Today’s Social Marketing Special: The Yelp Algorithm

Here, there and everywhere, the restaurant business is increasingly anchored to Yelp. We wrote about an establishment that has mastered the art of Yelp in the U.S.’s second largest city. Now, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune‘s city guide comes another reminder of just how expansively the Union Square operation must be viewed.

From the article by Bill Ward, picked up from a weekend print edition:

Every month, the managers of Parasole Restaurant Group’s 10 restaurants meet with their bosses. At the outset, they get a report card — not for sales or profits, but an algorithm-based assessment of how their operations are faring on social media. It includes a letter grade.

“I can guarantee you,” said Kip Clayton, Parasole’s vice president of marketing, “you don’t want to have an F.”

The F-stands-for-flambéd algorithm is heavily weighted in favor of Yelp. There’s all sorts of other interesting anecdotal info in Ward’s piece. One pair of restaurant owners explain how they reach out to every single Yelp commenter; another in the Twin Cities market reveals he needed help from the Anti-Defamation League to get rid of some anti-Semitic Yelp feedback.