Review websites such as: Yelp, Zomato *formerly UrbanSpoon), Tabelog, and TripAdvisor have changed the way we obtain reviews and discussions centered around restaurants and other businesses. Yelp in particularly has grown rapidly and has dominated the online review of establishments.
I have heard a lot of mixed reviews and comments about Yelp from classmates, professors here at City Tech and from my family and friends. Based on their comments and feedback, it’s a love and hate relationship with Yelp, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions just like I do. When it comes to Yelp, most of my friends would describe me as a serious Yelper because I use and rely Yelp a lot to make my decisions of where to eat and I can be considered an active member because I’ve written a lot and have been a member of Yelp since July 2010 (almost six years). I would like to share with you a few reasons why I like to review restaurants on Yelp and like to use Yelp.
1.Yelp is FREE and has an abundance of information and in my personal opinion, I think it’s quite easy to use.
2. On the mobile app and website, you can now see these statistics based on your profile, reviews, and photos. This comes in handy especially because you can see what’s effective and what do your friends and followers like to see. In addition, there’s a section called Rating Distribution where a user/reviewer or a visitor can see what businesses do you review the most and what neighborhoods.
3. I also enjoy using the Bookmarks section a lot because I like to save the places I want to visit or have visited and need to review because it reminds me of places I want to try and comes especially handy when my family, friends, or boyfriend ask me where would I like to go for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. Additionally, if I read about a restaurant or place that sounds interesting and I may bookmark that place so I know to check it out or visit.
4. The Yelp Elite Squad is Yelp’s way of recognizing and rewarding people who are active in the Yelp community and role models on and off the site. To be considered as a Yelp Elite member, is based on a number of things (well-written reviews, high quality tips, detail personal profile, active voting and complimenting record, and a history of playing well with others). Members of the Elite Squad are allocated a badge displayed alongside their profile and reviews. After being elite for 5 years, they’ll receive the Gold Elite Badge like I have, and after 10 years, they’ll received the coveted Black Elite Badge.
5. If you are a user of Yelp and visiting a certain establishment or restaurant, there are places that gives you a discount or FREE food, just by a tap on your phone to “check-in”. Who wouldn’t like a discount or FREE food? Checking in also lets your friends and fans know where you area and also lets you know who in your social network has visited the place you are at.
6. I also love that you can create lists on Yelp. I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan of lists because it keeps everything organized and in one place (most of the time). I must admit that I don’t always update my lists because I review so much that I sometimes forget. If you would like to see more of my lists, please click here.
7. I also like Yelp because when I do have a good experience at a restaurant or any establishment, sometimes I get a lovely and personal message/comment from a staff member or the business owner thanking me for the review and hope that I will return. There are instances where business owners don’t agree with my review or are apologetic if I had a bad experience and those feedback and comments help me as a customer and reviewer too.
8. There’s also a Tips section on Yelp where you can read a user’s tips on a certain business. These are NOT reviews, but can give you insight on little bits and pieces that may go on a business that you may not be aware of. I often leave tips if I want to warn my friends and followers or there’s just a service or food that’s outstanding that needs to be known.
All in all, I’ve been using and on Yelp since July 2010 and most people don’t know that I am an Yelp Elite member or that I review restaurants on Yelp, but now you do. My reviews are all based on personal experiences, my personal opinions, and research. I like to write reviews on Yelp because I like to keep track of where I’ve visited, eaten, and to share my experience with others and friends don’t let other friends eat at bad restaurants.
*If you are interested in following me on Yelp or reading my reviews, please click here*
Do you use any online review websites to read or search for a certain business? If so, what is it and do you write reviews?