The Review Effect

Reviews from websites like Yelp can greatly affect a bakery's success.
 
Review websites have become a big part of how businesses of all kinds reach people. In today’s culture, consumers will look to what others have said about an establishment before giving it their business. That is no truer than when it comes to restaurants, bakeries, and other foodservice establishments.

Through its dedication to pairing consumers with the right businesses, Yelp has established itself as the go-to guide for all things local. Many of these consumers are looking for food. According to Yelp’s metrics from the end of 2017, 17% of its 170 million average monthly users search for restaurants.

Reviews can make or break a foodservice establishment, and nobody knows that better than the owners of TKB Bakery & Deli in Indio, California. In each of the last four years, it has made it into the top of Yelp’s rankings of the Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S., and this year took the #1 spot.

This list is determined by a compilation of ratings and reviews, something of which TKB founder Athena Sippel truly knows the value.

“What it’s done for us has been phenomenal,” Athena Sippel says of Yelp’s Top 100 List. “Every time we get rated, it’s like they handed you a million dollars.”

The Yelp ranking is a result of the scores of positive reviews that come from TKB’s dedication to quality and service. In this way, Yelp is not only representing what’s top rated but also what’s most popular across the country.

TKB Bakery & Deli was recently named the Top Place to Eat in the U.S. by Yelp.
 
“Yelp is basically what the customers think and say. If you have a quality product, you give the customers what they want, and you make the customers happy with good customer service, then you’ll be a five-star,” Athena says.

Savvy businesses can use review sites as a form of marketing. Word-of-mouth has long been the most influential way for customers to find businesses, and Yelp and other review websites have turned that into an instantaneous concept, much like social media has done for communication.

In another sense, review sites can be a learning experience. When a customer gives a bad review or rating, it is an opportunity for a business to see what it can improve upon and ultimately create a better atmosphere.

TKB (which stands for The Kid’s Business) is family-run, with Athena’s three children presiding over the operations.  Brandon, Nathan, and Melina have worked hard to take Athena’s ideals of dedication to service and to quality recipes and have turned the bakery into one of the most successful businesses in Coachella Valley.

“The three owners really own it. They’ve been doing it since they were little kids. I had visions and dreams for them, and they embraced it,” Athena says.

Much of TKB’s menu is derived from Athena’s original recipes, 200 of them. They supply several grocery store chains with scoop and bake products, while some of their more popular retail products include a variety of hot and cold sandwiches which come in several delicious bread flavors. The most popular bread for sandwiches, according to Athena, is a Jalapeño Focaccia that is made-from-scratch and includes plenty of herbs and cheese.