Yelp ratings really do affect the bottom line

Oct. 5, 2011 at 1:38 PM ET

AP /

Before you think that your pithy, self-referential online review will bring down (“I said THREE CHERRIES in my Appletini — this place haz Worst. Service. Evar.”)  or completely make (“They offered this delight! It’s called sushi! I’ve never had it before! Tasty!!!) your local restaurant, a Harvard Business School student has some facts for you.

Writer Michael Luca looked at how reviews affect the bottom line in Seattle-area restaurants. It turns out that unverified rantings really do matter. From the abstract:

  1. A one-star increase picks up revenue 5 to 9 percent.
  2. Unless you’re a chain restaurant.
  3. Where Yelp penetration increases, chains lose market share.

Read the entire article here. Then make your comments on it that are sure to influence other readers below.

Shout-out to Eater Seattle for bringing it to our attention.