A sentiment analysis of Michelin-starred restaurants

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Abstract

AbstractPurpose

With the growing popularity of social media, it has become common practice for consumers to write online reviews to share their opinion and experience as well as consider others' reviews to inform purchase decision-making. This study investigated how online review sentiments towards four key aspects (food, service, ambience and price) change after a restaurant is awarded a Michelin Star to shed light on how the award of a Michelin Star affects online reviews as well as what factors contribute to positive online restaurant reviews.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a sentiment analysis of online restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor. A total of 8,871 English-written reviews from 87 restaurants located in Europe were extracted using a web crawler developed by Beautiful Soup, and data were then processed using Semantria.

Findings

The study findings revealed that overall sentiments decreased after restaurants were awarded a Michelin Star, in which service sentiment was the most affected aspect, followed by food and ambience. Yet, price sentiment showed a prominent increase. This provides valuable insights for Michelin-starred restaurant operators and owners to create a unique and compelling gastronomic experience that triggers positive online reviews.

Practical implications

The results of this study argue that consumers tend to hold higher expectations for this type of upscale restaurants given its recognition and quality assurance, so they are more likely to have negative feelings when their expectations are disconfirmed. Therefore, restaurants should continuously improve their food and service while paying attention to small details such as ambience, through creativity and innovation. Also, high-end restaurants, especially Michelin-starred restaurants, usually have the edge in premium pricing, yet competitive pricing may backfire considering its perceived luxurious values.

Originality/value

This study analyzed changes in customer sentiments when a restaurant is awarded a Michelin Star through text analytics. Through the lens of online restaurant reviews, the study findings contribute to identifying aspects that are most or least affected by the award of a Michelin Star as well as highlight the role of ambience in customer satisfaction which might have been overlooked in previous studies.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Management and Business Economics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Michelin-starred restaurants
  • Online restaurant reviews
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Text analytics
  • TripAdvisor

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