Before trying out a new restaurant, millions of people check the Yelp review of the venue first. How much of an impact does a Yelp review make on a restaurant’s sales? A lot according to two Berkeley economists in an interview with The Guardian UK. The economists conducted the research on a Thai restaurant down the street.
When the restaurant with a rating improved by around half a star on a scale of 1 to 5, they were more likely to be full at peak dining times.
An extra half-star rating caused the Thai restaurant’s 7PM bookings to sell out on from 30-49% of the evenings that they were open for business. There were no changes in the price of quality of the food during the period where the study was conducted.
This does not surprise me because I see myself checking Yelp reviews before deciding on a restaurant all the time. And when I travel, I always check TripAdvisor reviews for the resorts or hotels that I go to. Many restaurants and hospitality companies hire professionals to respond to reviews.