3 Rules for Surviving (and Thriving) on Yelp

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My sister is a really good doctor. She runs two busy offices in South Philly. Her patients include CEOs of large companies and union workers from the neighborhood. She sees everything from colds to cancer and knows the best specialists in town. I wouldn’t let her cut my fingernails, of course. But that’s because she’s my sister and I still remember her as a bossy 15-year-old. But her patients I know love her.

Except for this one guy. He skewered her on Yelp. He complained about her office. He gave her a low rating. And what was worse, that she didn’t even know about it until somebody (that was a gloating me) told her about it. She barely knew about Yelp. But apparently, her office was listed there and a handful of people made comments — all great except for the one guy. And it really, really upset her. I get it — people don’t like to hear bad stuff.

Is your business on Yelp? You better check.

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Yelp Office Hours for Business Owners

Presented by Yelp

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On Monday, July 22 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Yelp will be hosting office hours for business owners. The casual drop-in session is aimed at local business owners who are interested in learning more about Yelp, its business tools and other ways to get involved with the online review site.

Have questions for Yelp’s community manager, need help claiming your business listing? Interested in getting involved with Yelp locally by sponsoring event? Then drop by Smokin’ Betty’s (116 S 11th Street) between 3 and 5 p.m. this Monday.

Yelp Office Hours for Business Owners [Yelp]
Yelp for Business Owners [Yelp]

Yelp’s Summer Soiree Means Free Food and Drink

summer-soiree-squareYelp, the people who have most recently brought us heat maps of where the hipsters hang, is throwing a big party on Wednesday, July 10th at the North Shore Beach Club in Northern Liberties. The party, which is open to anyone with a Yelp account (with a real name) is free to attend with a suggested donation of $10 to Yelp’s charity partner, the Gesu School. Once inside, there will be free food (Pod, Minar Palace, Nomad Pizza, Circles Thai, to name a few ), drink (Tito’s Vodka, Narragansett, Weyerbacher, among others) and other free services.

The party runs from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. and RSVPs are accepted on the Yelp Summer Soiree page. The RSVP list will close at noon on Tuesday, July 9th, so don’t delay.

Yelp Summer Soiree [Yelp]

 

Where We’re Eating: Bonk’s

Bonk's Bar

“Sticky, licky, sucky, messy, dirty and wet: There is something better than sex for sale in Port Richmond, and no, it’s not heroin.” Seriously, we don’t normally quote Yelp comments in the course of reviewing a restaurant, but that one in particular (from former City Paper food writer Felicia D’Ambrosio) pretty much sums up the experience at this quintessential Port Richmond dive bar, which has been known to run out of crabs by 7 p.m. Sizes and prices change daily, but like the beer, the crabs are among the cheapest around. Two pieces of advice: When the bartender asks, “Ya want some Bonk’s juice?,” don’t ask what’s in it; just say yes. And don’t order anything but crabs, fries and beer, or you’ll be sorry you did.

Bonk’s
3467 richmond street
215-634-9927

First appeared in the June, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

A Night by the Nile With Yelp Philadelphia

Calling all ghouls and undead foodies: it’s time to party. Yelp Philadelphia is hosting a Halloween party on Wednesday, October 31st, from 8 to 10p.m. at the mummy-tastic Penn Museum.

The party, appropriately named Yelp’s Night by the Nile, will feature a guided tour of the museum’s mummy exhibition, a talk with a conservator about the mummification process, and personal time with a real, (not) live mummy. Of course there will be food and drink complimentary of local restaurants and vendors as well as a DJ and photo booth.

Admission into the party is free though a $10 donation to Alex’s Lemonade Stand is encouraged; all you have to do is RSVP through Yelp Events.

Everyone Has an Opinion, But What’s Fair to Do About It?

Fidel Gastro had an interesting experience the other week. After commenting on a Foobooz post, Senor Gastro received a phone call from a restaurant employee urging him to contact the employee personally before making a comment in a public forum. While we admire the employee’s resourcefulness in acquiring a recently changed cell phone number, we wonder if that didn’t step over some invisible line. Sites like Yelp offer tools for business owners to respond to reviews and even offer tips on how to do so constructively. But a phone call just seems overly forward. And more than a little bit stalker-y.

We can certainly see the benefit of reaching out to a disgruntled customer after the fact to try and fix the situation or correct any misconceptions. But if you get yelled at by a bartender, can an email from a manager truly change an experience from one-star to a four-stars?

So we have some questions:

  • Have you ever been contacted by a business owner over an online comment?
  • Did the contact affect you positively or negatively?

Check out Fidel’s answer to the employee in question (linked below, and totally worth the read) and then let us know what you think in the comments.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Happy Hour [Fidel Gastro]

Party Like the Yelp Star

On Thursday, February 9th Yelp is throwing a party at Union Transfer and all you need to attend is a Yelp account and an RSVP. Yelp typically throws parties for its elite members (members who post real names and pictures and who regularly write reviews for the site) every month but this party is at a much greater scale. Yelp Philadelphia Community Manager Michelle Cassidy is expecting in the neighborhood of 1,000 people to attend the event and why not? There will be plenty of free food (Khyber Pass Pub, Chabaa Thai, Chewy’s and more), drink (Triumph, Narragansett, Magners) and even salon services.

RSVP now.

Yelp’s Backstage Party [Yelp]

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