Can Yelp Reviews Help Me Choose Restaurants That Deliver?

By Jack SteinLast Updated May 23, 2020 5:12:34 AM ET
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Yelp is one of the most comprehensive — and best known — places to find reviews for all types of restaurants. Whether you're eating in your hometown or traveling, you can rely on Yelp reviews to provide the information you’re looking for in order to make a decision about where to eat.

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Yelp allows you to search for restaurants that deliver too, which is important if you're ordering food for the office, staying at a hotel or sheltering in place. Often, but not always, Yelp reviewers comment on delivery time and employee courtesy, so you can see how well the restaurant does delivery.

How to Find Restaurants on Yelp That Deliver

Searching on Yelp for restaurants that deliver is simple, and you can approach it a few different ways. The easiest way to narrow down searches for delivery is to perform a simple search. Search for the type of restaurant you're interested in, or type "restaurants" into the search bar if you haven't settled on a particular cuisine. Then, choose the city you're in. You can also enable location services and automatically find places near you. Once you've performed a simple search, check the box on the left side of the page that reads "Yelp Delivery" or click the "Delivery" image at the top of the page.

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Photo Courtesy: @Yelp/Twitter

You can also perform a search for "delivery" and choose your location. This method will not only show you restaurants that deliver, but it will also allow you to narrow your search down to reviews that specifically mention the restaurant's delivery performance.

Is Yelp Really That Influential?

You may be skeptical when it comes to the influence of Yelp. If you've never searched for a restaurant review online, you're in a small minority. One survey noted that 94% of Americans rely on online restaurant reviews when they're looking for a place to eat. Other surveys demonstrate that consumers are more likely to frequent a restaurant that has received positive reviews, while other diners say that they're less likely to try a restaurant that has received even one negative review.

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Yelp reviews carry more weight than restaurant reviews because everyday diners are placing the reviews, rather than journalists. The crowdsourcing power of Yelp means that more reviewers share their opinions on establishments and more restaurants receive reviews online than they do published reviews in newspapers and magazines. Restaurant owners pay attention to Yelp reviews because they understand the challenges that bad reviews can bring.

Beware of Fake Yelp Reviews

As you search for restaurants on Yelp and read reviews, it's important to be on the lookout for fake reviewers who can skew a restaurant's reputation too far in one direction or the other. Yelp has put filters in place to keep fake reviewers out of search results, but sometimes the reviews make it through. Reviews that are overwhelmingly negative or glowingly positive could be fake. So could reviews that are too brief. Avoid taking into account information from reviewers who don't have a profile photo or have only reviewed one restaurant; these accounts might’ve been made simply to leave a fake review.

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It's also important to know that restaurants might pay people to give them positive reviews, so if you see a large number of reviews in a short span of time and they’re overwhelmingly positive, the restaurant may have paid for the reviews. Restaurant owners can also pay to boost their listings on Yelp, which is another factor that should lead you to take Yelp reviews with a grain of salt.

Business Owners Can Leverage Yelp

Yelp isn't just a tool for consumers; restaurant owners can take advantage of what Yelp has to offer as well. Not only can restaurateurs use feedback from negative reviews to improve and see from positive reviews the things that they're doing well, but they can also use Yelp to help market their businesses.

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A savvy business owner can make the most of their Yelp profile by keeping information current and adding photos of popular dishes and specials. Some restaurant owners have taken opportunities to offer discounts to reviewers who have reviewed the establishment negatively on Yelp, with the goal of getting them to return and enjoy an improved experience. The jury is out on whether Yelp advertising helps or hurts restaurants, but it's a tool that restaurant owners can use to their advantage.

Yelp Offers More Than Restaurant Reviews

If you think of Yelp as a site that offers only reviews of restaurants, you might be surprised to know that Yelp can help you in other ways. You can search for all kinds of establishments and services on Yelp and find reviews. Yelp reviewers rate gyms, dentists’ offices and other types of services and companies. You can find a dry cleaner, a phone repair shop or another local business whose services you need.

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Yelp also has a robust system that allows you to search for home services and auto repair and find reviews that can assist you in narrowing down what local company to choose. If you spend a few minutes on Yelp, you can find ample information that helps you make better decisions as a consumer.