March 25, 2015

From Keelung to Kenting, Yelp’s got you covered with launch in Taiwan

從基隆到墾丁,都有全新上線Yelp台灣罩著你 

距離香港海岸約700公里處有一個地瓜形狀的島嶼,這座島嶼的文化色彩相當多元,受到中國、歐美、日本以及當地原住民文化的影響,這座寶島就叫做台灣,而我們要熱烈地歡迎她加入不斷擴大的Yelp大家庭!

台灣以身為亞洲四小龍之一、以亞洲創新科技重鎮為傲。但是台灣不是只有晶片和電路板,豐富的自然資源才是台灣最令人驚喜的資產:整個台灣有五分之一是國家的自然生態保護區,而且三分之一是森林,其中總共有150多座溫泉、9個國家公園、以及上百公里的登山步道,有足夠的戶外活動能夠讓Yelpers慢慢探索並與Yelp的大家庭分享他們的體驗。

「2300萬的台灣人在很多層面上,與Yelp的故鄉-美國矽谷的居民非常相似」,新市場開發副總裁Miriam Warren 解釋,「都非常喜愛嘗鮮以及探索新資訊。再加上許多具有影響力的科技品牌都來自台灣,台灣與Yelp可說是天作之合。」

如果餓了,你一定要知道的詞彙是「小吃」,就像是西班牙的tapas,你可以隨意地在路邊的小吃店或是夜市裡面的攤販找到這些份量十足的點心。熱門的小吃包括愛玉、還有蚵仔煎,而對於那些比較大膽的饕客,我們推薦你:臭豆腐。還有還有,在你嘗試正宗的珍珠奶茶之前不要說你來過台灣!畢竟這裡是它的發源地。

下載Yelp的應用程式或登入Yelp.com.tw,一起探索台灣最夯的一切。企業可以免費在biz.yelp.com.tw註冊自己的店家。

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From Keelung to Kenting, Yelp’s got you covered with launch in Taiwan

Just over 400 miles from Hong Kong floats a sweet-potato shaped island barely larger than Belgium. This tuber shaped gem, with Chinese, Western, Japanese and indigenous influences is known as Taiwan, and we are excited to welcome it to the ever-expanding Yelp family!

Founded in 1912, Taiwan is proud of its status as one of the four Asian Tigers and its reputation as a hotbed for technology and innovation. But it’s not all microchips and circuit boards. Many are surprised by Taiwan’s wealth of natural beauty. One-fifth of the country is protected land and a third is forest. With 150 hot springs, 9 national parks, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails, there’s plenty of outdoor activities for Yelpers to sink their teeth into and share their experience with the wider Yelp community.

"The country’s 23 million residents are, in many ways, very similar to Yelp’s home population in Silicon Valley,” explains Miriam Warren, VP of New Markets. “A love of discovery and of new experiences, as well as the fact that a bevy of influential technology brands call Taiwan their home, definitely makes Yelp a natural fit here."

If you’re hungry, the word to know is: xiaochi. Much like tapas, these substantial snacks can be found at hawker stalls and night markets. Popular xiaochi include aiyu jelly, oyster omelettes, and for the brave: stinky tofu. And don’t leave before getting a sip of authentic boba milk tea; they invented it after all.

Download the Yelp app or log on to Yelp.com.tw to discover the best of what Taiwan has to offer. Businesses can get in on the action too at biz.yelp.com.tw, by claiming their Yelp Business Page for free.

 

March 24, 2015

Yelp Platform Springs Forward: Book 5 New Categories of Business on Yelp

Notice anything different when you woke up this morning? The bright warmth on your face?  It’s called sunshine! That song in the air? Birds! And what about those lovely clicking and tapping sounds all around you? That is the music of Yelpers everywhere, booking and ordering from local businesses directly on Yelp about 1.5 million times to date. We spent all Winter helping you survive the snowpocalypse by sending food delivery straight to your door and booking escapes to tropical getaways and Napa wine tours, and now it’s time to ring in Spring with a fresh crop of partners that have made five new categories of businesses transactable on Yelp Platform!

