11, Aug 2021

How To Create an App Like Yelp: Useful Tips

Learn how to create an app like Yelp, what main features could be interesting to users, and how much the development process will cost you.

App like Yelp


Dmitry Boyko, Android Team Lead

Dima Hapich,
iOS Team Tead

Dima Hapich, iOS Team Tead

Dima knows Swift and iOS development in general like the back of his hand. He's got a great eye for AR application development for iOS and follows Apple's user experience guidelines, to make every app he builds easy to use.

People always want to choose the best. Among everything else, it affects the choice of catering establishments, hotels, and shops. And software like Yelp can provide tremendous help with that. Such software helps users find the best cafes, restaurants, markets, etc. thanks to real visitors’ comments and ratings.

For example, according to statistics, in 2020, the Yelp mobile app had 32 million unique users, and the web app had 54.81 million users.

Unique mobile visitors

What Is the Yelp Application?

Yelp is an app based on users’ feedback that helps you instantly find the best local community establishments in a variety of business categories such as cafes and restaurants, shops, or hotels. The Yelp application was launched in 2004 and currently has over 140 million users.

So, what is Yelp app used for exactly? Those apps use geolocation to show businesses in the user’s location. You can filter your search results by category, distance, price, and rating. Yelp shows you the establishment’s address, contact details, opening hours, and visitors’ reviews. You can also see the route to the selected location on the screen of your smartphone.

Main Features a Yelp-like App Needs

There are several typical Yelp features that users like. Let's take a look at them:

  • Search by location. Geolocation-based search provides the option to find the nearest establishments and create the shortest route to the chosen place;
  • Administration panel. The administrative panel allows you to manage the content and moderate your app. This feature also allows product owners to reconfigure the components without involving developers;
  • Reviews and ratings. The rating and review function allows users to comment on and rate the services provided by visited establishments;
  • News feed. Apps like Yelp have newsfeeds where users can view a chronological list of previous activities, news, and notifications;
  • User profile. This profile includes all reviews, photos, and places user’s friends have visited, and a favorite places list;
  • Compliment function. This function shows other people’s opinion about the comments left, so users can see if these reviews can be trusted;
  • Friends adding. This option allows users to add friends within the app and track visits in their profiles. You can also see which places your Facebook friends are visiting;
  • Helpful information block. Apps like Yelp provide information on work hours, menu, prices, reservations, parking availability, payment methods, alcohol sales, and more;
  • Payment gateway. Business account owners should be able to advertise in your app. To do this, you need to connect a payment gateway;
  • Geo-targeted push notifications. This feature allows you to send users up-to-date information, such as promotions in nearby establishments;
  • Filtering. App users should be able to filter search results by at least basic parameters such as price, delivery, dealer offers, and distance.

Other things you may need to create a successful and multipurpose app are social media log-in, backup, media files, purchases, messenger, and advanced filters.

Best monetization methods

Now, let's take a look at the most effective monetization methods for apps similar to Yelp:

  • Advertising. The easiest and fastest way to generate income from your app is to let other companies advertise in it. Plus, you can add a paid ad removal feature for users;
  • Offers and promotions. When you start to develop a website like Yelp, the right decision is to implement an offer system that encourages people to use your app, like coupons, discounts, etc. This is a benefit for both users and service providers. As for you, you will receive money for each transaction;
  • Additional tools. There is an interesting tool built into the Yelp app called SeatMe. With this feature, restaurants and cafes manage table reservations. And the establishment’s owners will pay you to use this tool;
  • Transaction costs. Another revenue source for an app similar to Yelp is transaction fees (for example, for food orders);
  • Premium features. There is a cost-effective subscription type called freemium. Users download the app for free, but they have to pay for some features. Your task is to offer the most interesting features and keep users who are not usually willing to pay but can buy premium features.
  1. Necessary integrations with other ecosystems for supreme information exchange;
  2. Accessibility and flexibility regarding mobile and different OS versions;
  3. The ability to quickly evolve for ever-changing customer needs;
  4. User onboarding automation with customization and performance support;
  5. Application development using AI, Big Data, and Machine Learning;
  6. Client retention and success programs.

How much time and money does development require?

The cost to create an app like Yelp depends on many factors. As practice shows, app development can take anywhere from 10 to 20 months, depending on the developers’ experience. In this case, they need to configure the server-side, database, design, and interface. Fortunately, the Requestum team can handle this task easily.

Based on our experience, in some cases we advise our clients to develop an MVP. This way you can save money and test your idea in real life.

Usually, Yelp app cost is generated hourly. The average hourly cost of app development is $55. But it may vary depending on the developer country (for example, Ukrainian developers charge about $40 per hour). This parameter also depends on the chosen mobile or web platform.

Yelp app cost

The Requestum team has prepared a list of approximate time costs and prices for certain types of development:

  • Photo and video uploads: 85 - 165 hours, total price is $3,200 or more;
  • User-friendly UX design: 45 - 145 hours, total price is $2,500 or more;
  • Filter integration: 325 + hours, total price is $15,500 or more;
  • Push notifications: 85 - 105 hours, total price is $3,000 or more;
  • Log-in to social networks: 35 - 45 hours, total price is $1,300 or more;
  • Geolocation: 75 - 105 hours, total price is $2,800 or more;
  • Filter by category: 45 - 65 hours, total price is $1,700 or more;
  • Reviews & ratings: 85 - 165 hours, total price is $2,900 or more;
  • In-app purchases: 125 - 165 hours, total price is $4,400 or more;
  • User profile: 305 - 345 hours, total price is $11,000 or more;
  • Reservations: 205 - 255 hours, total price is $7,200 or more.

Thus, answering the question of how much does Yelp app cost, we can estimate that the minimum development cost is $50,000, and the maximum can reach $130,000.


People like to visit new places and share their experiences with others. Therefore, apps like Yelp will always be popular. By creating a similar app, you can earn from numerous monetization models, and your app will be undeniably useful for users.

If you want to create your own app like Yelp, the Requestum team is ready to help you!



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