I am an owner of recently open Thai restaurant. Below is solely my personal experience with Yelp that I would like to share.
1. Biggest mistake I made was talking to Yelp. Once they know I own the restaurant they keep on calling to get us to subscribe to $300 per month advertise with them. There is nothing wrong with that; however, there are no reason for us to advertise on a site where I don’t think it portrays business fairly.
2. Filtered system is bogus. All of our legitimate positive review got filtered and they don’t filtered bad review. We would be 4 star restaurant, but it keep us at 3.5 star (like that matter, but again I think it is not fair)
3. I used to use Yelp and review restaurant and service. More and more unfair practice I might stop them completely.
4. Sad but I have to say this Yelp’s customers (more than 90%) are cheap and rude. We used opentable reservation and we can see the world different between yelp’s customer and open table customer. Opentable’s customer who actually dine at the restaurant can review the restaurant. On yelp, you can’t even tell when they dine at the restaurant or what they said is directly from their experience not from competitor or someone who hate the restaurant.
As much as I like their idea of website, I hope Google place and their newly create restaurant review take over them. Yelp is not good for small business.