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How to Respond to Yelp Reviews in No Time

Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Learn how to provide quick and personalized Yelp review responses with MARA, a powerful AI review response generator.
How to Respond to Yelp Reviews in No Time

Yelp is a global review platform for businesses in various industries. Many customers rely on Yelp to help them pick the best restaurants and brands, so it’s imperative to build and grow a positive reputation on this website. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to respond to Yelp reviews in record time!

Why Respond to a Positive Yelp Review?

You have to respond to positive Yelp reviews. These customers had a fantastic experience at your restaurant, so you need to formulate review responses that beam with customer appreciation and motivate them to return.

💡 An average of 92 million mobile users use Yelp every day!

Yelp gets a lot of traction! If you neglect your positive reviews, you’ll lose out on building a solid reputation among these millions of users.

Like hoteliers have to respond to TripAdvisor, Google and Booking reviews, as a restaurateur, you can take your business to the next level by responding to and growing positive Yelp reviews.


These are some of the top reasons to respond to Yelp reviews.

Build Brand Loyalty

We all know the risk associated with running a successful restaurant. It’s far from easy, and you need a steady source of return clients to keep your business afloat. These return clients become the primary source of your income and they’re more likely to refer friends and family to your restaurant. This means less marketing and advertising costs for you!

But how does your restaurant achieve brand loyalty?

It starts with responding to and growing your positive Yelp reviews. When positive reviewers get responses, they feel acknowledged and appreciated by your business. And ultimately, this gives them more reason to return and bring more people when they do.

Engage with Customers

Customers don’t like faceless businesses. Whether it be a restaurant or a hotel, they want to visit businesses that interact with them on a personal level. The more you interact and engage with your customers, the easier it is to develop profitable relationships.

But responding to positive Yelp reviews isn’t enough to build fruitful customer relationships. Your review responses must be personal and address the review's key points. Fortunately, with our AI review response generator, you can add personal elements to your review responses, like your business name or signature.

Acquire New Customers

💡 25% of customers rely on websites like Yelp to find out about a restaurant. 60% of these customers read online reviews and make decisions based on this.

Because of this fact, Yelp can help you to acquire new customers. To do this successfully, you must respond to all reviews, both positive and negative.

If new customers notice you respond not only to negative replies but also to the excellent ones, they will gain interest in your business. This is because your restaurant appears more invested in its customers and their feedback when you respond to positive reviews.

Another way positive Yelp reviews can acquire new customers for your restaurant is by providing insights into what to expect. Customers often struggle to find a new place to eat without knowing what to expect. Questions such as "What does the menu offer?", "How does the food taste?", and "Is the ambiance what I'm looking for?" may appear. Your positive reviews will have all these answers, and prospective customers can make a clear decision when considering your business. You can only leverage these benefits from positive reviews if you encourage customer feedback by providing quick, tailored review responses.

Think carefully. Not responding to reviews can lead to fewer positive reviews, and fewer positive reviews can lead to a loss of potential customers.

How to Increase Positive Yelp Reviews?

Positive reviews on Yelp matter. The more positive reviews you have, the easier customers will gain interest in your business and trust you. To drive more positive reviews, encourage your guests to leave reviews. Start responding to your customers' feedback so that guests see a purpose in interacting with you via online reviews, knowing that their compliments are heard and appreciated.

These are some of the top tips to generate more excellent reviews with great review responses on Yelp:

  • Personalize your review response. With a review response tool like MARA personalizing your review responses is quick and easy. You want to do this to make your customers feel appreciated and recognized. Providing generic responses to your reviews won't achieve this feeling for your customers. And we want to avoid this at all costs! Use your AI review response generator to mention the reviewer’s name in your response and what they enjoyed about your restaurant.
  • Thank your customers and encourage them to come back. Thanking your customers for leaving positive reviews is the first step to making them feel appreciated. And by all means, you should! Their positive feedback can increase brand loyalty, and customer engagement and acquires new customers. So, they definitely deserve a response. You also need to motivate customers to come again!
  • You can find more tips and tricks in our complete guide of how to respond to positive reviews.

Here’s an example of how MARA generates AI responses to positive Yelp reviews:

How to Respond to Yelp Reviews Example
Response to Positive Yelp Reviews with MARA

Why Respond to a Negative Yelp Review?

Negative reviews on Yelp can be heartbreaking because these reviews can do a lot of damage to businesses.

