Weather Spells A Tale of Two Bank Holidays for Restaurants and Bars

New statistics from Feed It Back’s monthly social review tracker reveal that the customer experience in the restaurant sector was better over the first May Bank Holiday, than it was over the second, while the opposite was true for the pub and bar sector.

The statistics, which were taken from thousands of social reviews across the restaurant, quick service and pub industries, analyses data from the two Bank Holidays in May, the first of which experienced bad weather, and the second of which experienced markedly better weather.

The data highlights that the average social reviews score of restaurants fell from 4.3 over the first Bank Holiday in May, to 4.2 over the second May Bank Holiday. This decrease was driven by all channels, with Facebook’s average review score falling from 4.8 to 4.7; while TripAdvisor’s fell from 4.0 to 3.9; and Google’s dropped from 4.0 to 3.9.

Conversely, the average social review score of pubs and bars increased from 4.1 over the first May Bank Holiday, to 4.2 over the second May Bank Holiday. This surge in the average social review score was driven by Facebook, which rose from 4.3 to 4.4, and TripAdvisor, which rose from 3.9 to 4.0.

Digging deeper into what was impacting the reviews, the data revealed a positive correlation between restaurant businesses performing better when the weather is bad, and pub and bar businesses performing better when the weather is good.

Words such as ‘atmosphere’ and ‘garden’ were key drivers behind positive reviews of pubs and bars over the second Bank Holiday, whereas the word ‘cold’, was a prominent driver of negative reviews over the first bank holiday.

Looking at the complete month of May, the overall social review rating for the restaurant sector held firm at 4.2, with Facebook seeing continued monthly increases and rising to 4.7 (up from 4.6 in April).

Over the same period, the pub and bar sector’s average social review score moved up to 4.3, an increase driven by Google’s average social review score, which also rose to 4.3 (up from 4.2 in April).

Commenting on the figures, Carlo Platia, CEO of Feed It Back, said: “This month’s data suggests that pubs and bars perform significantly better when the weather is good, and restaurants perform better when the weather is bad. This is by no means new news, but with the help of data, we can dig deeper to understand the reasons behind customers leaving positive and negative reviews in order to make informed business decisions.

“Good weather doesn’t automatically lead to happy customers. The increased cover capacity good weather provides, for pubs, bars and restaurants with outdoor areas, brings with it inflated operational pressure on the kitchen and waiting staff that we have, historically, seen negatively impact the online reputation of businesses.

“Wait times are one of the single biggest drivers of negative reviews across both industries, so these high social ratings indicate that pubs and bars and restaurants have done a great job of keeping wait times at a minimum and customers happy over the high-pressure Bank Holiday trading days. As we enter summer, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.”

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Kate Goodbrand-Dillon
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