Yelp Helped Seat 4.5 Million Diners Mother’s Day Weekend

Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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Yelp Inc.’s reservation and waitlist software reached a new system total high by handling nearly 4.5 million diners during Mother’s Day weekend. The number of diners booking directly through the Yelp app nearly tripled year over year from Mother’s Day 2018 according to a company statement. The number of diners seated via Yelp in the first quarter grew 43% from the fourth quarter of 2018, and grew 240% compared to the first quarter of 2018.

With the availability of Yelp Reservations and Waitlist, Yelp is providing restaurants with the technology and products to meet the evolving demands of diners who expect ease and convenience when eating out — whether they’re making a reservation, walking in, or ordering food delivery. As the platform continues to evolve beyond helping diners discover where to eat, to making it easy for them to communicate and transact directly with businesses, Yelp continues to become a more valuable partner to restaurants.

“Our restaurant keeps getting busier and busier, and we haven’t been doing any marketing or advertising outside of what we do with Yelp, so we know it's because we're on Yelp Reservations and Waitlist that people are finding us,” said CJ Zheng, owner of Chow House in New York. “The waits keep getting longer, and we're just happy we can provide an extra data point for our customers to help get them through our door at their convenience."

"Running a small to midsize restaurant with finite availability, we are often challenged by flow optimization and capacity issues,” said Eric Tjahyadi, owner of Bone Kettle in Pasadena, Calif. “Yelp Waitlist empowers my team to confidently take reservations booking to the next level without fear of over or under booking. It seamlessly enables us to capture last minute diners as we optimize availability and flow. It also helps us achieve a three-turn night consistently during busy dinner shifts, something that was previously hard to achieve due to the persistent issues of last minute cancellations and no-shows. All and all, it really transforms our business."

According to Yelp data, diners seated through the Yelp app return to the same restaurant twice as often as other diners; Yelp’s wait time algorithm is approximately twice as accurate as host estimates, leading restaurant partners to experience an increase in revenue; and the app’s On My Way feature helps restaurants seat 10% more diners during non-busy hours.