Yes, the great outdoors is beckoning, and Yelp wants to help you answer its call. That’s why we partnered with Vimbly to make activities from over 5,000 local vendors instantly bookable on Yelp. Rent a paddle board, take a photo safari, or parachute out of a plane! If you’re a golfer (or you just really enjoy driving a golf cart around and drinking beer outside), you can even book a tee time on Yelp thanks to our partnership with GolfNow. It’s all just par for the course with Yelp Platform!

Vimbly GolfNow images

Send beautiful blooms from a local florist to a special someone (PSA: Mother’s Day is on the horizon) through our new partnership with BloomNation, get vacay ready with spa and salon treatments through Vagaro, and party like it’s Spring Break 1999 with VIP bottle service and table booking through Yelp’s first nightlife partner, TableList

TableList BloomNation collage

But why stop there? Spring is for the new and adventurous. Maybe this is the year you heed that little voice in your head and take the plunge... by becoming a great local business owner yourself! Whether you’re a baker or a violin instructor, book a free consultation with one of thousands of lawyers and learn how to get started the right way, courtesy of Platform partner LegalZoom

We’ve got a lot more on the way, but don’t be a stranger; there’s a season for everyone! If you’re a developer with a service the Yelp community would love, please check out yelp.com/developers or reach out to us at bizdev@yelp.com.

 

March 06, 2015

Yelp’s New Office in the Windy City: We’re Hiring in Chicago!

Yesterday we celebrated the opening of Yelp’s brand new Chicago office, our fifth in North America and eighth worldwide. Ribbons were cut, high fives were given, Yelp-burst-adorned deep dish pizzas were devoured, and local Chicagoans were treated to Check-In Offers at great local businesses inside our new home at the historic Merchandise Mart.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and local Chicago small business owners joined our CEO Jeremy Stoppelman for a tour of the new digs, which were designed to pay homage to the Windy City with a resemblance to Chicago’s “L” stations and conference rooms named after Chicago landmarks (Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, etc). More than 170 employees are already hard at work at our new location, and we plan to employ a total of up to 400 people in Chicago in the next 12-18 months.

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cuts the ribbon with Jeremy at our new Yelp Chicagoland offices. Photo via @yelpcareers

Chicago collage

The welcome sign in our Chicago lobby, Yelp deep dish pizzas as far as the eye can see, and Check-In Offers for local businesses in the Merchandise Mart.

Yelp has a long history in Chicago. After being founded in San Francisco, Chicago was one of the first cities Yelp expanded to (and where I began my Yelp journey as Chicago’s first Community Manager!), making this community of local Yelpers one of our oldest. Now in 29 countries and with almost 3,000 employees, we’re a bit bigger than we were back then. It seems only natural that Chicago is part of Yelp’s journey as we help support the local economy.

Chicago’s Yelp employees will get to enjoy a unique culture in this open-office environment with a café with in-house baristas, stocked kitchens, a specialized training room, a genius bar and an entertainment space. We’ve partnered with Skills for Chicagoland’s Future to recruit under- and unemployed local candidates, and interested job seekers can apply for open positions at yelp.com/careers. Well, what are you waiting for? Click that link!

 

February 18, 2015

Yelp Gives Net Neutrality Five Stars

Since Yelp’s inception as a platform to connect people with great local businesses around them, we have supported and relied on the principles of an open and free Internet in order to do business. These principles, which have become enshrined in the term “Net Neutrality,” provide that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all legal data and content equally, and not discriminate, throttle, or charge different rates depending on the nature of the site, platform or data being transmitted.

