Yelp Debuts Restaurant Updates, Upgrades Waitlist

Yelp app on smartphone

To let users go beyond reviews from customers and see information from restaurants, Yelp has added a new way for eateries to post updates. The company also upgraded its Waitlist feature that lets diners see the current estimated wait time and become a part of the queue from the app, according to reports.

Through Yelp Connect, restaurants will have the ability to make updates about topics such as happy hour specials, upcoming events and menu additions. The updates are displayed in a weekly email, on the profile page of a restaurant and on the Yelp homepage. While diners can follow restaurants to preview the update, the platform also displays them to users who have joined a restaurant’s waitlist, made a reservation or bookmarked its profile.

Yelp Connect will come at the price of $199 per month for U.S. restaurants. However, it is available for $99 per month at a limited time. Restaurants are already posting this type of data on social media. Devon Wright, Yelp’s general manager of restaurant marketplaces, noted per reports that the platform enables these eateries to reach “a high-intent audience” — that is, users who are actually looking to have a meal and aren’t only looking for updates from friends.

Beyond the rollout of Connect, Yelp is upgrading its Waitlist function. The platform can now tap into real wait time data from an eatery to forecast average wait time. With these predictions, the platform is powering another function dubbed Notify Me. Consumers who want to be seated at a given restaurant at a particular time can hit a button to be notified when to join the waitlist.

In separate news, Yelp recently announced that it has rolled out new tools for personalization that will customize the app to a user’s individual preferences and lifestyle. Through the new features, two users with different lifestyles will open up the Yelp app from the same location and see completely different search results and home screens based on their personal preferences. Users can select personal dietary and accessibility preferences, things they like to do and lifestyle attributes.