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The new Yelp platform starts at $249.

Yelp Unveils New Tech Platform to Simplify Front-of-House Operations

The integrated solution combines reservations, takeout, table management, and more. 

To meet restaurants’ increasing needs as dine-in ramps up, Yelp has launched a new tool called Yelp Guest Manager to streamline restaurant operations. The technology offers new digital ordering and guest loyalty integrations and aims to simplify front-of-house operations for dine-in and to-go ordering.

The tool comes during a period of post-pandemic growth for restaurants, according to the company. More diners were seated via Yelp this August compared to 2019, and searches for takeout remain 77 percent higher than pre-pandemic.

“These trends illustrate a new normal for restaurants that need to manage the experience of both online and in-person diners at the same time the industry is facing an unprecedented labor shortage,” Anthony Cross, Yelp’s vice president of product, said in a statement.

Yelp Guest Manager presents one integrated solution that brings together Yelp Waitlist, Reservations, Kiosk, Takeout, Table Management, online brand building, and more. The new Yelp platform starts at $249 with unlimited covers.

With the all-encompassing tool, Yelp said users can join waitlists and see accurate seat times and live status updates, preventing no-shows. Restaurants can also add takeout orders, track their progress, and notify guests when the order is ready for pickup. Additionally, hosts can adjust reservation capacity in the business owner app and text curbside order updates.

Through a partnership with Punchh, the Yelp Guest Manager allows restaurants to personalize customer loyalty programs. Through this function, operators can leverage a myriad of consumer data, like loyalty tier, seating preferences, lifetime visits, and birthday and anniversary dates to create a more interactive, 1:1 customer experience.

“We are thrilled to team up with Yelp to help restaurant brands deliver more engaging offers and personalized experiences that serve the needs of the modern restaurant guest,” Shyam Rao, Punchh’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Just like Punchh, Yelp continues to innovate and deliver products that provide a differentiated experience for concepts, while enhancing each phase of the customer journey.”


Yelp's Punchh integration.


Yelp's Olo integration.


Yelp Waitlist.

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."