Restaurant and hotel customers’ sentiment analysis: Would they come back? If they would, WHEN?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the US economy was shut down almost overnight.  The pandemic has confronted the restaurant and hotel industry with an unprecedented challenge. Almost all restaurants were asked to limit their operations to only take-outs. Restrictions placed on travel and stay-at-home orders issued by the governors of many states resulted in sharp decreases in hotel occupancies and revenues. While most of the hotels are still open for business, they are operating at a significantly reduced capacity. However, the reopening process has slowly begun and Governors in many states have started easing restrictions, for example, allow dine-in restaurants to reopen at a reduced capacity with strict social distancing guidelines. Now the big question remains: what are the customers’ sentiments about patronizing a restaurant or a hotel in the time of coronavirus? Are they ready to return?

A group of researchers from the School of Hospitality Business Management in the Carson College of Business at Washington State University have been conducting a series of nationwide studies every three weeks (one week of data collection and two weeks of pause) to investigate American consumers’ sentiments towards re-patronizing hotels and sit-down restaurants in post COVID-19 America and to identify the changes in consumer sentiments over time.

Results of those studies and summary reports for each round of data collection period will be published in this website once the summary report becomes available. For more information, please contact Dr. Dogan Gursoy (dgursoy@wsu.edu).