The San Francisco-based company synonymous with publishing crowd-sourced reviews on local businesses will now allow users to post complaints about businesses violating COVID-19 safety protocols.
The past few months have seen more than a few instances of individuals and businesses failing to comply with pandemic mandates. (We all remember September's "Hair Gate" scandal that pitted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi against the owner of Cow Hollow’s eSalon.) Well, now Yelp is permitting users to hold businesses accountable for sidestepping COVID-19 safety rules.
We are all responsible for slowing the spread of #COVID19, saving lives, and preserving limited healthcare resources by staying home as much as possible and wearing a mask during all essential outings. pic.twitter.com/2RBnYc9U8K— San Francisco Department of Emergency Management😷 (@SF_emergency) January 12, 2021
As reported by KPIX, Yelp announced Tuesday that it has implemented changes on both its website and mobile product that aim to “instill confidence in consumers to continue supporting local businesses.”
"Starting today, Yelp will display if users observed, or did not observe, the enforcement of social distancing and staff wearing masks," reads a blog post from the company. "We know many businesses are prioritizing the health and safety of their customers. This new update further highlights how businesses have adapted to keep their customers safe, and aims to instill confidence in consumers to continue supporting local businesses."
Much like how users can provide Yelp with feedback on whether or not a business is “kid-friendly” or “great for groups,” the company is now using user-submitted observations to reveal if businesses are implementing "safety practices during the pandemic."
Currently, “social distancing enforced” and “staff wears masks” are among the few descriptors where detailed user feedback can be displayed; Yelp has also said feedback from the previous 28 days will be used and all complaints are evaluated daily to keep the warnings "accurate and current."
The company, too, will soon start showing if an eatery or bar offers things like meal kits, contactless menus, and climate-controlled outdoor dining areas amid those features growing in popularity since the pandemic began.
We’re excited to announce: Businesses can now opt in to identify as Black-owned on Yelp. Simply search “Black-owned” or keep an eye out for the icon to show support.— Yelp SF (@yelpsf) June 18, 2020
Looking for more ways to help? Save your… https://t.co/OhqawiPX7t
These recent changes also come after Yelp added warnings on businesses that were accused of “overtly racist actions" amid 2020's civic unrest and BLM activism.
Photo: Courtesy of Yelp