November 19, 2015

Americans to Spend $40 Billion at Local Businesses this Holiday Season

Good news for local business owners: Americans plan to spend a lot of money on holiday shopping, and the majority of shoppers want to spend those dollars with you! Yelp commissioned a survey conducted online by Harris Poll in September to find out how Americans age 18+ will be shopping at local businesses this holiday season. We found that 64% of Americans plan to shop at local independent retailers, and Millennials are leading the pack! Nearly 7 in 10 Americans age 18-34 say they plan to shop for the holidays at local businesses, more than any other age group. What’s more, local shoppers plan to spend an average of $258 each at local businesses, totaling nearly $40 billion* in all to be spent with independent retailers this holiday season.

There’s a lot of opportunity for small businesses this holiday season, and these insights can help local retailers attract more shoppers. When asked what motivates them to support small businesses in their city, the majority of those likely to shop local this holiday season said they shop local to find unique gifts (67%), 55% said they like supporting the local economy, and 44% said they shop local because it’s convenient. Additionally, shoppers aren’t just looking at retail to purchase gifts this year. We found that over half of Americans (53%) plan to purchase experience-based gifts at local businesses this holiday season, such as restaurant gift certificates (34%), theater or movie tickets (18%) and salon or spa services (17%).

According to a 2015 survey by the National Retail Federation, 1 in 3 smartphone owners will use their device to look up retailer information like store hours and directions. With nearly 90 million unique monthly visitors to the Yelp app each month and 7 in 10 Yelp searches conducted via mobile, these tips can help small business owners use Yelp to attract on-the-go shoppers and get a slice of that $40 billion holiday pie:

  • Build out your Yelp Business Page. Claim your business for free at and make sure all your information is up-to-date, including your address, phone number and holiday hours. Also consider turning on the free Message the Business Owner feature so that potential customers can ask questions and get in touch with you quickly and easily. 
  • Add lots of photos. Let consumers know what your business has to offer by adding photos of your space and your holiday inventory. Use photo captions to tell potential customers about your products and pricing. If you have a beautiful holiday display in your store, add photos of it to Yelp to show you’re in the holiday spirit.
  • Create engaging promotions. With 7 in 10 Yelp searches conducted on mobile, a Check-In Offer will help you cater to your on-the-go audience. It’s completely free to create and can be something as simple as a free hot chocolate. You can also create Yelp Deals and Yelp Gift Certificates allowing customers to transact with your business directly through your Yelp listing.  

Drive more eyeballs to your Yelp page. According to Nielsen, 82% of Yelp users visit the site intending to buy a product or service and 89% of those who buy do so within a week. Consider targeted local advertising with Yelp to put your business in front of consumers nearby who are looking to make a purchase.

*Based on 234.6 million American adults (according to US 2010 Census) multiplied by 64% of Americans planning to shop local multiplied by average spend of $258 = $38.7 Billion

Continue reading "Americans to Spend $40 Billion at Local Businesses this Holiday Season " »

November 11, 2015

‘Action!’: Announcing the Yelp Reel Local Film Fest


Yelp’s been telling the story of how people connect with great local businesses since 2004, but now we’re turning to the next generation of storytellers to spread the word. This year we’re announcing a scholarship program for film students who want to show us and the world their favorite local business.

For the first time ever, Yelp is accepting applications from college film students to participate in a short-film challenge that will culminate in the Yelp Reel Local Film Fest. We’re challenging current students from five participating cities (New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Atlanta) to produce, write, direct, shoot, edit, and submit a 3-6 minute long non-fiction film about a business in their community. The catch? They only have two weeks to do it all!

Students that apply will receive a prompt for their film with the competition’s rules and terms on Monday, November 30. From there, they have TWO WEEKS (until December 11) to complete their films and submit them for the chance to win scholarship prizes. For each participating city, participants will first be judged locally for a scholarship prize of $5,000, plus two runner up scholarship awards of $1,000 each. The winning film from each city will then be judged at the national level for a grand prize scholarship of $15,000!  

Our mission with this festival is to encourage young filmmakers to look within their communities and to local business leaders for inspiring stories. At Yelp, we know that local businesses are at the heart of thriving communities and local economies, and the Reel Local Film Fest aims to bring that to life in creative ways.

Are you a film student in one of our participating cities? The application window will be open until the December 11 submission deadline, so sign up for yourself and your team here! (Sign up is required to receive the creative prompt and competition toolkit on that goes out on 11/30.)


November 05, 2015

Eat24 iOS App Update: Fewer Clicks to a Food Coma

Have you heard the phrase “nothing worth having comes easy?” Well, we don’t agree. The easier it is to get a burrito delivered to your door, the better. And a burrito is definitely worth having.

