Negative Reviews Must be Taken with a Grain of Salt

Negative Reviews Must be Taken with a Grain of Salt

According to a recent study, bad weather can lead to bad restaurant reviews. Do you feel more sad than usual when the weather is bad?

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Total Votes : 4

Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

Yelp is to restaurants, what Rotten Tomatoes is to movies. They are trusted sites which people go to for reviews to help make a decision. But you have to avoid making rash judgments because all opinions must be looked at in context.

Rotten Tomatoes has many critics and casual users reviewing movies that were not intended for them, hence their negative scores. And Yelp has become known as a platform where disgruntled customers go to vent their frustration over anything else.

A recent study from Ohio State University revealed that some of these negative comments could stem from how the weather that specific day you went was. In other words, bad weather can lead to a negative review regardless of the service.

“Restaurant managers may see more than the usual bad reviews on certain days, and it may have nothing to do with the service or the quality of the food,” said Milos Bujisic, co-author of the study and assistant professor of hospitality management at The Ohio State University.

The study focused on 32 Florida restaurants, with the ratings on a 1 (very negative) to 5 (very positive) scale. 14 weather variables were considered, but only three were found to have any noticeable effect on the characteristics of the comments: rain, temperature, and barometric pressure.

They found that customers were 2.9 times more likely to leave a very negative comment versus a very favorable one on rainy days.

These results are further enhanced by two previous studies on a similar topic. They found that being in a lousy mood meant you were more likely to spread negative word-of-mouth.

“The mood of customers is going to change depending on the weather, and eventually that is going to influence how they are going to respond to their evaluation of the restaurant,” OSU assistant professor of hospitality management Dr. Bujisic said.

“It may be a smaller factor, but it is something that managers should pay attention to,” assistant professor Vanja Bogicevic said in a post on the school’s website.

“Restaurants can’t control the weather, but it may affect how customers review them.”

Bad weather has a way of putting people in a bad mood, and when an individual is in a grumpy state, it is easier to get irked.

For example, say you go into a restaurant on a beautiful, sunny day, with the temperature in the low-to-mid 70s with a slight breeze. Chances are, you will be in a good mood.

Compare that to how you may feel if it’s extremely hot or all gloomy and rainy. There’s a strong chance that you may not feel as good as you do in the former situation.

Now say that your waiter forgets to bring out your drink. You will probably overlook it in the first scenario, but you’ll likely react worse in the second one because you are already in a bad mood.

Further findings account for the weather not only affecting the customers’ moods, but also that of the staff. “A rainy day may put employees in a bad mood, and that will affect their service,” he said. “Managers need to explain that to their employees and work to keep them motivated.”

An unhappy employee alone can lead to a bad experience. But what if the customer is already in a bad mood too? It would just make his/her experience that much worse.

Remember to keep in mind that bad weather isn’t the reason for bad reviews, but an influence, and one that can’t be ignored when studying dining reviews. You can read more about this study on Travel + Leisure.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

According to a recent study, bad weather can lead to bad restaurant reviews. Do you feel more sad than usual when the weather is bad?

46% Yeah, need sunshine
54% Nope, like rain
43% Yeah, need sunshine
57% Nope, like rain
53% Yeah, need sunshine
47% Nope, like rain

Yeah, need sunshine

Nope, like rain

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