Maybe Yelp Isn’t So Powerful After All?

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Ever since the dawn of Yelp, restaurants and small businesses have been running scared and kowtowing to Yelp Elite members for fear they'll give them a one-star review. But has all this worry that a few bad Yelp reviews are as influential as a bad review by a major newspaper critic been for naught? Forbes reports today on a new study by a retail research firm that finds that, among other things, online reviews only account for about 14 percent of diners' motivation to try out a restaurant. And fine-dining restaurants hardly suffer any impact from bad Yelp reviews and the like, the study found. What's the biggest draw for people when it comes to online information about new restaurants? Old-fashioned deals and special offers, followed closely by news about menu items. Take that, angry Yelpers. [Forbes]