Even if you don’t write an online reviews, you’ve certainly used reviews to make more informed buying decisions online. These online reviews are especially impactful for small businesses like restaurants and food trucks.

Yelp is best known for reviews of restaurants than perhaps any other type of business. In fact, Yelp has more than 178 million unique visitors per month, 45% of which visit the website to check restaurant reviews. According to research, positive online reviews generate an 18% boost in sales so maintaining good standing across review sites like Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook is critical.

In an environment where everyone owns a cell phone and checks reviews before risking a takeout order from a new place, online reviews are everything. In this industry report, we share key data points for Yelp and other online review sites so you understand their importance. Stick around until the end of the post and we’ll reveal the best tips for acquiring even more legit reviews online so you can attract more customers.

Yelp Review Statistics 

yelp restaurant advertising

Restaurant advertisers make up 11% of Yelp’s business. Source: Yelp

As of the ending of the 3rd quarter of 2020, Yelp has 32 million unique mobile app devices each month. (Yelp Newsroom)

Yelp users have contributed to more than 214 million online reviews of local businesses as of the 2nd quarter of 2020. (Review Trackers)

Yelp has constantly handles fake and misleading reviews. In the 4th quarter of 2019, Yelp released 198 alerts, notifying consumers of biased review practices, thereby protecting business ratings. (Martech Advisor)

As of the end of the 3rd quarter this year, Yelp’s current net revenue amounts $221 million. (Yelp Newsroom

Covid-19 Impact

Around 24,000 restaurants have closed due to the current coronavirus pandemic. (Restaurant Business)

In the face of communal dining urge from the public, takeout and delivery continue to rise, with interest in those services increasing by 148% compared to pre-pandemic levels according to Yelp. (Restaurant Business)

Restaurant closures accounted for 17% of the 140,000 total business closures from March 1 and June 15. Yelp has 4.9 million claimed local businesses.

Related Reading: How I Converted a House into a Fully Licensed Restaurant – Part 1

45% of Yelp advertising revenue originate from Home and Local Services. (Yelp Newsroom)

There are more than 220 million reviews left on Yelp as of the 3rd quarter of 2020, with a 10% year over year growth. (SaaS Scout)

Restaurants which are not accredited by experts usually sell out 27% more than if they earn an extra star on Yelp. (Hospitality Insights)

45% of people tend to check reviews on Yelp prior to visiting a business. Yelp ranks only second to Google (64%), which goes to show just how many people use Yelp, percentage-wise. (Review Trackers)

Yelp Demographic And Usage Data

A negative online review can keep you up at night.

People aged 18-34 comprises 41.9% of US Yelp users. (SaaS Scout)

According to Yelp statistics, 68% of reviews are 4 and 5 star reviews. Only about 17% of reviews on Yelp are 1 star reviews. (Review Trackers)

42% of Yelp visitors will make a purchase on the same day.

Only 13% of Yelp visitors will even consider a business with a 1 or 2 star rating. (Trust Pulse)

An additional Yelp star drives sales growth of between 5 to 9% for independent restaurants. (Hospitality Insights)

Yelp usage is widely distributed by age group. 35% of Yelp users are aged 35-54. 33% are aged 18-33, while 32% are over 55.

Yelp had 43.4 million unique visitors using a desktop, a sharp decline from 73.94 million unique monthly desktop users two years ago. Desktop is losing ground to mobile, and Yelp poses no exception. (Statista)

Over 145 million people browse Yelp every month and 70% of those use the mobile app. (SaaS Scout)

The average Yelp visit is 3 minutes and 10 seconds long, while the average visitor clicks through to 7 to 10 pages. (SEJ)

An astounding 64% of Yelp users bear some college education, making them more inclined to be interested in lifestyle purchases such as restaurants, nightlife, arts, entertainment, etc. (Martech Advisor)

Online Review Statistics

Food trucks can create profiles and secure online reviews across most platforms.

Although Yelp earned $227 million from advertising in the 1st quarter of 2019, Google made $30.7 billion, and Facebook with $14.9 billion. (Martech Advisor)

90% of consumers who researched and read online reviews of a business, told that positive reviews played a role in their buying decision. (Minc Law)

Local businesses typically average of 39 Google reviews. (Trust Pulse)

A typical Google business profile in 2020 has 39 reviews for consumers to read and analyzed before proceeding down the funnel. (Minc Law)

49% of consumers require at minimum of a 4-star rating before they decide to choose on a business. (Trust Pulse)

According to a study, almost 1 in 5 reviews is marked as fake according to Yelp’s algorithm. (Hospitality Insights)

Businesses tend to risk losing up to 22% of customers when one negative article is discovered online. This number rises nearly three times, if three or more negative articles are found in an internet search. (Minc Law)

How to Encourage Legitimate Online Reviews 

An appealing food photo.

Many restauranteurs feel a sense of helplessness when a less than stellar review is published. But the reality is even the top rated restaurants have a handful of bad reviews. Keep in mind that one bad experience or misunderstanding isn’t going to ruin a business even if it is frustrating.

Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to proactively improve your online reviews. The best way being to ask friend, family members, and customers to share their experience online.

It can feel awkward to ask for an online review from a guest, but many will be receptive and actually be happy to help. Make sure to explain why leaving a review is so important to your business. Explain that you need their help to continue operating a profitable business. Then direct people to either Yelp or Google My Business to leave a review.

Related Reading: 47 Stunning Drive-Thru Industry Statistics 

Keep in mind that some platforms are easier to get approved reviews on than others. At the time of writing, encouraging someone to leave a Yelp review can be difficult if they aren’t already a user. In order to leave a review on Yelp, your guest will need to create an account and/or download an app to their phone. Many customers will give up before they complete the required steps. Google My Business on the other hand is much easier to leave a review with. If your customer already has an account for any Google product like Gmail or Youtube, they can leave you a review. This increases the number of people who will leave feedback significantly.

Another action you can take to improve your appearance on these websites is to add high-quality photos of food and make sure your business contact information is correct. Users can also upload photos of your food, but these images can be hit or miss depending on lighting. If the customer had a takeout order, the plating might look less appealing after arrival at someones doorstep. By building a base of photos, you can ensure there are quality representations your food available to browse.

Yelp is a publicly listed company founded by ex-Paypal employees, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons in 2004. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Yelp operates a website and an app which publish crowd-sourced reviews about businesses with the goal of helping people discover the best businesses and service providers in their area.

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Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

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