An Analysis of Family Owned Restaurants in Yelp

Many local restaurants that rely on foot traffic or human contact in their day to day operations have been forced to close doors and reduce working hours since the Covid-19 pandemic. A large number of restaurants are moving to takeout or selling groceries. To help bridge that gap Yelp is introducing multiple new features that will help businesses and consumers as establishments reopen their doors.

In this Yelp restaurant analysis, we took a look at 1,838 of the top-recommended family-owned restaurants on Yelp. We considered the restaurants in these cities – New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Phoenix, Dallas, San Jose, and Chicago.

Insights in Brief

  • New York has the most number of family-owned restaurants (284)
  • The most popular cuisine in Mexican (466)
  • The pricing for family-owned restaurants fall in the mid-range category
  • Los Angeles has the highest average rating of 4.49 stars.

The data taken for this restaurant analysis was extracted using the Yelp Business Details Crawler in ScrapeHero Cloud. The ScrapeHero Cloud has pre-built scrapers that in addition to scraping business listing websites such as Yelp can, Scrape Job data, Real Estate Data, Social Media Websites, and more. These scrapers are easy to use and cloud-based, where you need not worry about selecting the fields to be scraped nor download any software. 

First, we will show the steps to scrape Yelp for restaurant details using ScrapeHero Cloud. 

1. Create a ScrapeHero Cloud Account

Before using a crawler in ScrapeHero Cloud, an account must be created. To sign up, go to  – https://cloud.scrapehero.com/accounts/login/ and create an account with your email address. Each account lets you test a crawler by allowing you to scrape 25 pages for free before subscribing. 

2. Enter the list of input URLs

For this analysis, we chose to scrape the top family-owned restaurants from 10 of the most populous cities in the US. To obtain a URL for one city, go to Yelp.com and give the search keyword as “family owned” along with the location as the select city.

Here is an example of the input URL:

https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=%22family%20owned%22&find_near=new-york-city-new-york-14&cflt=restaurants

3. Run the scraper

After you have input all the search queries, enter the number of pages to scrape. If you keep this section blank the crawler will only download the results from the first page of Yelp search results. For this scrape, 10 input URLS (one for each city) were added.  You can start scraping the data by clicking on ‘Gather Data’. When you click on ‘View Data’ you have the option to view the data before downloading it. 

Here is a sample of what the scraped Yelp restaurant data will look like:

yelp-restaurant-data

Here are two detailed python tutorials to build a Yelp scraper on your own – How to Scrape Business Details from Yelp and How to Scrape Business Listings from Yelp

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Yelp Family-Owned Restaurant Data Analysis

We extracted a total of 1,838 family-owned restaurants listed on Yelp from the 10 most populous cities in the US.

Which US city has the most number of family-owned restaurants?

New York City has the highest number of family-owned restaurants (284). Followed by are San Antonio with 220 restaurants and San Diego with 198 restaurants.

54.5% of the family-owned restaurants are claimed by their owners on Yelp.

number-of-family-owned-restaurants-on-yelp

Which is the most popular cuisine served in family-owned restaurants?

Mexican food, in all types or forms, is famous among consumers and dominating the food game. Mexican cuisine is the most popular cuisine among family-owned restaurants as 466 out of the 1,838 restaurants serve Mexican food. Italian (257) and Mediterranean (135) come in second and third place respectively.

The bar chart below shows the top 5 cuisines for family-owned restaurants.

popular-cuisine-family-owned-business-yelp

How expensive are family-owned restaurants?

In our Yelp restaurant data analysis, a large number of restaurants in Yelp are not classified into any price range. The ones that do have price ranges listed, fall under three categories – Affordable ‘$’ (717), Mid-Range ‘$$’ (754), and Above Average ‘$$$’ (34).

39% of restaurants are within an affordable price range and 41% come under the mid-range price. Yelp has one more price range more expensive ($$$$) than these three, but no family-owned restaurant fell under that price range. 

New York has the most number of restaurants under the Above Average and Mid-Range ranges. San Antonio has the highest number of restaurants under the Affordable price range. Some cities such as San Jose and Phoenix do not have any restaurants under the Above Average category.

price-range-for-family-owned-restaurants

How are family-owned restaurants rated?

Family-owned restaurants in total have a decent average rating of 4.32 out of 5 stars by users. 61.8% of restaurants are rated 4.5 and only 12.5% of restaurants had an average rating below 3.5.

The histogram below shows the number of restaurants by rating.

ratings-for-family-owned-businesses-in-yelp

Which US city has the highest average rating?

More and more consumers are turning to the internet for their dining decisions. Restaurant ratings and reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp receive millions of visitors every day. These sites can help family-owned businesses with inexpensive marketing commodities and increase foot traffic.

Family-owned restaurants in Los Angeles have the highest average rating with 4.49 stars. Los Angeles also has the most number of family-owned restaurants which are rated 5 stars by customers. Followed by, San Diego, with an average rating of 4.43.

The family-owned restaurants in New York, have the most number of reviews (130K) but the lowest average rating of 4.1.

The chart below shows the average rating for family-owned restaurants in each city along with the total number of reviews.

average-rating-for-family-owned-businesses-in-yelp

Number of family-owned restaurants that offer takeout and delivery services

Delivery and takeout have made life easier during the Covid-19 pandemic. With restaurants trying to provide safe food delivery to customers. 92.6% of restaurants provide takeout services with New York (268), San Antonio (209), and San Diego (182), having the highest number of restaurants that offer takeout services.

63.1% of restaurants provide delivery services with New York (245), Chicago (153), and San Diego (140), offering the most number of food delivery services. The chart below shows the number of family-owned restaurants that have takeout and delivery services in each city.

family-owned-businesses-with-takeout-and-delivery-services

How can Family Owned Businesses Thrive

Every business has been impacted in some way irrespective of its size or sector. Despite their reputation for resilience and agility, most family businesses have been under pressure to respond to the general health and safety challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond these challenges, family businesses possess unique characteristics that may position them to thrive.

Since family businesses are not obligated to third party investors with quarterly earnings reports, they can make long-term financial decisions that may result in some financial loss in the short-term but will likely benefit the company in the longer term, such as retaining top talent. Family businesses tend to be fiscally conservative and debt-averse, which can help limit their exposure during economic downturns. The IRS has allowed an extension for both businesses and individuals for 2020, which allows companies to preserve liquidity. Many family businesses can take advantage of personal income extensions.

As the economic ramifications of this crisis continue to evolve, acknowledging, and addressing challenges as quickly as possible can help confirm that family businesses will survive the current climate.

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