Yelp Offers 'Open to All' Feature As Part of Anti-Discrimination Push

A new category on Yelp was introduced to the public on Tuesday that will allow businesses to declare themselves "Open to all" by taking an online anti-discrimination pledge. 

The San Francisco-based review site announced Tuesday they were partnering with the Movement Advancement Project to help promote nondiscrimination laws and would be joining 1,200 other small businesses in declaring that they will maintain "a welcoming and safe environment for people — including employees, visitors, customers, vendors and clients — regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion or disability" according to the language in the pledge. 

In a blog post published on Tuesday, Yelp's senior vice president of public policy, Luther Lowe, wrote that the company wanted to wanted to offer the special designation to businesses following a 7-2 ruling by the Supreme Court in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple. 

Every day, consumers face varied degrees of discrimination. Beyond the LGBTQ+ community, this also unfortunately exists for many minority communities in our country and we are equipping consumers with the information they need to confidently patronize any place of business.

A new tab will be added to Yelp's site where restaurants and other businesses can indicate that they are "Open to All." Businesses owners can leave that tab blank, or expressly say that the business is not open to all. The website's Terms of Service agreement with users already bans speech on its site that attacks someone based on race, religion, sexual orientation and other traits. 

According to the Open to All website, Lyft, Airbnb, Levi Strauss and Thumbtack are among the businesses that have partnered with the Movement Advancement Project. 

Lowe wrote that he hopes many businesses will take advantage of the new feature. 

We encourage business owners who are proud to be “Open to All” to take the pledgeand opt-in to the attribute on your Yelp business page. See our business owner guide for detailed instructions on how to manage business attributes. Business owners who make themselves as “Open to All” will also receive a window decal to display in their storefront.

Photo: Getty Images

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