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Yelp Connect: a new voice for restaurants to reach locals

Today Yelp is introducing Yelp Connect, a brand new way for restaurants to communicate and share updates with new and existing customers. With this product, restaurants can feel confident they’re reaching local, relevant diners, who have previously expressed interest in their business via Yelp. 

Yelp Connect lets restaurants make the most of their Yelp business page by publishing relevant information for consumers, including what’s new on the menu, happy hour specials, and upcoming events. Anyone viewing their business page can now see these updates, and diners can stay in the know by following their favorite restaurants.

Yelp users will find updates on their app homescreen, as well as in a personalized weekly email from restaurants we know they’re interested in. Unlike other social platforms, restaurants with Yelp Connect typically start out with followers. These followers consist of users who have previously engaged with their business—such as joining the line remotely via Yelp Waitlist, booking a table via Yelp Reservations and bookmarking a restaurant for later.

The current state of social media isn’t designed with business owners in mind, but Yelp Connect offers a more strategic approach, helping restaurants target the most relevant consumers. This new product lets restaurant operators market themselves with more accurate and timely local reach, getting in front of the right potential customers in their community, and empowering restaurants to be a part of the conversation on Yelp. 

Restaurants are one of Yelp’s most searched terms, and as a potential diner skims through a business’s page to decide where to eat, Yelp Connect serves as a helpful way to stand out and capture that hungry audience by strategically connecting restaurants with the right diners in their area.

“Yelp Connect has given me a place to share information directly with existing and potential customers. It’s a great way to present your restaurant exactly how you want to be presented,” said Kathryn Gianaras, owner of NOVY Restaurant in San Francisco. “Being able to scroll down our page and see our own photos and updates that we posted makes us look a lot better on Yelp and is helpful for our guests to see. Plus, I like that I can set expiration dates for my posts, especially for holidays and events so I can set it and forget it.”

Now, restaurants have the power to reach relevant diners who have previously shown interest in their business, or are in their neighborhood, without the hassle of posting updates every day. Restaurant owners will have full control of their updates, including setting end dates for posts about limited-time offerings. With post expiration dates, restaurant owners won’t need to worry about the information on their business page becoming outdated.

At Yelp, we’re committed to being a great partner to businesses and Connect is just one of many solutions we’ve created for businesses to reach relevant consumers and market their business effectively. Earlier this year, we launched additional business page upgrades such as Business Highlights, Portfolio and Yelp Verified License to help businesses show consumers what makes them unique and trustworthy enough to do the job. We’re focused on continuing to help businesses foster meaningful connections with consumers by helping restaurants maintain loyal customers, and keep diners coming back.