DOI: 10.1177/19389655241226557 ISSN: 1938-9655

Picky Eaters Make for Better Raters

Sasha Stoikov, Stefano Borzillo, Steffen Raub
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

It has been established in the literature that the number of ratings and the scores restaurants obtain on online rating systems (ORS) significantly impact their revenue. However, when a restaurant has a limited number of ratings, it may be challenging to predict its future performance. It may well be that ratings reveal more about the user who gave the rating than about the quality of the restaurant. This motivates us to segment users into “inflating raters,” who tend to give unusually high ratings, and “deflating raters,” who tend to give unusually low ratings, and compare the rankings generated by these two populations. Using a public dataset provided by Yelp, we find that deflating raters are better at predicting restaurants that will achieve a top rating (4.5 and above) in the future. As such, these deflating raters may have an important role in restaurant discovery.

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