Happy Wesnesday great foodie friends –
Found a great article from Sauder Business School – UBC on 24 hours News.
This is exactly what drove me to food reviews as it is a tool I have always used. Further to that you get to know different writers in different areas who you feel are honest and real to their word reviewers with culinary knowledge.
Thank you Michael Mui and 24 Hrs. As well as Marketing Professor Chunhua Wu out of the Sauder School of Business at UBC
It’s your first time travelling to a new place — say, Vancouver — and you’re looking for somewhere to eat. And since you don’t have anyone to ask, chances are good the search will take you to a food review website.
This is the idea that led marketing professor Chunhua Wu, out of the Sauder School of Business at UBC, to figure out just how much value restaurants get out of these reviews.
And if you were a new person in Vancouver searching online, his findings suggest that the search just contributed $1.50 to the local restaurant economy.
To arrive at that conclusion, however, Wu had to find people regularly using these sites, and how many actually visited the restaurants after reading the reviews.
His answers were found in Dianping.com, the largest consumer review website in China, which gives users discount cards if they check in to an eatery.
The findings suggested 15% of the users actually showed up to eat shortly after reading the reviews, based on about 5,000 users’ browsing habits for the top seven hotpot restaurants in Shanghai.
At those restaurants, the average person is likely to spend $17 (prices converted from Chinese currency), and Wu calculated how much value each review reader, on average, contributes to the restaurants’ incomes, regardless if someone shows up — it was about $1.50.
“We found it’s very interesting there’s so many online reviews but we don’t know whether consumers value this, or whether it would change the profitability of restaurants,” he said.
“If you have 200 potential customers looking at your (review) website today, if you have really high consistent ratings, it will give you 200 times $1.50.”
The study is limited, however, in finding out how different types of reviews might impact whether customers show up, since he picked only the top restaurants.
“The content is more important than the rating … it contains more information than just the numerical ratings, people read the messages and try to figure out how it can fit their own taste,” Wu said.
Other questions include whether score ratings are consistent — if they aren’t, customers might not trust the review.
Things like the “star status” of a reviewer and their accuracy also matter, as do the number of upvotes given to reviews considered more “useful” than others.
Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, agreed with the author that reviews are more likely to matter if tourists are reading them.
“The emphasis is on people if they are travelling to places, where there’s no reference point. They’re looking for something they feel is an independent point of information. They don’t have friends, they don’t have anyone to tell them — those online reviews, in that case, work better,” he said.
All told, the average total each of the seven restaurants got out of people reading reviews was about $7,300 per year.