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Celebrating 100 episodes of the Behind the Review podcast

In honor of Behind the Review’s 100th podcast episode, we’ve gathered memorable moments, the most popular episodes, a collection of the featured businesses, and much more.



Every business wants good customer reviews. Every customer wants a good experience. So what happens when both sides click? 

Behind the Review, a podcast from Yelp & Entrepreneur Media, has been exploring this question nearly every week since November 2020. Every episode, host Emily Washcovick picks a Yelp review and speaks to the reviewer and the entrepreneur behind it to learn what makes a small business successful. 

In honor of the show’s 100th episode, we’ve gathered memorable moments, the most popular episodes, a collection of all the featured businesses, and much more to help you revisit or kick-start your Behind the Review journey.

Exploring the businesses featured on the show

Take a virtual cross-country trip to visit all the small businesses featured on the show’s first season with this Yelp Collection.

Top 5 episodes 

New to Behind the Review and looking for a good place to start? Our listeners love these episodes—across all measurable podcast platforms, these five received the most downloads as of March 2023. Host Emily Washcovick shares her take on what makes each conversation special, along with highlights from her guests. 

1. Business Owners Make a Strong Case for Responding to Online Reviews (episode 84)

🎙️ Emily: “It’s back-to-back advice from slightly different perspectives on how to respond to critical reviews. I think a lot of business owners don’t know how to do that, are scared of it, or want to do it but are afraid of doing it wrong. This episode makes an intimidating topic more accessible for people.”

⭐ Highlight: “[Reviewers] want people to listen. I’ll listen to them, and I’ll be like, ‘I’m taking action on this. I’m going into my company. I’m going to build a better company.’ Every time I thank them for it: ‘Thank you for the 1-star review. This is how I grow. Without you bringing these mistakes to my attention, I would never know they were occurring. You’re a layer of accountability for me to build a better business.’” –Josh Campbell, Rescue Air Heating and Cooling

🎧 Listen: Visit the episode page for more.

2. The Recipe For Making a Customer For Life: Personalization, Quality, and Care (episode 92)

🎙️ Emily: “The owner started her business in her garage and then opened a shop. This one really resonates with solopreneurs and side hustlers.”

⭐ Highlight: “[On Yelp,] the business owners are the celebrities. So when the celebrity reaches back out to you to say, ‘Hey, that meant a lot,’ that encourages you to keep responding to, to keep writing, that what you do—it matters. And when I saw that, it felt like, ‘Okay, that’s my family right there.’ We had such a connection, and to see [the owner] Tina with that reply, it was awesome.” –Yelp reviewer Reggie M.

🎧 Listen: Visit the episode page for more.

3. The Unexpected Benefits of Competition (episode 55)

🎙️ Emily: “Real estate is a really competitive industry where you’re almost always on the go. It’s impressive to hear how business owners like Brad manage their time and their relationships when they’re overseeing such big sales.”

⭐ Highlight: “To be able to bring my best self to the table, to be a great facilitator of a transaction, to be the top-notch relational broker that I know I can be—it really does require having some type of balance between my work and [my personal life].” –Brad Davis, Just Real Seattle 

🎧 Listen: Visit the episode page for more.

4. How to Save Time and Money by Analyzing Your Reviews (episode 59)

🎙️ Emily: “This entire episode is all about leveraging your reviews to make changes faster than you can observe them yourself. Jeff’s whole approach is if you listen to what people are saying and you try to bunch it together as data, you can do a lot of things to prevent criticism or prevent bad experiences, and you can also double down on what you’re already doing really well.”

⭐ Highlight: “Always understand that reviews are marketing for your business. Whether it’s a positive review or even a negative one, how you handle those reviews can help your business and attract new customers who get what you’re all about and are looking forward to a great experience.” –Jeff Toister, customer service expert

🎧 Listen: Visit the episode page for more.

5. Putting Mental Health On The Table with Skull and Cakebones (episode 83)

🎙️ Emily: “Mental health has become a topic that more people are interested in the past two or three years. There are more entrepreneurs who are willing to break that mentality of ‘work until you drop’ and actually focus on themselves, focus on their teams, and be able to have a sustainable life.”

