Today, we are thrilled to reveal “Turn the Tables,” a new campaign celebrating the innovation and creativity of the restaurant community and highlighting unique local restaurateur stories. From shifts in business models and unsteady supply chains, to worker shortages and heightened focus on fair wages, the restaurant industry has faced unprecedented changes.
The ad campaign, a first for Yelp since 2016, highlights the tenacity of three restaurant owners who successfully found new ways to turn industry struggles into game-changing shifts despite unpredictable waves of COVID-19.
In the first quarter of 2022, Yelp data revealed that business growth is rebounding, new business openings in the U.S. grew above pre-pandemic levels, and consumers are returning to the types of businesses hit hardest by the pandemic, including bars and restaurants. This growth signals we are all ready to take the challenges of the last two years, turn the tables and embrace the future.
Glenn Ishii is an LA-based Japanese American chef who started cooking with his grandmother as a child, later opening a restaurant, JiST Cafe, to serve Little Tokyo. When the pandemic hit, he revived his grandmother’s classic recipe to comfort the seniors in the area during a distressing time and bring a beloved cultural dish to a community in need.
Ann Butler is a former culinary teacher who spent 12 years growing her own cooking school for kids. She decided to open 21 Spoons during the onset of the pandemic to preserve Richmond’s vibrant food culture and turn a pandemic vacancy into a community-centric restaurant.
Ketsuda Chaison is a Thai immigrant who is passionate about making Latin America fusion food. She started Mestizo right before the pandemic, and turned its kitchen into a rentable pop-up kitchen to keep her staff employed.
At Yelp, we’ve also embraced the theme of our new campaign by launching dedicated teams and resources to build the next generation of restaurant technology. If you’re a restauranteur looking to turn the tables with your own business, visit Yelp for Restaurants.