Olujide, Joel A

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  • Publication
    Does Culture Proximity Determine Authenticity? A Sentiment Analysis of African Restaurants in the DMV & Bay Areas
    (2023-04-26) Olujide, Joel A
    The purpose of this study is to analyze the perceived authenticity of African restaurant reviews in the DMV (Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia) area and compare them to reviews in the San Francisco Bay area. This perceived authenticity would be determined by analyzing the drivers of a sentiment analysis of the reviews. The hypothesis that the DMV reviews sentiments would be based on food quality, while the Bay area reviews would be based on service and ambience. The results showed that the DMV reviews were indeed more skewed towards food than the Bay area reviews, confirming the initial hypothesis. However, the analysis also revealed that other factors were at play for both metro areas. For example, while the DMV area reviews tended to mention the quality and authenticity of the food, aspects of restaurant service were also shown to be important, and in some cases even exceed the importance of food quality when predicting positive sentiments. For the Bay area reviews, while more were focused on the service aspect of restaurants, food quality and safety were significant factors. Overall, the study suggests that positive gastronomic experiences in African restaurants are not only attributed to one factor, although there are positive skews showcased in different metro areas. The findings have implications for African restaurant owners and marketers in both regions, as they highlight the need to tailor their branding and marketing strategies based on the specific preferences and expectations of their target audience.