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Three Ways to Make Yelp Reviews Work for Your Restaurant

Yelp is one the most used business review websites in the world. It's used to review car shops and hair salons, but it's best known for restaurant reviews. Many locations get reviews when they're just starting out, then several trickle in as you get into your first couple years of business.

So, how do you take advantage of Yelp and receive five-star status? Here are three ways to make Yelp work for your restaurant:

1. Encourage More Reviews from New and Loyal Customers

Reviews are hard to come by. You never know when they’re going to be left and whether they’ll be glowing or flat-out negative. Regardless, you need more of them. Encourage customers, both new and old, to leave reviews. Put a direct link to your Yelp page on your website and receipts. Make sure your serving staff mentions it to their tables, and see the reviews roll in.

2. Respond to Negative Reviews (hopefully you don’t have any)

While every restaurant owner on the planet would love a perfect five-star rating, it may not happen. You’re likely to get negative reviews, but it shows you’re a real restaurant. After all, it’s near impossible to please every customer who walks through your door. But, you can respond to negative feedback.

Yelp allows you to login and respond as the owner of the restaurant. Doing this, shows you care about your patrons and their experience at your restaurant. Offering them a discount on their next visit would also be a nice gesture.

3. Put the Yelp Badge on Your Site

It’s surprising how many restaurants don’t take advantage of the free publicity Yelp provides. As a restaurant owner, proudly display your Yelp rating on your website. Plus, get a direct link back to your profile for prospective diners to read reviews.

Yelp is a top resource for travellers and out-of-towners to get an idea of where to eat. Make sure you can show plenty of reviews - pictures and words only go so far. Testimonials from customers paint the true dining experience.