Are There "Ratatouille" Restaurants? On Anticorrelation of Food Quality and Hygiene
24 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2020 Last revised: 6 Mar 2020
Date Written: December 19, 2019
We study the empirical relationship between hygiene conditions in restaurants and their food quality rated by professional reviewers. 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, which 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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