson said, adding that reviews of a restaurant can help customers better evaluate their experience.
Cawchin said the study found that people with higher ratings tended to be more likely than those with lower ratings to recommend the restaurant more than those who rated the restaurant “fairly” or “poorly.”
In fact, the study suggested that restaurant reviews that are “pretty positive” have a higher chance of being rated “good” or good enough, and also of being liked.
“People tend to judge a restaurant based on its overall reputation,” Cawnson said.
“But when it comes to their own experience, people are less likely to judge based on the overall reputation of the restaurant.”
Cawson and Cawson were not able to draw any conclusions about whether a positive review was a sign that customers would rate the restaurant higher.
“I think that a lot depends on the restaurant, but the fact that you have a positive rating and people are liking it probably doesn’t mean that the restaurant is getting a lot more customers,” Crowson said in a statement.
While it’s impossible to determine whether a restaurant will be good or bad, the findings suggest a few things.
“There’s a general pattern that you can see with reviews,” Cowson said of restaurants with high and low ratings, “and the fact you have positive reviews is going to attract customers.”
Cawson also said that restaurants should make sure they’re offering quality food, not just cheap offerings.
“People don’t have to buy all the food they want,” Cansons said.
But Cawschon also warned against focusing too much on a restaurant “review score,” noting that it doesn’t tell the whole story.
“It doesn’t take into account whether a particular restaurant is really good or not, or how good the quality is,” she said.
The study also found, however (though it didn’t specify), that reviews from restaurant owners tend to be negative, but positive reviews from customers are rare.
The research was published in the journal Psychological Science.