The impact of social media reviews on restaurant performance: The moderating role of excellence certificate

Research paper by Woo Gon Kim, Jun (Justin) Li, Robert A. Brymer

Indexed on: 18 Mar '16Published on: 15 Mar '16Published in: International Journal of Hospitality Management


A limited number of studies have been conducted that identify the major drivers of restaurant financial performance. In addition, how an excellence certificate moderates the relationship between determinants and restaurant financial performance is still unknown. The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of social media reviews and operating efficiency metrics on restaurant financial performance and to explore the moderating role of an excellence certificate. The findings of this study reveal that the number of online reviews customers make has a significant positive impact on restaurant performance. Additionally, customer overall rating, guest served per labor hour, and the food quality offered by the restaurant influence restaurant performance. The moderating effect of the restaurant excellence certificate between the number of reviews and restaurant performance are found to be significant. For a restaurant with an excellence certificate, a larger number of reviews or a better overall rating promotes net sales, guest counts, and average check to a larger degree compared to a restaurant without an excellence certificate. Consequently, in order to enhance a restaurant's top line, restaurant operators with an excellence certificate should keep the number of customer comments high and positive.