Yelp also announced its Virtual Restaurant attribute, which distinguishes takeout and delivery-only restaurants. The company has seen a massive uptick in virtual restaurants in the past year, with local food delivery business openings increasing 166 percent above pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter. Between June 2020 and September, the number of businesses adopting the “offers takeout” option on Yelp increased 15 percent. During the same timeframe, Yelp saw a 50 percent and 550 percent rise in the options of “offers delivery” and “offers curbside,” respectively.
“Yelp has been a great partner as we build our virtual brand portfolio and we are excited to have our concepts now highlighted on the platform,” said Trish Giordano, co-founder of Virtual Dining Concepts, in a statement. “We look forward to working with Yelp as they assist consumers with having a better understanding of the virtual restaurant industry.”
To reduce digital friction even further, Yelp also partnered with Olo, an on-demand commerce platform powering digital ordering in the restaurant industry. New orders on a restaurant’s website or app will automatically be inputted into the Yelp Guest Manager app, and Yelp Ad customers can measure the success rate of their ads in securing customer interest.
Yelp Guest Manager adds to the list of resources Yelp has unveiled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including $25 million in relief for independent restaurants via waived advertising fees, products, and services. In August 2021, Yelp saw a 69 percent jump in new adoption of its front-of-the-house technology compared to the year before.
Restaurants have already seen results from the new suite of tools.
“Yelp Guest Manager helps us reduce friction in the front-of-house,” Adam Porter, senior manager of digital strategy at Snooze, an a.m. Eatery, said in a statement. “And it provides everyone greater peace of mind during Covid, by ensuring guests show up to dine at our restaurants at the right time, eliminating crowded waiting spaces."