To celebrate Pride Month, Yelp is making it easier than ever for consumers to support businesses that align with their values, and find safe and welcoming places to enjoy Pride celebrations all month long. Starting today, Yelp is introducing an LGBTQ-owned business attribute that will allow business owners to self identify as LGBTQ-owned. In addition, restaurant, food and nightlife businesses that identify as LGBTQ-owned or Open to All will be highlighted on Yelp with rainbow-colored map pins for the entire month of June to help people find places to celebrate Pride Month.
Though many strides have been made in the decades since the Stonewall riots in 1969, there are still urgent opportunities for change as we strive to create a world where laws and society treat all people equally. It’s clear that consumers are increasingly looking for businesses that are part of the LGBTQ+ community, as the rate of searches on Yelp for LGBTQ+ owned businessesin the U.S. increased by more than 150% in April compared to the same period the year prior. That’s why we’re excited to make it easier than ever for people to discover and support LGBTQ+ business owners, as well as allies to the LGBTQ+ community.
Helping People Find and Support LGBTQ-owned Businesses
Starting today, people can search for and discover LGBTQ-owned businesses on Yelp. This new attribute is free and opt-in only, as the decision to self-identity as LGBTQ-owned rests solely with the business owner. Consumers will be able to see the LGBTQ-owned attribute in the Yelp mobile app by going to the business page under the “more info” section, and on Yelp’s website in the “amenities and more” section of a business page. To protect businesses who choose to self-identify as LGBTQ-owned, Yelp is proactively monitoring pages for hate speech against the LGBTQ+ community and will remove any hateful, racist or harmful content that violates our content guidelines.
To add the LGBTQ-owned or Open to All attribute to their Yelp page, business owners can log into their Yelp for Business account and follow the below instructions. LGBTQ+ businesses will also receive a “LGBTQ-owned” window decal in the mail.
Select Yes next to “LGBTQ-owned” and/or “Open to All”
Click Save Changes
We hope this new attribute empowers millions of LGBTQ-owned businesses across the country and encourages consumers to drive more dollars directly to the bottom line of these businesses. Business owners can find more information and resources in Yelp’s LGBTQ+ resources hub for business owners.
“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, we are thrilled to add this new attribute to our business page and make it easier for people to find our business, support the work we’re doing, and know that they’re in a safe and welcoming space,” says LeAnn Mueller, founder of La Barbecue in Austin, TX.
Releasing New Rainbow Map Pins to Celebrate Pride
Starting June 1, to help people discover inclusive places to celebrate Pride, we’ll be featuring rainbow map pins on LGBTQ-owned and Open to All restaurant, food and nightlife businesses. These new map pins can be found by directly searching for LGBTQ-owned and Open to All businesses or restaurants, as well as through the home page on the Yelp mobile app and a banner on the Yelp search page on desktop.
A long-term Open to All partner, Ben & Jerry’s has teamed up with Yelp and Open to All to have the rainbow map pins displayed for nearly all of their Scoop Shops in the U.S. throughout the month of June.
Yelp partnered with Open to All in July 2018 to introduce the “Open to All” attribute in response to the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, which allowed a baker to turn away a gay couple seeking a wedding cake, as well as a number of racial profiling cases where customers of color were turned away or even arrested. Open to All is a program of the Movement Advancement Project, which has an LGBTQ policy program, and is supported by a wider public education coalition that includes LGBTQ+ organizations and community centers such as Freedom for All Americans, Equality Federation and CenterLink. Today, over 581,000 businesses have indicated that they are Open to All on Yelp. We’re continuing to build on our partnership by celebrating businesses who have taken the pledge to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone. Our aim is to also encourage more business owners to take the pledge and mark themselves “Open to All.”
We’re immensely proud to partner with Open to All to support LGBTQ+ business owners, as well as businesses who have pledged to be inclusive and welcoming spaces — here’s what Open to All Director Calla Rongerude had to say:
“With hate violence at an all time high, it’s more important than ever for people to be able to find safe and welcoming spaces to celebrate LGBTQ+ equality. We’re thrilled to partner with Yelp to help users identify not only LGBTQ-owned businesses, but also the hundreds of thousands of Open to All businesses that will celebrate equality not only during Pride, but year round.”
At Yelp, we’re dedicated to supporting and lifting up under-represented communities. In 2017, Yelp announced its participation in an amicus brief supporting trans student Gavin Grimm, who filed suit against his local school board for denying him use of the boys’ restroom at his school. The same month, Yelp’s Gender-neutral Restroom business attribute was released, and today, over 426,000 businesses have indicated that they offer gender-neutral restrooms.
To further lift up and empower the LGBTQ+ community, in the coming weeks, we will share stories of LGBTQ+ business owners on our social media channels, and host virtual events with LGBTQ-owned businesses. We will also spotlight LGBTQ+ bars to celebrate Pride across North America and distribute pronoun pins and Pride mugs for members of the Yelp Elite Squad.
Let us know how you’ll be celebrating Pride on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @Yelp.