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In International journal of hospitality management

Online reviews remain important during the COVID-19 pandemic as they help customers make safe dining decisions. To help restaurants better understand customers' needs and sustain their business under current circumstance, this study extracts restaurant features that are cared for by customers in current circumstance. This study also introduces deep learning methods to examine customers' opinions about restaurant features and to detect reviews with mismatched ratings. By analyzing 112,412 restaurant reviews posted during January-June 2020 on Yelp.com, four frequently mentioned restaurant features (e.g., service, food, place, and experience) along with their associated sentiment scores were identified. Findings also show that deep learning algorithms (i.e., Bidirectional LSTM and Simple Embedding + Average Pooling) outperform traditional machine learning algorithms in sentiment classification and review rating prediction. This study strengthens the extant literature by empirically analyzing restaurant reviews posted during the COVID-19 pandemic and discovering suitable deep learning algorithms for different text mining tasks.

Luo Yi, Xu Xiaowei

2021-Apr

COVID-19, Deep learning, Online reviews, Restaurants, Sentiment analysis