It has been a pretty safe assumption that bad weather puts people in bad moods. But with new research from Georgia Tech and Yahoo! Labs, apparently it is reflected in online reviews for restaurants as well.
“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. The best reviews are written on sunny days between 70 and 100 degrees. 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,” lead researcher Saeideh Bakhshi told the Georgia Tech News Center.
The results cover a span of 1.1 million reviews on sites including Foursquare, Citysearch and TripAdvisor over period of 10 years. It is also inclusive of restaurants in over 32,000 cities nationwide.
The study also found that certain factors ranging from education to geographical location played a role in amount of reviews certain restaurants received. It did not, however, seem to have an affect on the type of reviews customers were writing.
Another interesting factor that seemed to play a role was population density. Customers in larger cities seemed to care less about the wait times for a given restaurant and tended to rate restaurants with take-out higher. Whereas in smaller cities/towns, customers cared more about the pace of service and the option to have their meal delivered.
This tumbles down logically considering those who live in more densely populated cities are often very accustomed to crowded restaurants, accepting it as one of the caveats of city life. And those who live in small towns are not quite used to the hustle-and-bustle of city life, and therefore place more value on a calm, relaxing restaurant experience or the option to have their meal delivered right to their home for an even more relaxing dining experience.
So what does this mean for business owners who quite frankly cannot control the weather or moreover, the population density, of the city in which they live? (Which is all of them.)
It means that you should as always, be providing the highest level of customer service. Make sure you are not only meeting, but exceeding your customers’ needs. And when you receive feedback with a review management service, really take it into consideration. This is a very important factor of reputation management.
Business owners that have both an indoor/outdoor aesthetic to their location should take extra care to make sure all the needs of their customers are accommodated. Make sure that your staff is prepared for the hazards that may be posed by the change in weather such as wet floors and possible leaks.
Overall, being proactive in your customer service will help foster the best possible environment for your customers and ultimately, your reputation.