We believe that the Internet, Yelp, and our users have benefitted tremendously from Net Neutrality and that any deviation from these principles could fundamentally threaten the Internet and sites like Yelp as they exist today. This is why we have observed with great interest over the last year as the Federal Communications Commission has considered updating its Net Neutrality rules in the wake of the Verizon vs. FCC federal court decision. It is also why we were incredibly pleased when FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his intention to seek reclassification of Internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 for the purposes of enforcing open Internet protections. This reclassification will ensure strong, robust, and enforceable Net Neutrality protections.

We realize that the debate over whether to reclassify Internet access service under Title II has become highly politicized. While we are not directly opposed to any future actions by Congress to promote open Internet protections through new legislation, the litmus test will be whether our elected officials can at the very least meet the threshold of Net Neutrality protections set by the FCC. Anything less will likely cause more harm than good for the Internet and public at-large.  

Without an empowered enforcement agency like the FCC to protect that free and open nature, the Internet could fall victim to entrenched, monopolistic ISPs and gatekeeper companies who would control when, how, from whom and at what cost you view content online. This threatens the very core of American freedom and values. At Yelp, we value our users first and foremost, which is why we will work with other companies and organizations to support adoption of the strongest Net Neutrality principles to protect the American public.

Click here to get involved and join millions of other Americans in expressing your support for Net Neutrality before the FCC votes on February 26, 2015.

February 16, 2015

Yelp + Open Data = The End of Food Poisoning?

In the Spring of 2013, a group of randomly selected restaurateurs in a major U.S. city received a letter in the mail with their most recent restaurant hygiene inspection score. Half of the recipients were also notified that this score would be published on Yelp.


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After the letters were sent, inspection scores for all restaurants were tracked to identify any changes in performance. The result? Restaurants informed that their score was posted on Yelp tended to clean up their act and have higher scores in their next inspections.

This work stems from an open data project we announced in late 2012 to encourage cities to share their data in ways that are easy to ingest on platforms like Yelp. Most consumers aren't using clunky "dot gov" websites to find helpful hygiene information about the restaurants they frequent, so it makes a lot more sense to give them that information when they are on a site like Yelp.

We now know that when cities share their data with Yelp, restaurants behave better and consumers feel more informed, but what happens when Yelp reciprocates and shares its restaurant review data with governments?

A new article appearing in Harvard Business Review discusses this question and offers a deeper glimpse into Yelp’s partnerships with governments and academic institutions. We’re excited about the promise the early findings of these studies show and we’re eager to continue similarly useful data sharing for the benefit of consumers.

February 13, 2015

Taking A Stand Against Misleading “Reputation Management” Companies

We sometimes hear reports about “reputation management” or “small business marketing” agencies that promise (for a fee, of course) to help businesses remove negative reviews and gain more positive reviews on Yelp. Some of these agencies imply that they have a special relationship with Yelp or even lead business owners to believe that they are acting on behalf of Yelp.

These offers are scams, but some business owners unfortunately fall for them and end up paying dearly, both with their bank accounts and their online reputations. Today we’re taking a stand to protect business owners from falling prey to these misleading companies by filing a lawsuit against a recurring offender named Revleap.

Revleap, which has cycled through various names including “Yelpdirector” and “Revpley,” has spammed businesses with unsolicited messages claiming that they can get good reviews to stick and remove bad reviews. One thing Revleap actually does, it seems, is bombard their clients’ customers with surveys. Customers that respond favorably, and agree to post a review, are entered in a drawing for gift cards in an effort to deceptively boost their clients’ reputations.

Revleap’s business model is the sort of thing that can put small businesses at risk with respect to our Consumer Alert program and federal and state regulators who often crack down on businesses that try to artificially inflate their online reputations.

We hope that taking action against Revleap will put a stop to their misleading practices and also help businesses distinguish between companies that are playing by the rules and those that are using Yelp’s name to make a dollar by taking advantage of unsuspecting small businesses.

February 10, 2015

Welcoming Eat24 to the Yelp Family

Eat24 joined the Yelp Platform as a transaction partner in 2013 and since then we’ve been looking at them, well, the way they look at bacon.  We couldn’t resist any longer and I’m excited to announce that we have officially brought them into the Yelp family!