⭐ Highlight: “There’s a lot of risk involved in leaving yourself so exposed by telling your story. But when the door is open that wide, there can also be this rush of goodness that comes. In telling my story, we’ve experienced this incredible response [of] people being so kind and wanting to share their story. So not only am I open now, but through opening myself, other people are opening too.” –Sascha Biesi, Skull & Cakebones

🎧 Listen: Visit the episode page for more.

How it all started 

Did you know the podcast started with a 5-star small business encounter?

When Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, got locked out of his New York City office, he called the most trustworthy business he found on Yelp: Lockbusters, founded by New York City locksmith Jay Sofer. Jason was so impressed with Jay’s success on the platform that he approached Yelp to collaborate on a show that unites business owners with their reviewers. 

Host Emily Washcovick has been taking listeners behind the review ever since. “We try to drill down on what caused the reviewer to go online and write the review. And so that often shows you the competitive advantage that business has or the thing that they do really well,” Emily said. 

Emily’s most memorable moments 

Biggest business learning

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that having a culture for your business—whether it’s just you or 100 employees—is so important. The businesses that have thought about what their culture is seem to always have this attractiveness to the consumer. The businesses that are the most understood by their customer base or have those fanatical customers—people who would literally go around town and tell everyone about them—are the ones that have intention behind what they do, and customers latch onto that.”

Most surprising story 

Mixed Fillings Pie Shop started in the pandemic, and they were a pie business that operated almost like a speakeasy. They were this tiny little door in the back of some other business. You would place your pie order online, and then you’d show up, and get your pie. They never, ever, ever had offered pie by the slice.

When you get a criticism, you can look at it as a criticism, or you can look at it as a way to see what customers think and maybe change things. Sometimes it’s something very small, and sometimes it’s not worth it, but why not give it a shot?

Emily Washcovick

“Well, they end up getting a critical review one day from someone who wanted pie by the slice, and I remember thinking in the interview when owner Natasha Burton first started telling the story: ‘Oh man, I’ve heard this complaint before. You’re getting a critical review for something that you’re not offering or sometimes has nothing to do with you.’ That could feel really unfair and like an attack. But instead Natasha thought, ‘Huh, maybe I should just try that.’ And they started selling pie by the slice, and now they have this mega pie-by-the-slice business. She just decided to try it instead of being upset by the critical feedback, and it was a huge opportunity, and I think that’s relevant to any business.

Underrated piece of advice

“I’m a big advocate for mental health, work-life balance, and taking care of yourself. And I’ve been surprised to hear so many business owners be with me in the fight to break the ‘early bird gets the worm, grind until you die’ mentality. Business owners are some of the hardest working people on the planet, but if you’re not actively making time for yourself or time to step away from your business—time to enrich yourself outside of your entrepreneurial endeavors—you can start to feel resentful about your business, even if it’s doing really well.

Burnout is super real, and I think a lot of the entrepreneurs who have learned that—some of them the hard way—proactively prioritize themselves and a life away from their job. I think about people like Nic Faitos, owner of Starbright Floral, who talked about the importance of his family and his staff’s life outside of work, or Misty and Dennis Akers, co-owners of The Candle Pour, who know they have to be able to step away and have team members they trust to run the business without them.”

It’s scary to think about not going in when the store opens every day of the week or whatever that is for you, but once you start stepping away, you can start to build that trust with yourself.

Emily Washcovick

Sneak peek at season 2

Debuting in April, the second season of Behind the Review will feature a slate of high-profile new guests, including business owners who won a spot on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat 2023, recipients of the Yelp for Business x Luminary Fellowship, and multi-location business owners who will share a national perspective on local business growth.

Not only that, but Emily will dive head first into a sometimes-thorny topic: critical reviews. She’ll be speaking with business owners about how they use critical reviews to their advantage and even be speaking with reviewers who were—at first—less than pleased with their experience to learn why they review and what changes their perspective.


Visit the Behind the Review show page to subscribe to the show and explore all 100 episodes. For a deeper dive into each week’s conversation, check out our resources for business owners

Want to be featured as a business owner or reviewer on Behind the Review? Email podcasts@yelp.com for more information. 

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The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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