Are There "Ratatouille" Restaurants? On Anticorrelation of Food Quality and Hygiene
31 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2020 Last revised: 6 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 4, 2020
We study the empirical relationship between hygiene conditions in restaurants and their food quality rated by both professional reviewers and consumers. Using evidence from the UK, we show that this relationship is negative and statistically significant. So, a higher food quality rating is generally associated with a less sanitary kitchen. We find that 3% of Michelin starred restaurants in our dataset have poor hygiene conditions, while the same is true for only 2% of non-Michelin starred restaurants. Our findings illuminate potential channels through which the anticorrelation between food quality and hygiene could be mitigated, and can be helpful for hygiene inspection design.
Keywords: Food quality, restaurants, reviews, hygiene standards, food hygiene certification
JEL Classification: H75, L15, D22, I18
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