SF-Based Food Phenomena Jumps Across the Pond

Yelp unveils UK edition

By Sajid Farooq
|  Friday, Jan 9, 2009  |  Updated 6:14 AM PDT
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SF-Based Food Phenomena Jumps Across the Pond

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A British racing fan opens a bottle of beer with her teeth on ladies day, the second day of the Grand National meeting at Aintree Racecourse. She can now write about the beer on Yelp UK.

When the Bay Area talks about food the Brits listen.

San Francisco based Yelp, the site that allows users to post and review local restaurants and businesses, will now be available in England.

Now all those eaters behind the yellow, crooked teeth can write about their favorite place to get a pint or where not to buy tea and crumpets in the neighborhood.

"London is the heart of the English-speaking world and one of the world's great cities, and we have always intended have a UK presence," said Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and CEO of Yelp. "For the past three years, Londoners have been asking us to bring Yelp to the UK and we're excited to have finally taken this step. We are committed to making Yelp London as vibrant and useful as Yelp in San Francisco or New York."

Yelp will give the Brits the ability to share their opinions on everything from curry houses to wicked googlies to where lady Camilla got her lovely dress. Additionally, small business owners can set up a free business owner's account to attract new customers and communicate with current ones.

In the past month, more than 100,000 people from the UK visited Yelp.com to research travel destinations across the Atlantic, according to the company. With more than 4.5 million reviews written by yelpers, the site has become the fastest growing and deepest source for information on the best neighborhood businesses in the US and Canada.

"Yelp has been a leader in the developments that might together be called 'local 2.0'," said Greg Sterling, analyst Sterling Market Intelligence. "It helped reinvent the local segment by making community a more central part of the experience."

Yelp UK follows the August 2008 launch of Yelp Canada.

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