Yelp is not the first online business review platform in the world, but it has become so much a part of today’s consumer landscape that a one-star increase in a restaurant’s rating can increase business by 5-9%

Simply being on Yelp isn’t enough. Yes, people can find you, but you need to pack your Yelp page with good (and genuine) reviews to encourage people to give your restaurant a try. So how can your business start collecting these compliments and increase your star rating?

Try these tips.

Help the Reviewer Along

Customers don’t like doing things that are difficult, so make it easy for them to leave you a review on Yelp. 

Remind them to do so by posting helpful stickers and signs in your restaurant, and by putting a Yelp logo on your website. Don’t ask for Yelp reviews, but make it obvious that reviews would definitely be appreciated (but not purchased). 

And watch for the reviews that do make it online. Some reviews will get caught in the Yelp review filter, but you can help get them clear by:

  • Adding the reviewer as a Friend
  • Sending the reviewer a message
  • Responding to the review
  • Voting the review as “helpful”

Host a Yelp Event

Get your place some extra attention by hosting a Yelp Event. This makes you visible as a Yelp community member. And since the people who see the event are active Yelpers, you’re more likely to have collected a bunch of reviews once the event is over. 

Setting up a Yelp event is pretty easy. Just go to, find your city, and click “Add an Event.” Fill in your event details and send it away!

Respond to Reviews 

A reliable way to attract great reviews is to respond to reviews you already have–both positive and negative. If people see you are responsive, this will encourage them to leave more reviews because they are sure that their voice will be heard. 

This is especially true for foodborne illness complaints. The affected customer will know that you take these issues very seriously, and other Yelpers will see that you will tackle the problem head-on and not sweep it under the rug (which is a surefire sign of more health risks). 

Provide a Stellar Dining Experience

Trying to game Yelp may work in the short term, but that requires a lot of effort and micromanagement that will be better spent improving your restaurant operations

That’s where Yelp’s true value lies. It’s an insight into the mind of the customer. Only a small percentage of people will actually complain in person, but online they are more willing to share. It’s a cheat sheet on what to improve.

People not loving your waiters? Invest more time in hiring great staff and training them to provide exceptional customer service. Getting too many food poisoning complaints? Do what you can to improve and maintain food safety standards.

At the end of the day, Yelp is just a way to establish your reputation as a great place to eat. And the best way to get that reputation is to provide tasty food and service with a smile.