I recently came across a site created by Mint.com that anonymizes and aggregates users spending behavior. Data.Mint.com allows the public to access its data on consumer spending habits in a searchable and sortable format.

I wondered, what sort of insights can one glean from this data? I have a list of some pretty interesting analyses to do, but I thought I’d start out with an easy question:

Which Bellevue Restaurant is the most popular.

“Most popular” is a pretty subjective superlative. But Mint’s data has a pretty non-subjective measure of popularity: # of unique visitors who have made a purchase at a particular location. That’s the criteria I used for this analysis.

Two restaurants came out on top of Mint.com’s visitor index: Las Margaritas and Sideline Sportsbar.

At first, I was quite surprised by the restaurants that topped the list. I thought for sure that some of the bigger-names in Bellevue would top the list over a couple of dive bars. Re-examining the criteria, cozy bars in high-traffic areas are exactly the type of restuarants that would have the highest unique visitor  traffic. Not surprisingly, Ooba Toobas is also high on the list.

Wild Ginger, the type of restaurant that I would hypothesize being at the top of the list, did rank in the top ten (8/10 on Mint.com’s index). Tap House Grill was among the top 4. But it’s clear that lower-cost bars are “more popular.”

Also: note that a lot of national chains and Seattle Restaurants aren’t on Mint’s list. I’m ok with that. I’d prefer to examine local restaurants anyway.

Which restaurants are least popular?

I’ve never been to Ebru Mediterranian Grill. Maybe it’s a gem of a restaurant that few have discovered. But it’s the lowest-ranked restaurant in Bellevue, a 2/10 on Mint.com’s index. Based on this, I’m not too interested in venturing out for a meal here.

Fortunately, I haven’t eaten at any of the restaurants near the bottom of the list. Maybe I have good taste. Or maybe “Halal Meats” just isn’t my thing.

If you’ve tried one of the least popular restaurants, leave a comment.

Which restaurants are most expensive?

This isn’t too hard to guess. Daniel’s Broiler tops the list at an average check size of $115. Seastar is second at $73.

Interestingly, the priciest restaurants all fell between 4-7 on Mint’s visitor index. Their steep price and lengthier dining experience keeps them from serving more customers.

Biases in the data

There are plenty of biases in Mint’s data that I accepted. The type of person that uses Mint doesn’t match the demographics of Bellevue. Mint users are Internet savvy and budget-conscious.  My guess is that Mint skews young, urban, and male. But, it’s still has a great dataset that I hope to explore more.

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