Pre-pandemic, your restaurant’s front-of-house was just what your guests saw when they visited your restaurant. It was everything from your dining room to the hostess booth, employees, and open kitchen space.
Today, your front-of-house covers everywhere a diner might interact with your restaurant before they’re sat at a table. Tomorrow’s most successful restaurants will create the same level of memorable hospitality online that you’d expect to see in-person. Those restaurants know they need to invest in technology because that’s where future diners research, pick a restaurant, and book a table. If you’re waiting to deliver great hospitality until they show up, you’re already behind. A modern front-of-house system is the key to making it easier for diners to choose you before they ever see your restaurant.
Good front-of-house systems should handle reservations, waitlists, online ordering, table management, and even marketing. They typically run off of a single tablet and can be connected to your restaurant’s point of sale system.
Yelp for Restaurants has built a front-of-house system called Yelp Guest Manager that rivals the best in the business. Let’s see if it’s the best choice for your restaurant in our Yelp Guest Manager review.
Who is Yelp for Restaurants?
You may think of the widely popular online review site when you think of Yelp. However, Yelp for Restaurants is a new team of industry experts dedicated solely to restaurants. This new version of Yelp is intended to make it easier for table-service restaurants to get the most out of Yelp’s large network of hungry diners. That team is responsible for building Yelp’s newest product for restaurants and its only front-of-house system: Yelp Guest Manager. It’s an expanded and much more robust tool for restaurant owners to manage and grow their business from a single iPad. Having grown from Yelp Reservations and Yelp Waitlist, the full front-of-house management system that Yelp for Restaurants developed provides restaurant owners with a full suite of services to automate their operations.
Yelp Guest Manager
96 million people visit Yelp each month. Over three million searches for restaurants happen every day on Yelp. It’s important to convert that traffic into actual customers. Yelp Guest Manager gives you tools to greet them on your Yelp page or website, and assign them to the right table when they arrive. It’s a one-stop tool to make booking a table a memorable experience and showing up right on time easier than ever. With waitlist on Yelp Guest Manager, diners can get in line from anywhere, check their status at any time, and show up right on time with automated text messages. Reduce no-shows and line abandonment while winning diners because they can get in your line from their couch. In the same product, you can also offer reservations. Win plan-ahead and last-second diners with one tool.
Automate the check-in experience with Kiosk to save your staff time and your restaurant money. Kiosk lets your hosts focus on helping customers instead of data entry. Kiosk collects guest names, phone numbers, seating preferences and then alerts them via SMS when their table is ready. Kiosk works within Yelp Guest Manager to provide automated accurate wait times.
Dive up to 230% more traffic to your Yelp page with Advertising and Yelp Guest Manager. Use keyword and location targeting to make sure you’re getting the most out of your marketing budget. Boost advertising conversion rates by adding reservation and waitlist options to your Yelp page. 97% of people make a purchase after visiting Yelp, so use advertising to drive high-intent diners to your table-booking system.
Share your updates to a personalized audience with Yelp Connect and tell a story that turns followers into customers. Posts updates about your restaurant and special deals to your page and see how people interact including their demographic info and neighborhoods they frequent.
- Analytics to provide real-time insight on covers coming in, where customers looked prior to booking with you, and customer information like birthdays and anniversaries
- On My Way where diners can let the restaurant know when they’re arriving based on wait times
- Notify Me which allows diners to match their schedules with live wait times and receive a notification when they can arrive
- Email follow-up so that you can convert first-time customers into repeats
How Much Does Yelp Guest Manager Cost?
Yelp for Restaurants offers monthly flat-rate pricing plans so that you know exactly what you’ll be paying each month. You’ll never have to pay cover fees again. Currently they offer three plans based on your restaurant’s needs. There are no setup fees.
The Standard plan costs $249/month and includes unlimited covers, online waitlisting, advanced SMS, two-way texting, floor plan management, and basic reservation management.
The Plus plan costs $299/month and includes everything in Standard as well as best-in-class reservation management, digital guestbook, and POS integration.
The Enterprise plan has group pricing for 10+ locations; you’ll need to contact Yelp for pricing options. This plan includes everything in Plus as well as support for multiple locations, Punchh integration, App integration, and Olo integration.
Is Yelp Guest Manager the Best FOH Platform for Your Restaurant?
If you’re an established restaurant that’s looking to grow and scale their business, Yelp Guest Manager is one of your best options. With a robust set of front-of-house management tools, exceptional marketing power, and competitive pricing, it’s easy to see how Yelp Guest Manager would be the right fit for your restaurant.
However, if you’re a newer restaurant, there is no guarantee that Yelp Guest Manager will fill your restaurant with guests overnight. It takes time to build an established brand that diners trust. Many new restaurants work with Yelp Guest Manager to build the foundation of their online presence, and most love the partnership for its ability to expose their new business to qualified diners. But brand-new restaurants shouldn’t expect to be immediately busy before they’ve found a fit in their city.
How to Get Started
If you’d like to work with the new Yelp for Restaurants team, you can schedule a call. Because of their competitive pricing and zero setup fees, it’s easy to try it out to see if it’s the right fit for your business.