Food tastes worse when it’s raining, according to 10 years’ worth of TripAdvisor reviews

Food tastes worse when it’s raining, according to 10 years’ worth of TripAdvisor reviews

The democratic process is great for lots of things, but a reliable trove of restaurant reviews may not be one of them, according to researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs. They looked at ten years’ worth of reviews on sites like TripAdvisor and Foursquare and concluded that people who go online to opine about restaurants are a fickle and untrustworthy bunch.

Based on 1.1 million reviews of 840,000 restaurants in the U.S., the study found that reviewers were swayed by all sorts of things that probably shouldn’t factor into a dining recommendation—most notably, inclement weather conditions, like blizzards and heatwaves. Diners wrote the harshest feedback during deep freezes and sweltering days, with restaurants in temperate places like San Francisco netting more positive reviews than ones in drizzly, inhospitable cities, like Seattle (or, we suspect, Toronto).

Really, though, are the results all that strange? It’s hardly a shocker that diners who’ve braved blizzards might expect a little something extra from an out-of-the-house meal.

The entire study can be accessed here.