Yelp Adds ‘Proof of Vaccination’ Feature to Restaurant Listings
As more restaurants require proof of vaccination for staff and customers, Yelp is taking action to help both consumers and business owners.
In a new blog post, Yelp announced two new features for its restaurant listings. Businesses now have the option of adding one or both of the following attributes to their Yelp pages to help them communicate their immunization requirements to customers: âProof of Immunization Requiredâ and âAll Staff Fully Immunizedâ.
The new feature is certainly useful for business owners who want to make their COVID-19 protocols more visible to potential customers. It’s also very convenient for consumers as they can filter their search on the site to include or exclude businesses that require proof of vaccination.
Since COVID-19 vaccinations are still a hotly debated topic, Yelp is closely monitoring the pages of restaurants and food and nightlife businesses that choose to add these attributes to their page. All in an effort to help prevent “review bombardment,” a practice where consumers who disagree with a restaurant’s stance flood the negative review page.
âSince the start of the pandemic, we have seen incidents of ‘review bombing’ increase around health and safety precautions implemented by companies,â the blog read. âReviews from customers who criticize a company’s immunization requirements violate our special COVID content guidelines, which were introduced in March 2020 to protect businesses from reputational damage related to the pandemic. “
So far this year, Yelp says it has removed almost 8,000 of these reviews. For its new COVID-19 attributes, the site uses a similar monitoring system that was implemented when Yelp launched its âBlack Ownerâ attribute in June 2020 and subsequent ones such as âLatinx Ownerâ, âAsian Ownershipâ “and” belonging to LGBTQ “.
âThroughout the pandemic, we have placed unusual activity alerts on a Yelp page when we discover an influx of activity in response to a company drawing public attention for its stance on health practices and COVID safety – including the vaccination requirement for employees and / or customers, âthe blog post read.
Last October, Yelp grabbed the headlines by announcing that it would add an alert on the pages of companies accused of racist behavior. This latest feature of the site is a further step to help better educate consumers and protect businesses as more and more companies are announcing vaccination requirements for customers.
Earlier this week, New York City became the first major U.S. city to require proof of vaccination for restaurants and indoor gyms. Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the program, known as the “Key to NYC Pass”, will begin in mid-August and will be fully implemented from the week of September 13th.
In July, a slight increase in cases among fully vaccinated bar workers in San Francisco prompted hundreds of bars in the area to announce that they would require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests from customers who wish to drink inside.
Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, announced last week that it will require customers and employees inside its restaurants to show proof of vaccination.
In addition to vaccination requirements, business owners on Yelp can also update their page to include mask requirements and alert customers when and if staff should wear masks.