Fitz started a blog post about our site and we started having a two-way communication about features on the site...in particular, those visual ratings.
In the post, we describe how they are useful:
We don't plan on adding any additional info at the moment. Here is another example and a description of how the info is used:
The location above has an overall rating of 3 out of 5 stars
The distribution summary (red/green/yellow/etc bar at the bottom of that section) shows the ratings all over the place so it is not 3 stars because people voted at either extreme or because there was a consensus that it was 3 stars).
Take a look at the line graph demonstrating the ratings over time and you see that people rated it highly but the restaurant, according to users, has gone downhill. It's rated a 3 because it was rated highly but, as time went on, people liked it less and less for one reason or another (you can read the reviews to find out specifics).
The "specifics" referred to is a YellowBot review that explains that there was a management change.
Not only is this useful to our users but business owners can manage their reputations as well.
In this particular case, we hear EZO Sushi has now closed (but have not been able to confirm this because nobody is answering their phone)...it just highlights the importance of listening to your customers.