The pandemic has been particularly challenging for restaurants and Yelp is out today with updates to its its apps like Yelp Waitlist and more to help with the worldwide shift we’ve seen toward takeout.
The business-facing Yelp Waitlist app/service was originally built to let restaurants manage the dine-in experience. But with the the pandemic creating a big move to takeout and delivery, Yelp is transitioning Waitlist for iPad, iPhone, and other devices to efficiently manage carryout orders and communicate with customers.
Yelp shared the new changes in a blog post today with one of the key features being front-of-house staff being able to easily text customers from within the app:
To continue to better support our restaurant partners, today we’re introducing a number of new features that will help restaurants’ front-of-house operations. For the first time, we’re evolving our Waitlist product to focus on takeout operations. Prior to the pandemic, Yelp Waitlist was focused solely on managing dine-in service. Now, restaurant owners and hosts will be able to efficiently manage their takeout orders and communicate safely with consumers through SMS, sharing updates on their order status, and ensuring a seamless front-of-house and diner experience. Additionally, we’re releasing new analytics, Guest Profiles and an upgraded Point of Sale (POS) integration for Waitlist to allow for a more holistic and detailed view of restaurant performance and diners. These new updates will empower restaurants to operate more efficiently, while giving them the tools they need to reach their customers with the right messaging in the right moment.
The new Yelp Waitlist features are now available for free to “restaurants with nine or fewer locations.” For restaurants with 10 or more locations, Yelp says “pricing will vary.”
As for the consumer-facing Yelp app, the company says:
we’re continuing to elevate the best and most helpful information with an updated user experience, making it easier for diners to find the information that is most valuable to them – like the latest menu images, most relevant food photos and most popular dishes.
Yelp also highlights its iOS 14 widget is a great way surface rotating restaurant recommendations. “These recommendations will rotate throughout the day to provide users with restaurants that are highly-rated and offer delivery or takeout.”
Restaurant owners and managers can learn more about the new Yelp Waitlist (free download) takeout features here.