Your Guide to Yelp Reservations

November 26, 2018

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What is Yelp Reservations?

Yelp Reservations is an online restaurant reservations management system and software platform that allows restaurant managers to reach more diners, accept reservations on their Yelp business page, assign servers to tables, make sure guests are equally distributed, and give walk-in guests accurate wait time quotes.

Yelp Reservations also allows restaurants to automatically confirm reservations with diners via text message, drastically reducing no-shows.

Think of Yelp Reservations as OpenTable for restaurants listed on Yelp.

According to research:

  • Yelp is the most frequently used review site for finding restaurants (Nielsen, 2016).
  • 92 percent of consumers make a purchase after searching Yelp for a restaurant.
  • 92 million diners were seated through Yelp Reservations in 2016.

How much does Yelp Reservations cost?

Yelp Reservations is offered at a flat monthly fee of $249. Yelp doesn’t charge additional fees for setup, web access, and even for each seat filled through Yelp Reservations. It also provides a free iPad for your incoming reservations (if you want one).

To sign up for Yelp Reservations, you’ll have to request a demo first:

Using Yelp Reservations

Get Started with Yelp Reservations

Most of your interactions with Yelp Reservations will be through its dashboard, with actions such as creating a top-down render of the business’ floor plan. This is one of the first things you’ll have to do after you sign up.

(Please note that this entire process is only available through Yelp’s website and not through the iPad app.)

Here’s how to create your floor plan on Yelp Reservations:

    • Go to the “Configure” tab, which is on the main sidebar in the Yelp Reservations dashboard.
    • Click on the “Rooms” tab at the top of the page. You can now click on either “Create New Room” or “Edit Room” to draw up a new floor plan or edit an existing template.
    • Those creating a new room will now enter a name for the brand new template.
    • A blank floor plan appears and you can drag and drop the desired number of tables onto the floor. You can also click on each table to rotate it, delete it, change its shape, or alter its overall capacity.
  • With the right floor plan in place you can click on the “Save New Room” or “Save” button to finalize it.

Before a room is available for reservations, you’ll need to add it to a sheet. You can create these sheets to show your employees which tables or rooms are available during a shift. You will also need to schedule the sheet to allow reservations.

Here’s how to create or add sheets on Yelp Reservations:

    • Go to the “Configure” tab within the Yelp Reservations dashboard and click on the “Sheets” tab.
  • Click on “Create New Sheet” and then enter the sheet’s name, the shift time, and the first and last seating times.

You can also adjust additional advanced settings within a sheet if necessary. This includes:

  • Pacing: You can restrict the number of online reservations to prevent an overflow.
  • Turn Times: This is your prediction of how long each service should take based on the party size.
  • Override Global CC Hold: Activate this option to make it a requirement that a credit card is needed to hold the reservation under your specific conditions.
  • Sheet Notes: These are additional notes to better inform customers during the booking process.
  • Cutoff Time: This is a specified time set by you to determine when the sheet should stop taking online reservations.

With the sheet details done, you’ll have to assign a room or floor plan to it by clicking the “Assign Room” button. You can assign multiple rooms on a single sheet, and dictate which tables are available for online booking, in-house reservations, or unavailable for any reservations.

  • Click the “Save” button to confirm your changes.

Last but not least, you’ll need to schedule the sheet for specific sheets in order to start taking reservations. This will tell your staff about the specific tables and details available at different times of the day.

    • Go to the Yelp Reservations dashboard and click on the “Configure” tab. Click on the “Schedule” tab on this section to take you to the dashboard’s Calendar.
    • Select the dates for your sheets and click the “Add Sheet” (in some cases it will be “Edit Sheet,” “Replace Sheet”, or “Delete Sheet”) for the specific service time of the day: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner.
    • You can choose to only add a specific sheet for this one day or if it should repeat on the same day every week.
  • Click the “Schedule” button to finalize your changes and repeat the process as needed for other specific dates or days of the week.

With your floor plans, sheets, and schedule out of the way, you can finally open reservations through the Yelp Reservations dashboard.

  • Click on the “Configure” tab in the sidebar and click on the “Reservations” tab at the top of the page.
  • Toggle the “Accept Online Reservations” to “ON.”
  • Activate other settings on an as-needed basis. A reservation widget should appear on the Yelp business page.

Managing Yelp Reservations

You can now toggle reservations on the iPad app by tapping on the “Book” or “Grid” tab, going to the “Options” icon on the bottom-right of the screen, and toggle the “Allow Online Reservations” status.

You can also integrate Yelp Reservations with your website or Facebook Business Manager or Page. This should make the reservations process easier for diners who found out more about your business on non-Yelp platforms.

To set up a Yelp Reservations button for your website:

    • Go to the Yelp Reservations dashboard and go to the “Configure” tab in the sidebar. Afterward, click the “Widget” tab at the top of the page.
    • Multiple variants of the “Reserve Now” button are available to use. Click the one that appeals to you.
  • You should now see HTML code for the button. Copy and paste it onto your website.

You can also add a Yelp Reservations calendar widget, which helps customers find specific reservations dates. Here’s how to do that:

    • Go to the Yelp Reservations dashboard and go to the “Configure” tab in the sidebar. Afterwards, click the “Widget” tab at the top of the page.
    • You should see a set of instructions for creating a custom widget.
  • A custom HTML code should appear for your widget. You can copy and paste it onto your website. For WordPress users, you can follow the additional instructions to install the widget before copying and pasting it onto your site.

The Yelp Reservations button appears as a “Book Now” call to action button on a business’ Facebook Page, which you can also advertise to attract more potential customers.

    • Click the “Add a Button” option below the cover photo.
    • Go to the “Book our Services” section and select the “Book Now” options.
    • Facebook will then ask for a URL address. You can find the reservation-specific address by going to the Yelp Reservations dashboard. Go to the “Configure” section on the sidebar and click the “Widget” tab at the top of the page.
    • Copy the blue-colored URL on this page and paste back onto the Facebook setup screen.
  • Click “Add Button” to finalize the process.

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