Now more than ever, it is important that small business owners are aware of what can affect our businesses and how we can successfully navigate it. It is absolutely necessary that we check all of our boxes, from SEO upkeep to updating the details of our Google My Business profile. As of this week, one more thing has been added to that list: Yelp’s user-generated COVID-19 safety reviews.

In short, we hope that you’ve been enforcing social distancing and prioritizing the health of your staff and customers, because customers and clients now have a feature specifically dedicated to sharing how well they thought your business was following COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Additionally, Yelp users can confirm or deny the safety practices that your business has currently listed, which without the proper plans in place could turn into a nightmare for small businesses.

What You Need to Know About Yelp's New Safety Review Feature
What You Need to Know About Yelp's New Safety Review Feature

So, what does this mean for your salon?

While this safety review feature could potentially harm your small business, it also has the potential to make your customers feel safer and create a trustworthy brand. To ensure that this Yelp feature doesn’t negatively impact your business’s rating, we’ve compiled a quick list of tips and reminders of what you and your staff can be doing to make the most of these safety reviews.

Review your COVID-19 safety plan

Whether your business already has a health and safety plan in place or needs to create a stronger one, consult with your staff about what changes could be made in order to properly follow the regulations put in place by your state. Are your stylists wearing their masks all day long? Are they properly sanitizing their stations in between clients? Be specific and make sure every employee has a copy of this plan and is on board following it.

Accurately list your safety practices

Yelp gives you the option to list what safety and health guidelines your business is currently following, so take advantage of this feature! Be sure to list any precautions taken, ranging from employee temperature checks to limited capacity. Anything that you are doing to create a safer work environment during this time can be listed. Not only does this look good for the user that is searching for your business, but it can increase your rating if they observe you successfully following your practices.

What You Need to Know About Yelp's New Safety Review Feature
What You Need to Know About Yelp's New Safety Review Feature

Whatever guidelines you follow, follow them 100% of the time.

Not much to say here other than stay on your game--always. If staff are required to wear masks and customers are required to socially distance within your salon, make sure that these rules are being enforced all day long and not just for one hour. You never know who is observing!

About the Author: Lucas Renfroe is a founding partner of Salon.Marketing, a digital marketing agency specializing in the salon and spa industry.  Renfroe also owns Roots Southern Salon, with his wife Susan, in Savannah, GA.  He works with other salon owners on a daily basis to overcome the challenges of leveraging Search Engines to generate more new clients.  You can reach him at

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