That’s why we’re unveiling new updates to the Yelp Eat24 iOS app that will make it even easier to get your favorite food into your mouth in no time. Update your app now to begin using new features that take full advantage of iOS 9 functionality, including app indexing in Spotlight search, universal links, and 3D touch, as well as the addition of Apple Pay.

Our goal is to minimize the clicks you have to make when ordering take out or delivery and to be better at guessing what you might be looking for. While mind reading software is not yet on the market, I’d say we’re getting pretty close. Here are a few ways this update will help you out:

  • App indexing in Spotlight search: Searching for specific cuisines and restaurants, like "Thai" or "Nick's Crispy Tacos" through Spotlight search will display results for relevant content in the Eat24 app.

  • Universal Links: Web or email links to Eat24 pages including Menu, Order Status and Past Orders will open in the Eat24 App.

  • 3D Touch (for iPhone 6s and 6s+): Save time by peeking at restaurant menus, popular dishes, and larger photos without clicking through to a new screen.

  • Apple Pay: You’ve labored over meal selection and your cart is full of goodies. Check out in one click with Apple Pay to avoid the labor intensive reach into your wallet for a credit card.

Eat24 app update collageLeft to Right: 3D Touch item peek, 3D Touch quick action app menu, Spotlight search results.

Long story short: more food, fewer clicks, and even less wearing of pants. What’s not to love?

November 04, 2015

The US Senate Speaks Out to Protect Online Reviews

Today, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on “How Gagging Honest Reviews Harms Consumers and the Economy,” focusing on the proposed Consumer Review Freedom Act and preventing non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts.

Americans have a deep tradition of sharing opinions, whether directly through word of mouth to our friends and neighbors, in newspaper editorials, on radio and television, or -- within the last decade -- on the Internet. Consumer review sites like Yelp and others are at the forefront of the feedback economy that is taking root in the US and around the world.

According to a recent study, nearly 70% of consumers use online reviews before making a purchasing decision. Whether it is for a restaurant, hotel, pediatrician, coffee shop, hairdresser or dog walker, consumer review platforms empower people to make more informed choices by allowing them to tap into the experiences of their friends and neighbors.

As these platforms have grown, however, some businesses have tried to prevent people from talking about their opinions and experiences online by threatening them with lawsuits if they don’t comply with hidden, non-negotiable, non-disparagement clauses.

Thankfully, Congress is taking an important step in protecting consumers’ right to free speech with the Consumer Review Freedom Act of 2015 (S. 2044). This bipartisan effort, introduced by Senators John Thune (R-SD), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), would nullify any of the non-negotiable clauses that allow businesses to slap consumers with large fines for sharing their honest feedback.

The protection of free speech, both offline and on, has always been, and should continue to be, a top priority of the government. We at Yelp applaud the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for their dedication to this issue and look forward to a long future where people can share their firsthand experiences with local businesses without facing the threat of fine or unfair retribution.

October 13, 2015

100 Local Business Leaders Will Converge at Yelp HQ for Historic Event

Since 2004, Yelp has been connecting people to great local businesses. Along the way we’ve met successful entrepreneurs who have taught us important lessons about what makes great businesses tick. Their valuable insights have led to new features and updates which have made the experience on Yelp better for business owners coast-to-coast.

This got us thinking: “How can we meet more of these individuals and what would it be like to connect them with their peers?”

This November 4–5, Yelp is bringing together the people behind 100 top-rated businesses across North America for a historic event taking place at Yelp’s San Francisco headquarters called Coast-To-Coast: Coming Together Because We Mean Business.

Yelp Community Managers in the US and Canada nominated local entrepreneurs who have claimed their Yelp Business Page and are expert examples of how to use Yelp’s free tools to grow their businesses. This choice group of business owners doesn’t get hung up by 1 and 2 star reviews; they use feedback to make necessary changes. Social is very much a part of their marketing strategy, and that includes taking an active role in managing their reputation on Yelp and in the community.  

Not only will we celebrate the achievements of this exclusive group, but leaders at Yelp will share expertise and arm these champions of local business with best practices we hope will help them continue to grow. We’ll provide a platform for them to network and dialogue with their peers, and our internal teams will gain valuable insight as to how to improve our business owner offerings in small focus groups.

Coast-to-Coast attendees represent 86 North American markets, a wide range of categories and different levels of experience and years in business, but the one thing they all have in common is their steadfast desire to build a robust business in their local market. We are proud to honor the following people at the first ever Coast-To-Coast: Coming Together Because We Mean Business!


