Journey to Yelp Elite

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I am currently on Year 4 of my Elite status with Yelp, and I always get questions on how to earn this prestigious badge.  After countless times of answering these questions on different social media platforms I decided to share how I believe I reached this status and the perks of it.  Yelp is a great tool that can steer you in the right direction regarding goods and services.  Initially, people think of restaurants when it comes to the Yelp platform, but it can go as far as reviewing your local grocery store, hair salon, or even a bodega.  I have seriously written a review for my favorite bodega. SHOUTOUT TO MOE'S ON FREDERICK DOUGLASS and 146th! 

There are two types of people on Yelp:

  1. Individuals that write reviews

  2. Individuals who just search reviews

I decided to start sharing my reviews on Yelp because I heavily relied on the app back in 2014.  At the time my career required me to live in multiple states for 30 days on end, and I was always wondering where to eat or a good nail salon.  I figured I would share my experiences so others could decide if an establishment was worth spending their hard earned money on.  I wrote reviews consistently for less than a year, and became Yelp Elite with about 80-ish reviews under my belt.

What is a Yelp Eliter?

A Yelper Eliter is an active memeber within the Yelp community.  

Exhibit A: A Yelp Eliter AKA that is me !

Exhibit A: A Yelp Eliter AKA that is me !

Tips to Become a Yelper Eliter

  1. Check-in - By checking into a business that you are visiting you may be unlocking special promotions. Sometimes businesses will provide you with a discount off your bill, free shots, free food, or etc.

  2. Post photos - Share pictures with other Yelpers of the food, menus, decor, and etc. Do not forget to provide a caption or description of the item.

  3. Write reviews - Seems pretty obvious but you have to remember that the quality of your reviews is more important than the quantity of reviews. I have had so many people who asked me how do I know what to write about. Important things for me to cover includes describing the level of customer service, the product or food I received, decor, and environment. A great example of one of my favorite Thai restaurants in NYC called Thai Villa. Check out the review I wrote for them by clicking here.

  4. Legit Profile - Display an actual picture of yourself on your profile, and create your bio (let them know you are a real life human not just a review troll)

  5. Rate other Yelpers' reviews - You are able to rate other peeps reviews as useful, funny, or cool.


After you have consistently followed through on the above you must be nominated or nominate yourself.  Yes, you can nominate yourself and few people are aware of this.  You are able to initially be nominated any time of the year.  Once you have received your Elite status it is something that is reviewed at the end the of year to determine if you will earn the badge for the following year.  Typically around December you have to nominate yourself, and drop a couple of lines to why you deserve to keep your badge for the following year.  It is possible to lose your badge if you are not as active within the Yelp community.

What are the perks of being Elite?

The perks of being Yelp Elite are pretty sweet.  You are able to attend Elite events that are held at restaurants inwhich you are able to try food and have some adult cocktails FOR FREE!  I have been able to connect with alot of foodies like myself and have even formed some great friendships from it.  The New York City Elite Squad typically has 3-4 events a month, and in smaller cities they tend to to have less events.  These private events range from restaurants, to wine shops, and even yoga in the park.  


Aboard a Yelp Cruise overlooking the city

Aboard a Yelp Cruise overlooking the city

I hope this guide to becoming a Yelp Eliter has answered all of your burning questions.  If not feel free to drop a comment or connect with me via social media.  Be sure to follow me on Yelp by clicking here, and HAPPY YELPING!