💡 Bad Yelp reviews can cost you up to 30% of new customers. 80% of Yelp users will take back their decision to visit your restaurant after spotting negative reviews.

You can’t run a successful restaurant with a negative reputation on Yelp. This review platform means too much! Let’s explore how responding to negative Yelp reviews can reduce the harm of negative experiences of guests.

Boost Customer Experience

Customers may boycott a restaurant due to poor service. In fact, around 70% of US customers would pay more for improved customer experience. So, how do you optimize your customer experience and have your clientele rack up higher bills? The answer is simple - take note of negative aspects of your business mentioned in your Yelp reviews and improve them!

Negative Yelp reviews pretty much pinpoint the exact problems with your restaurant. While this isn’t easy feedback to receive, you can reshape your business to deliver what your customers want.

How quickly you act on negative reviews also matters. With an AI review response tool, you can save time when replying to reviews. This software automatically creates personalized review responses that address each concern expressed in feedback, rather than generic responses.

Correct Negative Customer Experiences

So, a customer came into your restaurant, had a bad experience, and took to Yelp to write about it.

But this isn't the end of your relationship with that customer. AI review response assistants can help you provide a whole-hearted, personalized response. You can show customers you care about them and want to deliver better brand experiences.

Ignoring negative Yelp reviews doesn’t allow you to turn a negative customer experience into a positive one. Understand what made your customers unhappy and do your best to correct this on their next visit. You can invite them back to your restaurant or offer them a reward like a discount, freebies, or merchandise to regain their interest.

Responding to online reviews also allows you to correct any negative first impressions potential guests have about your business. By sharing your perspective and fixing negative customer experiences, you can let future customers know how much you care about your business and value your guests.

Attract More Customers

Like responding to positive Yelp reviews attracts new customers, so does responding to negative ones! When buyers notice you approach negative customer feedback and correct those experiences, they’ll have more reason to visit your business.

Can You Remove Negative Reviews on Yelp?

Yes, you can delete negative reviews on Yelp if you have a good reason. You can’t request to remove a negative Yelp review only because it’s negative. So, how do you remove false or defamatory Yelp reviews? Just follow these two steps:

  1. Go to the review you want to remove and click the flag icon in the bottom right.
  2. Choose a reason you want to remove the review from the drop-down menu.

Yelp's moderators will review your request and, based on their criteria, determine if the review can be removed or not.

How to Minimize Negative Yelp Reviews?

Keeping negative reviews on Yelp super low is tricky and an ongoing task. However, it is well worth the effort due to the sheer number of customers who use this platform to evaluate and make decisions about restaurants.

Here’s how you can minimize negative customer feedback on Yelp:

  • Respond to reviews quickly and professionally. Customers want quick and helpful responses to their feedback. If your restaurant gets loads of Yelp reviews, or you run more than one restaurant, this can be challenging. An AI review response generator can help you stay ahead of hundreds of reviews and improve your reputation.
  • Act on customer suggestions. Don’t just respond to customer feedback. Act on it! If many customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the volume of the music, consider reducing it. Or perhaps customers report cold food. That means you have to take another look at service processes. No matter how much effort it demands, you must act on customer feedback to minimize your negative Yelp reviews and boost positive ones.
  • Run a clean ship. Customers don't want to eat in a dirty restaurant, which is unfortunately something that happens too often. Make sure to keep your restaurant and facilities spotless.
  • Hire and train a competent team. Your team matters a lot as they carry your restaurant. Ensure your team knows your menus and processes alongside your business values and culture.
  • Make customers your priority. To build a positive Yelp reputation, make your customers your priority. When making changes to your restaurant or menu, consider your customers and go as far as getting direct feedback from them. Making your clientele an active part of your growth will keep them invested in your brand.

Here’s an example of how MARA responds to negative Yelp reviews:

How to respond to Yelp reviews_negative reviews example
Responding to Negative Yelp Reviews with MARA

How to Respond to Yelp Reviews with MARA

There’s no easier way to respond to Yelp reviews than MARA. Our AI review response assistant quickly provides tailored responses to all your reviews. You don’t need any technical knowledge to use MARA. Our platform allows you to generate individual review responses for personalized customer interactions.

Let’s dive into responding to positive and negative Yelp reviews with MARA.

Step 1: Sign in to Your Yelp Account and Find Your Reviews

First things first, log into your Yelp account and find the reviews you want to respond to. Once you’ve signed into your Yelp account, click on the menu item “About Me” and you’ll find all your reviews.