Albuquerque, NM

Joe’s Pasta House, KC Guzzardi


Atlanta, GA

Neighborhood Eats, Andrew McDonough


Atlanta OTP

Meehan’s Public House, Alyssa Breen


Austin, TX

Fork & Vine, Brendan Puthoff

Medusa Skates, Julie Hunter


Continue reading "100 Local Business Leaders Will Converge at Yelp HQ for Historic Event" »

September 30, 2015

Yelp Makes Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Women

We are excited to share that Yelp is one of Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Women in its inaugural 2015 list. We’ve worked hard to make Yelp a diverse and inclusive place for everyone, and I’m proud to say that women make up 49 percent of our total workforce and 45 percent of people managers as of our latest EEO-1 release. We also just announced our first female chairperson of the Yelp board, Diane Irvine.

While numbers do tell a story, diversity is much bigger than that. The women at Yelp work in all kinds of roles and departments to keep our company going and bring so much more to the table than a female perspective. To say thank you to these amazing women and to celebrate their accomplishments, we put together a short video to introduce you to the women of Yelp.

Creating a diverse workplace is a complex and ongoing challenge. While we still have room to grow, I’m proud of the progress we’ve made so far and am committed to doing more. Two areas we are focused on include increasing the number of women on our Engineering team to reflect a percentage that is equal to the amount of women who receive computer science degrees in college, and having each of our local sales offices match the demographics of the cities in which they’re based.

Do you think you’d be the perfect fit for a role at Yelp? Check out our open positions at and apply today!

September 24, 2015

How to Land a Job at Yelp: 5 Tips for Interviewing

With more than 3,200 employees in eight offices, Yelp has grown a lot over the last 11 years. We owe a lot of that success to the careful curation of our workforce. We take hiring very seriously here and only extend offers to people who truly embody the Yelp culture, e.g., people who are  super smart, motivated, able to bring different backgrounds and new perspectives to the table, and always up for a good laugh.

For an inside look at what it’s like to interview for a job at Yelp, tune in to ABC Family today at 3pm ET/PT to see Yelp featured on Job or No Job, a new show that follows young adults interviewing for their first jobs.

Job or No Job Interview Photo

John and Nabeela interview candidate Jenni on ABC Family’s Job or No Job

While the interview process at Yelp differs depending on what role a candidate is interviewing for, there are a few things we always look for. In today’s episode of Job Or No Job you’ll meet John and Nabeela from our sales organization and recruiting team. These two have years of experience under their belts as hiring managers, so we picked their brains for things they look for during the interview process. Here are a few things you can do to nail an interview at Yelp, straight from the horse’s mouth.

5 Tips for Landing a Job at Yelp

1. Be genuine and authentic about your past.

Tie your past experiences into a story that shows what you’ve learned from past jobs and reveals your personality and interests. One of Yelp’s company values is “Be Authentic,” and we look for that quality in everyone we hire.

2. Show enthusiasm for the product and know how it works.

If you’re interviewing at Yelp, you should have used our app enough to be familiar with how it works. Most of all, understand how our product delivers on Yelp’s mission to connect people with great local businesses.

3. Know why you are pursuing a career in this industry.

John looks for people who are excited to work in sales and have ambition to grow their careers in that area. He says it’s not enough to love Yelp; candidates have to be able to explain what is motivating them to pursue a specific position.

4. Ask for feedback during the interview process.

For many teams, including sales and engineering, the interview process has several stages. It’s important to have a two-way conversation throughout. Take advantage when the hiring manager asks “Do you have any questions for me?” to ask an insightful question that shows you’ve been paying attention and really want feedback. Don’t waste the opportunity on an irrelevant question you memorized from a job hunt advice column, says Nabeela.

5. Research the company first.

Skim the headlines to see what topics are being covered in the media, read profiles of employees with similar titles, and think about how your personality fits well with the role you’re pursuing. At Yelp, we think a lot about talents versus skills. Talents are innate abilities, while skills are something that can be taught. John says the best candidates show how their talents will enable them to be successful at Yelp.

Interested in working at Yelp? Check out for open positions in sales, engineering, marketing, and more.

September 08, 2015

Watch Out: Yelp for Gear Launches on the Samsung Gear S2

Everyone knows Yelp is your BFF while on the go and in search of great local businesses. That’s why millions of users turn to Yelp’s apps each month and why Yelp data makes so much sense packaged into wearable formats you can take with you, like Samsung’s new Gear S2 smartwatch, which just launched with the Yelp for Gear app.

