Chartsandgraphs: looking back at the 2012 Spring Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week! Bringer of hungry restaurant patrons and loads of web traffic! As I was doing a bit of analysis on last week’s traffic data, I realized that what I was really looking at was a kind of zeitgeist for the 2012 Spring Restaurant Week. Here’s some of that data in chartsandgraphs form!

RW-Chartsandgraphs-Front

Restaurant Week! Bringer of hungry restaurant patrons and loads of web traffic!

Richmonders love many things: the James River, humidity, potato salad. But one thing we love more than all the things is food and restaurants. So when Restaurant Week rolls around, twice a year now, people in town get excited. Which is awesome!

Restaurant Week is a big traffic driver for RVANews as readers are sifting through the dozens (in this iteration there were 39 participating restaurants) of menus before they buckle down and make a reservation or two. This leads to, like I said, a lot of visitors.

As I was doing a bit of analysis on our traffic data, I realized that what I was really looking at was a kind of zeitgeist for the 2012 Spring Restaurant Week. It’s not scientific, it doesn’t measure the success (or lack of success) of any one restaurant, and is solely based off of RVANews’s Google Analytics data. But it is interesting.

Again, just to be clear, I’m not saying (and the data doesn’t say either) that any of these restaurants are better or worse than their fellow Restaurant Week participants. Got it?

— ∮∮∮ —

The ten most visited menus

Here are the ten most visited menus on RVAnews. What’s interesting about this graph is just how far ahead Helen’s is from the other restaurants. And even more interesting is where most of those people reading Helen’s menu were coming from: Facebook. Google was the principle traffic driver for the nine other menus.

Visits by position

This year we decided to lay out our main Restaurant Week page a bit differently. Rather than an unending bulleted list of text that would be impossible to scan, we chose to create a grid out of the pictures of the participating restaurants.

We had some concerns that restaurants at the bottom of the list and restaurants without a picture (we used a default image) would get the shaft.

Below is a similar grid. The darker the box, the more views that menu got. If the box has a ‘Y’ in it, that restaurant had a picture. You can see that position in the list didn’t really affect views, but having a picture probably did. We’re going to try to make sure each restaurant has a picture for this fall’s Restaurant Week.

Y Y
Y Y Y
Y
Y Y
Y
Y
Y Y
Y
Y Y
Y Y
Y
Y Y
Y Y

Common menu items

Part of putting together our Restaurant Week coverage involves copy, pasting, and editing each of the 39 menus. This is pretty tedious work, but you get a chance to see each and every menu and pick up on some of the trends for that particular Restaurant Week. So what were the trends for this spring?

Here are three word clouds (which really aren’t the best way to analyze data), one for each course. The larger the word, the more often it appeared across all 39 menus.

Perhaps more interesting would be the inverse of these pictures, with the least common words more prominent. This might give you some insight into which restaurant had the most unique menu.

There’s also some really great unintentional band names in these word clouds. My favorite: Goat Broth.

Course one

Course two

Course three

Menus per reader

While a lot of users ended up at specific menus directly (as a result of a Google (or Bing!, seriously!) search), most came through our main Restaurant Week page. For those users, on average, each one visited 4.2 menus.

I’m not sure what this means, but to me it suggests that people are pretty open minded while deciding where to make their Restaurant Week reservations.

  • error

    Report an error

Ross Catrow

Ross loves his family, Richmond, and beer (in that order). He is the master and commander of the good ship RVANews, and he watches a lot of movies.

5 comments on Chartsandgraphs: looking back at the 2012 Spring Restaurant Week

  1. Carrie on said:

    I LOVE this data!

  2. Lee on said:

    This is really cool data, thanks for sharing!

  3. Alicia on said:

    We also love chartsandgraphs – thanks for sharing!

  4. Holly on said:

    Is that tagxedo you used? I found that site recently and could spend all day there making word cloud shapes out of various topics (and did, for a good chunk of my workday one day–I promise it was work related).

  5. Lacey on said:

    This makes me want Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cake. Thanks, Ross Catrow, diet saboteur.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Or report an error instead