If you haven’t responded to any Yelp reviews, MARA will help you respond to all of them within a few clicks.

To respond to a Yelp review, click on the button “Respond” under each review.

Step 2: Open MARA and Toggle Your Settings

Keep your Yelp reviews open in one tab and open MARA in a different one. You can create an account and test the software for free. But before you generate review responses, you should configure your settings to get the most out of you AI Assistant. Here’s how you do it:

  1. On the left-hand menu, click “Accounts”
  2. Set your AI Version. Review Reply V1 generates generic review responses that work for all domains. Choose Review Reply V2 to produce tailored responses to your industry.
  3. Choose your tone of voice between informal and formal.
  4. Set your review response lengthy. You can opt for lengthy, brief, or automatic response length.
  5. Complete the “What is Reviewed” section. Here you want to insert “Restaurant” or any type of business you’re generating review responses for.
  6. Add your signature in the last block. Your signature will appear at the bottom of every review response and add that personal touch you need.
MARA Review Response Generator Settings
How to Configure Settings for MARA Review Response Generator

Step 3: Copy and Paste your Yelp Reviews into MARA

Now that you’ve customized your MARA settings, you can start generating AI review responses!

  1. On MARA’s left-hand menu, click “Review Reply”
  2. Go back to Yelp, and copy the review you want to respond to.
  3. Paste this review in the first box on MARA’s Review Reply page
  4. Choose to include or exclude a summary for your review. These summaries generate a list of the key points from every review that help you grasp the content of a review without reading all of it.

Guess what? You’re nearly at the finishing line!

Automated Yelp Review Responses with MARA
Generate Automated Yelp Review Responses with MARA

Step 4: Generate and Publish Your Review Responses

It’s time to generate and publish your response! You can do this by hitting “Generate Reply” beneath the review you copied and pasted into MARA.

How to Generate Quick Review Responses with MARA
MARA for Automated Yelp Review Responses

Once you’ve generated your review response, MARA will automatically copy the response to your clipboard. You can go back to Yelp and paste this content to respond to the review you chose in Step 1. Simply repeat this process to provide individual Yelp review responses to all your customers.

Write personalized Yelp reviews for your diners with MARA

Responding to online reviews from diners can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be with our AI Review Assistant, MARA. This intuitive tool is designed to ease your Online Reputation Management process, making it more efficient, personalized, and time-saving. It offers the best and most personalized AI for responding to and analyzing your guest reviews.

All-in-one Review Inbox

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox, where you can monitor, manage, and respond to your online reviews in an instant. Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including Yelp, Google, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. And you can even configure review response automation: Why not allow MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like 5-star Yelp reviews with no text, ensuring you never miss a review? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

MARA Review Inbox
Integrating Google and Yelp reviews into your MARA AI dashboard.

Actionable insights from Review Analytics

Customer data is essential for improving your menu and offerings to be in tune with the tastes of your diners. To help you understand and analyze the multitude of reviews, the Review Assistant also incorporates Review Analytics. This provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights that are tailored exclusively to your business. With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific issues like "poor customer service" or "lack of a vegan breakfast option". These insights help optimize the guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

MARA Review Analytics
Effortlessly extract customer insights from Yelp reviews.

Go autopilot with Review Automation

Automating repetitive tasks is imperative for restaurants so staff can focus on providing excellent customer service to diners. After gaining trust in your personal AI Review Assistant, you can even go on autopilot and create automation rules. This way, you can specify which reviews should be replied to by the AI directly with no additional approval. With the configuration below, all Google reviews with no text and a star rating of 4 and above are answered automatically.

MARA Review Automation
Automating responses for a more efficient review management process.

Yelp review response personalization

Personalization is an essential strategy for the restaurant industry, as it allows business owners and managers to build customer relationships with their diners. MARA's AI isn't just about efficiency; it's about personalization too. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentically you. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

This review response assistant has quickly become a game-changer for over 2000 customers. Its promising capacity to elevate your overall rating, amplify response rates, glean insights from customer feedback, and economize both time and money is the reason behind its growing popularity.

Final Thought

Managing Yelp reviews need not be an overwhelming task. With the appropriate software, not only can you streamline the process, but you can also personalize your responses, and derive valuable insights from the reviews. So, why hesitate to give our AI Review Assistant, MARA, a try? It's completely free for testing, doesn't require a credit card, and can be fully operational in less than five minutes.

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