Disneyland’s parking lot in Anaheim, California soon will become one of the largest drive-through locations to get a COVID-19 vaccine, as the state hits an all-time high for cases of the virus.
Despite the uptick in infections, many consumers are keenly aware of -- and concerned about -- whether or not businesses live up to safety standards. Most consumers still want businesses to communicate their safety protocols.
Yelp launched a feature soliciting customer feedback about how well businesses adhere to pandemic precautions such as social distancing and mask wearing.
The user-generated feedback becomes available for restaurants, food, nightlife, retail and beauty businesses as well as automotive, professional and local services businesses.
When multiple users leave feedback, the ratings for COVID safety precautions show whether there is a consensus among users who rate a business.
Yelp users must log in to identify whether or not the business follows safety precautions. If the business has multiple locations, the rating will only show for the location where the customer leaves the feedback.
“The COVID-19 section on Yelp business pages will be regularly updated to reflect the consensus of user responses,” Akhil Kuduvalli, head of consumer product at Yelp, wrote in a post.
The way Yelp designed the method to inform consumers is interesting. A green check mark will display with text that indicates “Social distancing enforced according to most users” or “Staff wears masks according to most users” when the majority of responses from users indicate that these measures are being enforced.
If a majority of user responses indicate that these measures are not enforced, an orange question mark will be displayed with text that reads: “Social distancing might not be enforced according to most users” or “Staff might not wear masks according to most users.”
In instances where user responses are mixed but there is still significant feedback from users that these measures are not enforced, an orange question mark will be displayed with text that indicates “Social distancing might not be enforced according to some users” or “Staff might not wear masks according to some users.”
At launch, the orange question mark is only displayed on a couple hundred businesses out of the millions of businesses on Yelp.
Businesses can promote how they take precautions, similar to the way they identify offering outdoor heated seating, DIY meal kits, private dining, covered outdoor seating, and take out and/or delivery.
Businesses also can list basic health and safety measures such as social-distancing enforcement, mask mandates for staff, and that they use disposable or contactless menus.
Yelp saw consumer interest rise 41% for businesses that added COVID-19 business updates to their Yelp pages between September 1 and December 31, 2020.
This new update highlights how businesses have adapted to keep their customers safe, and aims to infuse confidence in consumers to continue supporting local businesses, which is very important these days.