Yelp Seats 22M Diners in December

Yelp Seats 22M Diners

For Yelp, it’s food for thought.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday (Feb. 26) that the firm, known for its reviews from users across any number of verticals, has been gaining traction in the restaurant space.

The newswire noted that Yelp’s internal data shows that 22 million diners booked through the app directly in December, driven by growth in diners booking directly through the app, a metric that in turn tripled year over year in the fourth quarter. And the reservation software offered up by the firm was used by 5.6 million diners during Valentine’s Day week earlier this month.

In reference to recent technology initiatives from the company, Bloomberg noted that per commentary from Devon Wright, the general manager of Yelp Restaurant Marketplaces and co-founder of Yelp-owned Turnstyle Analytics, “Acquisition and integration of leading restaurant technologies has also benefited Yelp’s restaurant partners thanks to new offerings such as Yelp Waitlist and Yelp Kiosk.”

As has been reported, Yelp Nowait Kiosks let diners add their names to the restaurant wait list, check wait lists in real time and adjust arrival times. The growth in diners who use the app to book tables puts the firm up against other technology outfits like OpenTable. That company sees direct reservations done digitally from 27 million diners monthly across as many as 48,000 global restaurants, with a total of 124 million diners managed each month.

Noting the economic models extant for both OpenTable and Yelp, the former charges restaurants $249 a month and gets as much as $1 as a “cover charge,” Bloomberg said. Yelp charges $249 monthly, but charges no per-seat fee. And then there is Resy, the five-year-old firm that competes with both OpenTable and Yelp, with plans ranging from $189 to $899. Resy has said 28 million reservations were done through its offerings in 2017, but that it seats as many as one million diners on a weekly basis, according to data released in early 2018.

Also, as reported earlier this month, via Search Engine Land, search giant Google added a “join waitlist” button to at least some restaurants tied to their DineTime accounts (which, the site noted, also has an Alexa skill).