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Yelp introduces Guest Manager bundling, transitioning further into an all-in-one technology platform

The company will now also distinguish between ghost kitchens and traditional restaurants in business profiles

Yelp announced on Wednesday the introduction of Yelp Guest Manager, which bundles the company’s front of house features — including some new ones — like reservations, POS integration, takeout, curbside pickup, and table management into one “fully integrated solution,” according to a press release.

With the announcement, Yelp is completing its transition from mainly a crowdsourced review website/app to an all-in-one restaurant technology platform.

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This integration, Yelp said, is meant to help restaurants facing an industry-wide labor shortage.

Here are the new features Yelp is listing as part of the Guest Manager solution, which starts at $249. Yelp Reservations customers will be able to upgrade for free. 

  • Reservations and waitlist features for customers integrated on a restaurant’s Yelp profile
  • Table management for front of house organization and integration with a restaurant’s POS system
  • Takeout: Restaurants can take takeout orders, track them and send customers texts via this Guest Manager system
  • Kiosk: An extension of the waitlist feature that allows customers to check into a virtual waitlist upon arrival at a restaurant and receive text notifications about the status of their table.

This integration, Yelp said, is meant to help restaurants facing an industry-wide labor shortage.

“With today’s launch of Yelp Guest Manager, we aim to help restaurateurs and their staff better manage guests across their dining experience by simplifying time consuming front-of-the-house tasks, so hosts can focus on providing hospitality to their guests,” Anthony Cross, vice president of products for Yelp for Restaurants told Nation’s Restaurant News. “Introducing new integrations and features in one product will eliminate the burden of front-of-the-house staff managing multiple screens to serve customers.”

Other features include a partnership with Punchh, which will allow Yelp customers to build loyalty and rewards programs using customer diner data. When a diner checks in, the operator will see information like their eligible loyalty rewards, seating preferences, allergies, how many times they’ve visited, as well as their birthday and anniversaries.

Yelp Guest Manager is also partnering with Olo, which will help integrate digital orders made with an Olo-powered app into Yelp’s Guest Manager interface. This will help streamline customer verticals like dine-in, takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup into one place.

Among other small tweaks to the reservations feature, Guest Manager will also allow operators to send confirmation texts to curbside pickup customers and ask for details (like the make and model of their car), so an employee can easily deliver their food to the parking lot.

“This update streamlines restaurant’s curbside operations and helps ensure hosts have the information they need to manage and deliver orders efficiently without having to send confirmation messages and manually get the details needed for a seamless transaction,” Cross said.

One of the biggest customer-facing updates to Yelp’s new digital capabilities is the virtual kitchens attribute, which can now be added to any restaurant’s profile. This will allow customers to easily see if the restaurant they’re researching is a traditional restaurant or a ghost kitchen. The new feature launched with popular virtual concepts, Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen, Mr. Beast Burger, and NASCAR Refuel on the platform.

“For customers who are looking to dine-out at a restaurant, this designation also reduces confusion by helping them understand that no seating is available, and in some cases that delivery is the only way of ordering food from the virtual kitchen,” Cross added.

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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