For those of you who haven’t used the service, its mission is to keep you from having to cook, shop, or wear pants. Eat24 is an online food ordering app and website that covers about 20,000 restaurants across the country. As a Yelp Platform partner, they’ve been a valuable driver of our growth in the restaurant category while continuing to build an impressive business of their own.

Eat24_screenshots

Online and mobile food ordering is still in its infancy and restaurant and food searches are extremely popular on Yelp. We believe that the acquisition of Eat24 will allow us to build a better, more seamless ordering experience for consumers that we can grow through 2015 and beyond.

We are excited to welcome the Eat24 team to Yelp as we work on delivering the best local search and transaction experience available to consumers and great local businesses.

January 29, 2015

Yelp’s Snack Stadium Donates 4 Tons of Velveeta (and More!) to Local Phoenix Charity

This Sunday, tens of thousands of fans will fill the University of Phoenix stadium to watch two teams battle for the ultimate prize in American football: the title of Super Bowl champion. But there’s another title that’s being claimed in Arizona this week: the world’s largest snack stadium! 

Snack stadium field

Let’s start at the beginning. Nearly one year ago, we began brainstorming fun ways for locals to get in the big game spirit and also have a positive impact on the local Phoenix community. Once we found a partner, Phoenix-based architecture and design firm Bar Napkin Productions, the Yelp Snack Stadium began to take shape.

Fast forward one year and nearly 1,200 hours of work later, and this impressive monstrosity of snack-worthy deliciousness has finally become a reality. The Yelp Snack Stadium, which is housed inside the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, stands over 7 feet tall, 27 feet long and 24 feet wide! Read more on the making of at Yahoo! Food and Delish. Ingredients include:

    • 4 tons of Velveeta
    • 4 tons of Rotel
    • 2,200 bags of Boulder Canyon Chips
    • 32,000 cans of Dole products
    • 400 boxes of Mike and Ikes and Hot Tamales
    • 50 goody bags from Harkins Theaters
    • Support from GoDaddy, PayPal & PRO EM

 The Yelp Snack Stadium in Phoenix, AZ is built over several hours in this time-lapse video.

Throughout the week, Yelp will be collecting additional shelf-stable food at the Yelp Snack Stadium. These donations, along with all the products used to construct the stadium, will be donated to the local St. Vincent de Paul food bank on February 1st. We’re also accepting online donations for those of you who can’t make it to Scottsdale with your canned goods.

Watch the Yelp Snack Stadium take shape in the time-lapse video above, and if you happen to be in the Phoenix area for the big game, stop by for a #YelpSnackStadium selfie, a game of table top football, and recommendations from yours truly on great local businesses to check out while in town for the big game!

Snack Stadium Birds Eye

January 27, 2015

Yelp Consumer Alerts: Shady Business Tactics? Not on Our Watch

Yelp began its Consumer Alerts program in October of 2012 to help consumers make more informed spending decisions. Our team of detectives is on a mission to catch businesses which may be trying to mislead consumers. We place a clear warning on the front of the offending business’ Yelp page, and link to relevant evidence. In the past, the program has alerted consumers to deceitful behavior by urgent care facilities, doctors, dentists and more - exactly the types of businesses that consumers shouldn’t have to second guess.  

This week, we’re releasing 85 new Consumer Alerts for businesses who were attempting to buy or offer rewards for positive reviews and some that had a large number of reviews submitted from the same Internet Protocol (IP) address (a hint that someone may be trying to artificially inflate their rating). A Consumer Alert message will be posted on these business’ Yelp listings for 90 days.

