Digital word-of-mouth websites and apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor have become popular sources of information for customers choosing a restaurant. Though both websites have been scrutinized for false reviews, it does not appear that they will be going anywhere any time soon. Despite its bad press, Yelp can be a beneficial tool for promoting your business online. Let’s look at three examples of restaurants using Yelp.
The fact of the matter is: you don’t choose Yelp, it chooses you. Especially if your restaurant is located in the US, Canada, or UK, where Yelp is most widely used. As we mentioned in a previous article, it’s important to claim your listing by going to the Yelp Business Owners’ page. Here, you can complete your profile (and most importantly, make sure it’s accurate – many profiles don’t even have the correct business name or location!). Add your own photos, and start responding to customer reviews.
There are many great examples of both good and bad Yelp profiles. Here are three different restaurant using Yelp to their fullest:
The more information you add to your Yelp profile, the better. Customers come to Yelp for information, and Yelp itself admits that the key to a successful profile is filling out as much information as possible, especially in the “From the Business” section. Here, restaurants can fill out three categories: specialties, history, and about the business owner. There is a 1000 character limit (including spaces) for each section. The South Restaurant has kept their description short and to the point, mentioning a bit about their history and their specialities. The South Restaurant has claimed their business and completed their profile with as much information about their restaurant as possible. At the moment, many restaurants are not taking advantage of the benefits of completing their profiles. This is an easy way to improve your search engine optimization (SEO).
Da Poke Shack has 1636 reviews and a rating of four and a half stars. They also have a completed Yelp profile including photos of their own. These photos contrast with the customer photos in that they take a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in the kitchen. Apart from their own photos, the 500+ other photos from customers give a tour of the restaurant, showing menus, dishes, how the food is served, and their location. Upload at least ten of your photos. With better food photos, just think about how much better you can make your restaurant look on Yelp.
We can’t stress enough how important responding to customer comments is. Yelp is that perfect example of a website that, if left unchecked, could seriously hurt your sales and affect your business. There are many cases of bad customer Yelp restaurant reviews, but in the last few years businesses have started fighting back, especially against inappropriate customer comments. For example, a restaurant in Portland turned a sexist comment into a cause for helping the local women’s shelter by donating proceeds from their grilled cheese sandwich. It doesn’t have to get political. Responding to customer comments can be as simple as responding to negative reviews by giving the customer an explanation, like The Cinnamon Snail has done by admitting their mistake to one customer who posted some negative comments.
What makes a good Yelp profile?
- A completed profile, including filling out the “From the Business” section
- At least ten of your own good photos of your restaurant and food
- Responding to reviews, good or bad
- A link to your menu
- Correct contact information and location
Like it or not, Yelp is here to stay. You may have even used it yourself to look up local businesses. Did you find it useful? When filling out your profile, you should put yourself in the customer’s shoes.