Samsung gear collage

The Gear S2’s unique rotating bezel, along with the Home and Back buttons, ensures users can quickly access notifications and applications. Search, call and get directions for nearby local businesses to eat, shop, drink, relax, and play. A quick turn of the bezel shows results in nine different categories, from restaurants to health and fitness.

Yelp content powers local experiences in many of your favorite apps, products, and sites through our API, and we’re excited to share the Yelp goodness with Samsung Gear S2 customers. Yelp for Gear will be available in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and Hong Kong. For developers interested in using Yelp’s API, check out

September 03, 2015

Consumer Protection Initiative Uncovers Shady Group of Movers

Earlier this week we announced new Consumer Alerts, part of our Consumer Protection Initiative, to protect people from attempts to mislead them on Yelp. Although most businesses earn their reputations fairly, some are becoming sophisticated in their attempts to manipulate their online reputation. Fortunately, Yelp is just as committed to protecting the integrity of our content and we are constantly learning and improving our mechanisms to detect suspicious behavior.

Today we are protecting consumers (and businesses who play by the rules) by taking additional measures to shut down attempts at review manipulation. Yelp has issued a new Reputation Warning on more than 100 listings for moving companies across the U.S. who are connected to the Movers Alliance, a group that operates many mover and relocation businesses under several names and listings on Yelp, other consumer sites, and government databases. We have evidence that this group and the businesses connected to it pressure customers into writing positive reviews (sometimes on the spot) in exchange for a discount, manipulate customers into posting reviews to listings other than the one they transacted with (sometimes in an entirely different state), ask customers to sign a contract preventing them from publishing negative reviews in case of a dispute, and purchase fake reviews online. Here is a small selection from our evidence file:

Mover Alert Evidence

Click here to see a business with the alert and full evidence file.

Due to these extensive and widespread efforts to mislead consumers, some of whom may spend thousands of dollars moving, we cannot recommend any of the reviews for these businesses. Listings with this Reputation Warning will not have any reviews or star ratings and will display instead a warning with a link to Yelp’s evidence about this group.

Yelp employs advanced recommendation software and spends countless hours investigating deceptive behavior to protect the trust of the millions of people who use our services every month, but we couldn’t do it without the help of our community of users. If you see a review or message that doesn’t feel right, you can use this link to flag it for our team to evaluate. Messages shared by several Yelp users already helped us crack the Movers Alliance case.

Yelp's Consumer Protection Initiative, which began with our Consumer Alerts program in 2012, will continue to evolve as we double down on our effort to have consumers’ backs. It has since extended to include providing public health scores of restaurants, government ranking data on medical service providers, taking a stand against misleading “reputation management” companies, and our ongoing efforts to protect consumers from lawsuits by businesses. Is there an issue you think Yelp should pursue? Please let us know here.

September 01, 2015

Consumer Alerts: Continuing to Protect your Peace of Mind

Consumer trust has always been Yelp’s number one priority. From our LIVES open data standard integrating restaurant health scores onto business pages, to our more recent ProPublica partnership incorporating health care statistics onto the Yelp business pages of medical treatment facilities, our goal is to provide people with as much information as possible before they make a spending decision.

As part of our ongoing Consumer Protection Initiative to empower consumers, Yelp launched its Consumer Alert program in 2012 to track down people who might be trying to manipulate ratings and reviews. This week, we’re releasing a new round of 51 alerts, because consumers deserve to know when someone is attempting to deceive them. The consumer alerts will be clearly posted on affected Yelp listings for 90 days.

Since the start of the program, our trusty team of investigators have caught hundreds of attempts to artificially inflate ratings through a number of tactics. In 2015 alone, our sleuths have issued 185 consumer alerts. Cheaters beware: our team WILL find you. 


Wouldn’t you want to know that Spokane Laptops was caught threatening customers and offering to pay $50 in exchange for the removal of negative reviews before taking your broken laptop into that shop? Likewise, you’d probably appreciate a heads up that this MedRite Urgent Care was caught twice attempting to inflate their ratings before rushing in with a medical emergency. Similarly, you’d want the tip-off that a large number of five-star reviews for Family Dental Care came from the same IP address used to claim the business owner’s account before heading in to get a tooth pulled.


In addition to giving consumers a false perception of the business where they are about to spend their hard-earned money and violating Yelp’s Terms of Service, buying positive testimonials without revealing they were paid for is a form of  false advertising.

Our Consumer Protection Initiative is continuing to grow and more announcements are on the way. In the meantime, if you’ve spotted some suspicious behavior, please let our investigators know. Together, we can continue to protect consumers and promote the honest local business owners who make our communities so awesome.