Do LA restaurants generally offer better service than NYC restaurants? As before, I answered this question using Yelp restaurant comments from the top 40 restaurants from 44 different categories of cuisine in LA and NYC. To determine the relative impact of service, I first calculated the tf-idf of the word service in all comments from the top 40 restaurants in each of the 44 categories. I then normalized the tf-idf of the word service as a percentage in relation to the highest tf-idf word from the same set of comments. I only used 5-star and 1-star Yelp comments to remove any ambiguity in sentiment when comparing positive and negative service, respectively. I then compared the average impact of positive and negative service across all 44 restaurant categories within each city as well as between cities.
I found that within each city, there were no significant differences in positive versus negative service importance (LA: t(43)=0.722 , p=0.472 ; NYC: t(43)=1.502 , p=0.137). Thus, neither LA nor NYC diners were more positive or negative about service. There was also no significant difference between cities with regards to average importance placed toward negative service (t(43)=0.090, p=0.929). However with positive comments, I found a significant difference whereby LA diners placed a significantly higher importance on positive service compared to their NYC counterparts (t(43)=2.272 , p=0.026).
Negative vs Positive Service Importance Within Cities
|N.S. = not significant (p≥0.05)|
Negative vs Positive Service Importance Between Cities
|star = significant (p<0.05)|
For the top 40 restaurants among 44 popular categories of food, LA restaurant reviewers placed significantly more importance on positive service compared to NYC restaurant reviewers.
I can't help but wonder:
- Does LA's sunnier, warmer, and less rainy weather make diners and servers more positive?
- Conversely, does NYC's more gloomy and cold weather make diners and servers less positive?
- Do other positive aspects (taste of the food, plating, ambience, etc.) in NYC restaurants overshadow the importance of service?