While driving down Wade Hampton Boulevard on my way home from work I noticed that one of the restaurants I had reviewed, Campobello Italian, had closed. When that happens, I usually add the phrase, “NOTE: This restaurant has closed.” to the first line of the review. So, I added it to that review, then I started looking through the rest of my reviews to see if any others needed to be update. I was a bit shocked at what I found.
Over the years I’ve reviewed about 115 different restaurants. Some of these were on trips, and were places I’d never get back to. However, most are local. If I kick out the vacation reviews, then we’re looking at about 100 local restaurant reviews. Of those, 30 had closed. (Well, 31, but Haus Edelweiss did re-open.)
So, 30% of the local restaurants I’ve reviewed have closed. Hmmmm. Does that mean a review on RandomConnections is a curse? Perhaps not. Laura reminded me that 90% of restaurants fail in the first year, so the numbers are actually not that bad. However, if you look at another recent study by Dr. H. G. Parsa at Ohio State…
A 1991 study by hospitality professors at Michigan State and Cornell universities found a failure rate of 57 percent over three years and 70 percent after 10 years. Other studies have not shown restaurant failure rates any higher, Parsa said.
So, in the 10 years that I’ve been doing restaurant reviews, I should have 70 notes, rather than 30. I’ll assume that my reviews AREN’T a curse. I like to see businesses succeed (except perhaps when they shouldn’t.)
5 thoughts on “The Curse of the Review”
Restaurants are notoriously risky. Razor thin margins, the vagaries of the paying public, will-o-the-wisp loyalty…all make for a rocky time even for the best. I have battle scars as a banker due to some restaurant loans I’ve done.
On a related note to your post: Cris and I once thought WE were a curse on good eateries. If we ever discovered a cool or tasty restaurant on one of our Carolina roadtrips we would inevitably find that it would be closed on a return trip. It got so predictable that we could almost guarantee that it would happen and got to remarking on how much we would miss a place while we were enjoying the meal! 🙂
Interesting numbers on your reviews. I think sometimes we don’t realize how often this happens. 🙁
The curse lives! The Clock on Wade Hampton is closing at the end of the month.
Yeah, I saw that. They’ve been around for so long, though, can you really blame it on me? 😉
Someone must be blamed. You are someone. Therefore, you must be blamed. 😉