Do People Gripe About Restaurants More When It Rains?

A new study finds a link between crummy weather and crabby restaurant comments.


Photo by: ShotShare


Some people take gripe-y restaurant reviews as gospel. Others take them with a grain of salt. A new study linking inclement weather and negative comments about dining experiences suggests you may want to take them with a drop of rainwater.

The odds of restaurant patrons giving a restaurant super negative reviews, as opposed to very positive ones, are 2.9 percent higher on rainy days than on days where the skies are clear, the researchers at the Ohio State University found in a study published in Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

The study, which looked at customer comment cards in 32 Florida fast-casual restaurants and compared them to weather data for the days the customers had dined in them. High temperatures and barometric pressure, as well as rain, also correlated to a higher rate of negative comments, researchers determined.

“Restaurant managers may see more than the usual bad reviews on certain days, and it may have nothing to do with the service or the quality of the food,” study co-author Milos Bujisic, assistant professor of hospitality management at Ohio State, said in a university release about the study. “Restaurants can’t control the weather, but it may affect how customers review them.”

Two additional studies from the same team indicate that the issue may be a matter of mood.

“The mood of customers is going to change depending on the weather, and eventually that is going to influence how they are going to respond to their evaluation of the restaurant,” Bujisic in a video highlighting the study results.

The mood of restaurant employees as well as diners may play a role, he added, noting, “A rainy day may put employees in a bad mood, and that will affect their service.”

Guess wet weather just puts a damper on things all around.

Photo: iStock

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