Yelp And GoFundMe Made Restaurant Donation Pages Without Consent

The news around the COVID-19 outbreak is constantly changing, but information about food safety and how to keep yourself healthy is crucial right now. Here is a comprehensive list on the foods you should be stocking up on during this period of social distancing, as well as information about your local grocery stores’ changing hours, an explanation of “no-contact delivery,” and a guide on how to help your community and its businesses throughout closures.

To support independent businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Yelp and GoFundMe teamed up to make it possible for people to donate through the businesses’ Yelp pages. Though the intentions were good, the rollout of that plan didn’t exactly fare well with some restaurants who were automatically opted into it without being asked for their permission first.

Restaurant owners and other industry professionals took to Twitter to share how they were blindsided by the situation. Some felt that the companies were taking advantage of how the pandemic has hit the restaurant industry. Others pointed out that it makes the restaurants seem like charity cases and derails existing fundraising efforts many of them already have in place.

The GoFundMe pages–based on Yelp photos and descriptions of the businesses–were automatically set up for restaurants and other businesses that had a claimed Yelp page and five or fewer locations. Some bars included in the partnership hadn’t even been open to the public yet.

After receiving backlash from businesses who wanted to actively opt-in or did not get a notification to opt-out, Yelp halted the auto-rollout of the donation feature and isworking with GoFundMe to provide a seamless way for businesses to opt into the program,” according to an update on Yelp’s blog post.

If you want to support your favorite local eatery, it’s probably best to check with them directly on the best way to go about it–you don’t want to add to any headaches!

Source Article