Fort Lauderdale

South Florida Restaurant Owner on New Yelp Tool to Check for Covid Guidelines

NBC Universal, Inc.

With restaurants back open in South Florida, patrons are asking about much more than just the food or service these days.

“People are asking, are you seating at 50 percent capacity?” said Brian Gough, general manager of El Camino on Las Olas Boulevard. “What are the kinds of protocols that you guys are doing?”

“Gloves, masks. Is there outdoor seating?”

With Covid-19 cases continuing to climb around the U.S., the popular app Yelp has created a new tool to help people figure out whether businesses are following safety guidelines. 

It’s a tool Gough says is a good thing.

“This is gonna help,” he said. “If the guests are a little more worried about going out, going out downtown, going out to Las Olas, they’ll get to see where’s a safe place to eat.”

Once users find a restaurant on the app, they can check a circle for take out, delivery, or dine-in.

The next step is to check a box indicating if staff members are wearing gloves, masks, social distancing, and taking other measures. 

A green checkmark means a majority of customers said they were following the rules. An orange question mark means rules aren’t being enforced.

“This makes it a little more transparent for all the other restaurants that kind of take shortcuts,” Gough said.

Yelp wrote this on its blog stating in part:

“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.”

The website says people seem to like the update. It saw a 41% jump in consumer interest for businesses that added Covid-19 updates. 

El Camino got green checkmarks for wearing masks and gloves.

“We go through the extra effort to make sure our staff’s protected and the guests are protected,” Gough said.

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