Business Builders

Stay on top of all the trends and challenges facing your business today - including legal advice, ways to maximize profits, how to build a winning team, and much more. Industry-leading experts provide gold-standard education content that's practical and relevant to YOU!  

View archived Business Builder articles.

July's Featured Speaker: Emma Vaughn, Main Street Hub 

Emma  will be presenting at the upcoming Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show on how to reach more customers with social media marketing on August 29 in Los Angeles and September 28 in Orlando. 

The Secret to Getting More Positive Yelp Reviews for Your Restaurant

As a restaurant owner, you know it’s not difficult to provide delicious dishes and great service to your customers, but the tricky part is getting them to write about it on Yelp. While Yelp has policies around soliciting reviews and advises against asking for them, you can still use effective strategies to encourage your customers to write more positive reviews on your restaurant’s Yelp page.

Here are the top 3 ways you can get more positive reviews today:

1. Promote your restaurant’s Yelp page.

You may not be able to ask customers for positive reviews, but that doesn’t mean you can’t nudge them. When customers have a positive experience at a restaurant, it’s less likely to occur to them to write a review than if they had a negative one. Let your customers know about your restaurant’s presence on Yelp, and they’ll be more likely write positive reviews.

How can you promote it?
You can promote this in house by writing your Yelp address on the bottom of a customer’s receipt, or even just asking them to check you out on Yelp. Many businesses utilize Yelp’s branded stickers on their storefront windows, which can be found here.

Across your social media platforms, you can also occasionally post links to your Yelp page with this caption: “Check us out on Yelp!”

2. Respond to positive reviews.
Responding to positive reviews on Yelp can have a huge impact on your restaurant’s reputation. A large number of consumers, 88 percent, consult online reviews before making a purchase. If potential customers only see your responses to negative reviews, it will draw attention to them instead of all of the great things your restaurant is doing. Responding to positive feedback gives customers more incentive to leave it.

These responses can also potentially increase your restaurant’s star rating on Yelp, which has been shown to correlate with an increase in revenue.

How should you respond?
The key to writing a great review response is personalization and sincerity. Using words from their review shows not only that you actually read what they wrote, but it also gives you an opportunity to reinforce some of the great things the reviewer said. Making the response as personalized as possible will make the reviewer see that her feedback is valuable, and it will make her excited to come back. Anyone else who sees the response might also feel motivated to dine at your restaurant over another one in the area.

3. Share positive reviews.
Sharing reviews is a combination of promotion and response. Not only does sharing positive reviews promote your Yelp page in a compelling way, but it’s also a great way to increase customer loyalty and encourage other satisfied customers to write positive reviews.

How can I share reviews?
The simplest way to share a positive review is by taking a screenshot and posting that to your Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also just cut and paste the text of the review on your social pages with a “Thanks!” to the reviewer. Using sites like Canva to make quick graphics with customer quotes incorporated, is another option if you have the time. Adding a graphic to your post can increase engagement with your audience across your social media.

Encouraging happy customers to leave positive reviews and responding to the ones that already exist are excellent ways to help potential customers view your business in a positive light. And, sharing those positive reviews can overwhelm any negative reviews your restaurant may have received.

As a local business owner, utilizing positive reviews on Yelp effectively can show your current and potential new customers how great your local restaurant is.

More about Emma Vaughn:
Emma Vaughn leads Main Street Hub's local business outreach on the west coast. She has cultivated partnerships with industry leaders such as SCORE Los Angeles, SBA Los Angeles, California Restaurant Association, Long Beach SBDC, and various chambers of commerce. Emma hosts educational workshops and webinars to help small businesses get more word-of-mouth and referrals with their online presence (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare). Through her position, she has had the opportunity to train and educate thousands of companies nationwide. Her parents used to own a cafe in Indiana where her reverence for the local space began. If you would like to connect with Emma, please email her at




June's Business Builder - 6 Restaurant Systems to Use to Avoid Failure
May's Business Builder - Take My Sage Advice: Count the Carrots
April's Business Builder - How to Choose the Foodservice Software that's Right for You
March's Business Builder - Are Restaurateurs Missing the Boat When it Comes to Accomodating Dietary Issues
February's Business Builder: Is Negativity Poisoning Your Workplace
January's Business Builder: 
Marketing Beer, Wine & Liquor at a Restaurant 
November's Business Builder: Top 20 Drivers of Restaurant Loyalty
October's Business Builder - It's In My Blood
September's Business Builder: Stop the Bleeding Now
August Business Builder - LeaderCHOICES - Unlocking Your Leadership Potential
July Business Builder - The Big Money Maker: An Intro to Full-Service and Off-Premise Catering
June Business Builder - Managing Generational Conflict
May Business Builder - Top 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Video
April Business Builder - How to Lead Your Brand Into Menu Labeling
March Business Builder - 5 Best Practices to Improve Morale in Your Restaurant

February Business Builder - Four Steps to Build Your Network to Increase Your Networth by Kathleen Wood
January Business Builder - Defining Your Restaurant's Customer Experience by Joel Cohen
November Business Builder - Gluten-Free Menus Can be a Challenge - Or Not
October Business Builder - Understanding How Far in Advance to Initiate the Lease Renewal Process
September Business Builder - The Key to Running a Profitable Restaurant by David Scott Peters
August Business Builder - Improve Your Menu Engineering by Mark Kelnhofer
July Business BuilderRestaurants that Cater - Set a Minimum to Make You Money by Sandy Korem
June Business Builder - 5 Leadership Traits Required for Growing Restaurant Business by Darren Denington