Skip to Main Content
Select A Store
Blog Menu
Restaurant (189)
Operations (63)
COVID (13)
Trends (42)
Technology (24)
Staffing (13)
Pop-Ups (11)
Budget (16)
Home Cook (47)
Tips (23)
Family (12)
Nutrition (9)
Holidays (3)
Recipes (48)
Entree (21)
Side-Dish (7)
Appetizer (10)
Beverage (3)
Breakfast (2)
Dessert (5)

Restaurant Marketing: Why Yelp Is More Important Than It Seems

Back Print

April 04, 2023

92 percent of consumers seek out online reviews before deciding to make a purchase. As a restaurant owner, you want to tap into digital platforms to increase your online presence and attract new customers. While social media has been an up-and-coming marketing tool in recent years, Yelp is still one of the best ways to reach your target consumers effectively. Yelp is the fourth most viewed website that customers visit to read reviews, seeing monthly traffic of over 40 million.  So, if you haven’t thought about the marketing power of Yelp for your restaurant, read on to learn why Yelp is more critical than one might think.

Why is Yelp for Restaurants Important?

According to a 2023 Review42 study, 45 percent of customers seek Yelp reviews before deciding to visit a business. Which restaurant they might choose over another can be heavily influenced by reviews. In fact, online reviews affect 67.7 percent of purchasing decisions. 

Yelp is also one of the leading platforms diners use to discover new places to eat. Restaurant categories on Yelp have the largest amount of reviews, coming in at 49 percent. With over 184 million reviews worldwide across all categories, that is a lot of marketing potential! However, you want to set up your account, manage reviews, and keep your profile current to ensure you reach the most customers and reap all of Yelp's benefits.

Setting Up Your Yelp Listing the Right Way

The first step to taking advantage of Yelp is to set up your listing.

  1. Go to
  2. Click the “Manage my free listing” button
  3. Continue to follow the on-screen instructions

Once your business is claimed, you’ll want to provide all your primary information, such as location, contact info, website, and business hours. Yelp also offers extra features that allow you to show off amenities such as free wi-fi, patio seating, kid-friendly dining, and more. Select all the categories that make sense for your business. This will let customers know what you offer and provide essential keywords that guests often search for, increasing traffic to your listing. Finally, add photos that promote your dishes, dining area, and behind-the-scenes action. 

Managing Your Reviews

Having positive reviews on Yelp is also crucial for bringing in new customers. In fact, improving your Yelp rating by only one star can increase revenue by 9 percent. Managing your reviews is crucial to get boosted ratings and improve customer satisfaction. 

Yelp is designed as a review platform, as a result, business owners don’t have the option to delete poor reviews or select only positive ones. While that may seem frustrating for operators, it’s one of the reasons Yelp is such a trusted source. Thankfully, 52 percent of Yelp reviews are 5 stars, with only 18 percent being 1 star, so there is no need to panic. If you want to reach that 5-star mark, there are some ways to achieve that goal.

  • Respond to negative reviews. The last thing a restaurant owner might want to do is deal with a bad review. However, 89 percent of customers will likely try a restaurant that responds to reviews. When handling negative reviews, always be warm and professional, and offer solutions to fix the experience.
  • Increase the number of reviews. The more reviews you receive, the better your chances of 5 stars. Plus, businesses with more reviews are likely to see more revenue. Products with just five online reviews are likely to increase purchasing possibilities by 270 percent compared to those with zero reviews.

Note: Asking customers to leave a review on Yelp is considered soliciting and goes against the platform’s terms of service. Provide the best customer experience to improve the chances you receive a positive review naturally. 

Let US Foods CHEF’STORE Help Enhance Your Restaurant

At CHEF’STORE, we offer premium restaurant supplies and products and provide our culinary partners with helpful business resources. Let us help you receive even more 5-star reviews. Stop by one of our many locations to see everything we have to offer!



The information materials and opinions contained in this blog/website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations, or undertakings about any of the content of this blog/website (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content).

Related Blogs