 

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Although most of the millions of businesses listed on Yelp do play by the rules, and Yelp’s automated recommendation software is already in place to identify and weed out fake reviews, consumers have a right to know about the bad apples before deciding to spend money at their businesses. For example, prospective customers of Back 2 Normal Physiotherapy in Vancouver, BC would probably want to know that a number of their five-star reviews came from the same IP address before deciding to visit them for acupuncture or injury treatment. Likewise, you’d probably appreciate the heads up that tattoo removal shop Dr. Tattoff was caught offering Starbucks and Amazon.com gift cards in exchange for Yelp reviews before turning to them for help painfully removing that mistake you made during college spring break. Or if you’re preparing for a big apartment move and want to hire someone you can trust, it’d be helpful to know that we discovered Roadway Moving in Manhattan, NY was offering $100 American Express gift cards in exchange for 5-star reviews.

 

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Beyond giving consumers a false perception of the business where they are about to spend their money and violating Yelp’s Terms of Service, writing a testimonial without revealing you've been compensated can also violate FTC guidelines.

Consumers have the right to be alerted when a business is attempting to deceive them. Rest assured that when it comes to protecting consumers, we’ll always have your back.

January 22, 2015

Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2015

Yelp is a hotbed of user-generated information. From lengthy reviews to photos and searches, there’s a lot that our data can tell us about small businesses and consumer preferences. From this data we know that one of the main questions people across the world come to Yelp to answer is, “Where should I eat?”

Well have no fear, Yelp’s Top 100 List for 2015 is here, revealing the hottest 100 places to eat in the United States based on Yelp data. How did we compile a list so thorough? To determine Yelp’s top places to eat for 2015, our data science team analyzed which places were the most popular and well reviewed over the course of 2014. Unlike our inaugural list from last year, which unearthed the best places to eat on Yelp based on almost 10 years of reviews, this time Yelp’s data science team gave more weight to recent reviews, so that Yelpers’ opinions in 2014 mattered most, while older reviews had less influence on the list. While we still see some of the great places from the 2014 Top 100 that were as good as ever last year, we've also made room for some up and comers that were off the charts in 2014. Businesses were compared on a nationwide basis.

Top 100 2015 collage

Clockwise from top: Owner Hank grilling up some barbecue at #1 spot Copper Top BBQ, oysters at #3 spot Soho Japanese Restaurant in Las Vegas, and a grilled panini at #45 Persimmon Cafe (located inside a laundromat!).

From food trucks to fine dining and even a cafe located in a laundromat, there are hidden gems galore and something for every taste and budget on this list.

Do you disagree with the data or think our list rules? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with #YelpTop100, and be sure to write a review if you check out any of these spots in 2015. Here’s to the most delicious year yet!

Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2015

1. Copper Top BBQ – Big Pine, CA
2. Art of Flavors – Las Vegas, NV
3. Soho Japanese Restaurant – Las Vegas, NV
4. TKB Bakery and Deli – Indio, CA
5. Ono Seafood – Honolulu, HI
6. Shark Pit Maui – Lahaina, HI
7. Gaucho Parilla Argentina – Pittsburgh, PA
8. Bobboi Natural Gelato – La Jolla, CA
9. Golden Bear Trading Company – San Francisco, CA
10. Little Miss BBQ – Phoenix, AZ
11. Dat Cajun Guy – Haleiwa, HI
12. Sweet Dogs – Miami, FL
13. Aviva by Kameel – Atlanta, GA
14. Sweet Spice – Savannah, GA
15. Royal Taj – Columbia, MD
16. Arun's Indian Kichen – Coral Spring, FL
17. Hall's Chophouse – Charleston, SC
18. Bronze Cafe – Las Vegas, NV
19. Saffron and Rose Ice Cream – Los Angeles, CA
20. Buddha Thai Bistro – Vacaville, CA
21. Yoshino Japanese Deli – Carlsbad, CA
22. Big Al's Pizzeria – Maywood, CA
23. Andytown Coffee Roasters – San Francisco, CA
24. Kech Cafe – Fountain Valley, CA
25. Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que – Kansas City, KS
26. Los Andes Restaurant – Providence, RI
27. Lahaina Luna Cafe – Lahaina, HI
28. Bell Street Farm – Los Alamos, CA
29. Tacos El Gordo De Tijuana BC – Chula Vista, CA
30. Detroit Coney Grill – Tempe, AZ
31. Sessions West Coast Deli – Newport Beach, CA
32. Baguette Cafe – Las Vegas, NV
33. Carrara Pastries – Moorpark, CA
34. Bogart's Smokehouse – Saint Louis, MO
35. Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia, PA
36. Piperi Mediterranean Grill – Boston, MA
37. Kitchen Table Cafe – Denver, CO
38. Mood Cafe – Philadelphia, PA
39. Santos Lucha Libre – Phoenix, AZ
40. Porto's Bakery – Burbank, CA
41. El Dorado Cantina - Las Vegas, NV
42. Jougert Bar – Burlingame, CA
43. Araya's Place Thai Vegan Restaurant – Los Angeles, CA
44. Joe's Falafel – Los Angeles, CA
45. Persimmon Cafe – Charleston, SC
46. Beiler's Bakery – Philadelphia, PA
47. Starbread – Sacramento, CA
48. Kersmon Caribbean Restaurant – Greenacres, FL
49. Vitality Tap – San Diego, CA
50. Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse – Downers Grove, IL
51. Da Poke Shack - Kailua Kona, HI
52. Poke Express – Las Vegas, NV
53. Marukame Udon – Honolulu, HI
54. Bronzed Aussie – Los Angeles, CA
55. Bite Into Maine – Cape Elizabeth, ME
56. Franklin Barbecue – Austin, TX
57. Eddie V's Prime Seafood – San Diego, CA
58. Hey!... You Gonna Eat or What? – Austin, TX
59. Mama D's Italian Kitchen – Newport Beach, CA
60. Outlaws Cafe – Van Nuys, CA
61. Subculture Extraordinary Sandwiches – Huntington Beach, CA
62. Go Greek Yogurt – Beverly Hills, CA
63. Ninja Sushi and Teriyaki – Roseville, CA
64. Los Agaves – Santa Barbara, CA
65. Sal, Kris, & Charlie's Deli – Astoria, NY
66. Genie Den – Garden Grove, CA
67. Garbo's Grill – Key West, FL
68. T-Deli – San Diego, CA
69. Rose's Luxury – Washington, DC
70. Embargo Grill – San Diego, CA
71. Your Kitchen – Honolulu, HI
72. LouEddie's Pizza – Skyforest, CA
73. Blues City Deli – Saint Louis, MO
74. Dametra Cafe – Carmel, CA
75. Nick's Next Door – Los Gatos, CA
76. Don Julio's Rincon Latin Grill and Pupusas – Rohnert Park, CA
77. Mr. Mama's – Las Vegas, NV
78. Los Tacos No. 1 – New York, NY
79. Beyer Deli – San Diego, CA
80. Mojo Donuts – Pembroke Pines, FL
81. Peter's Kettle Corn – Oakland, CA
82. The Pocket Burger Shack – Sunset Beach, CA
83. Mouthful Eatery – Thousand Oaks, CA
84. Playground 2.0 – Santa Ana, CA
85. Monell's Dining & Catering – Nashville, TN
86. Zenwich – Elmhurst, IL
87. Commonwealth Restaurant – Burbank, CA
88. Istanbul Grill California – Fountain Valley, CA
89. Mister Falafel – San Diego, CA
90. Vietnam Poblano – Houston, TX
91. Tanioka's Seafoods & Catering – Waipahu, HI
92. Yak's On The 5 – Dunsmuir, CA
93. Titas Taco House – Humble, TX
94. Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana – Phoenix, AZ
95. Eli's BBQ – Cincinnati, OH
96. Johnny Pacific – Winnetka, CA
97. The Cinnamon Snail – New York, NY
98. Cafe la Maude – Philadelphia, PA
99. Cream Pan – Tustin, CA
100. Pi-Hi Cafe – Chicago, IL