“His lack of a mask ruined everything.” Restaurant customer satisfaction during the COVID-19 outbreak: An analysis of Yelp review texts and star-ratings

Maria Kostromitina, Daniel Keller, Muhittin Cavusoglu, Kyle Beloin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of the study was to provide practical advice to restaurant managers for improving star ratings as well as information for researchers on how the pandemic has impacted established determinants of satisfaction. The study examined criteria used by restaurant customers in assigning star-ratings on Yelp during the COVID-19 pandemic using keyword analysis and Multiple Correspondence Analysis. In evaluating restaurants, the reviewers focused on service, overall experience, and food quality. Service was discussed in relation to the pandemic and included safety of the dine-in experience, contrasted with take-out options and compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. These criteria applied differently with lower-star reviews focusing on safety, social distancing, and mask policies. Higher-star reviews focused on take-out/delivery services, high-quality food, and an overall positive experience. The study provides valuable contributions to our understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the restaurant sector in a post-pandemic world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103048
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Volume98
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Corpus linguistics
  • Independent restaurants
  • Keyword analysis
  • Multiple correspondence analysis
  • Online reviews
  • Pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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