Monday, April 10, 2017

How To Get Your Yelp Elite Badge

What does it mean to be Yelp Elite? 
An Elite is someone, of drinking age, who demonstrates that they are dedicated to the Yelp platform. An Elite shows their dedication by engaging with fellow Yelpers, writing quality reviews, writing a lot of reviews and, posting loads of pictures of their foodie adventures. 

What will I get as a Yelp Elite?
The Elite status gives you access to free events and countless perks. You have complete autonomy of which events you sign up to attend. However, the Community Manager (CM) of your city is in charge of finalizing the guest list. I have found that they are very fair and do their best to get you into most events. A side note, if you fail to cancel your RSVP within a certain allotted time then you lower your chances of getting into future events. 

These free events range from 3rd party tickets to restaurant tastings to huge theme parties held in banquet halls. The list truly goes on. In fact, over the past 3 years of being an Elite, I have gone to over 45 events. Check out the end of this post for a list of example Elite events that I have attended.

My sister and I at a Coachella themed Yelp party!

A few examples of the food and drinks served at Elite events! 

How can I apply to get Yelp Elite?
First and foremost, to be considered for Elite status you must have a "real" Yelp profile. A real profile has three components. You must sign up using your real name, use a real picture of yourself, and have a personalized bio. If you do not already have a Yelp account, sign up HERE

Then, you must start reviewing restaurants and businesses in your community and during your travels. If you write about 40 high quality reviews then, you have a high chance of getting your Elite badge. 

Once you have about 40 reviews, click HERE and scroll down until you see the nomination widget. Follow the prompts to apply. Again, please note that you must be of legal drinking age to be considered. From my experience, the Elite confirmation process can take anywhere from one week to over a month. During this waiting period, keep reviewing!  

Once I get the badge do I get to keep it forever?
Your Elite status is only valid for one calendar year. To clarify, if you get your badge in November of 2017. Then, you will automatically lose your Elite status on January of 2018.

It is difficult to initially receive your badge. However, once you have a badge it is easy to have it renewed. You will renew your badge by re-nominating yourself. 

I have found that as long as an Elite writes at least 1 to 2 reviews a month and adds a few photos to their account, they will get their badge renewed the following calendar year.

Is it worth all this work?  
First and foremost, look at the following (obnoxiously long) list of participating cities:
List last updated 3/30/2017

This list is a composite of cities that host Elite events. Is your city on this list? If yes, then it is, without a doubt, worth spending some time to get your badge. 

Can an Elite from one city attend other city events?
As an Elite, you have access to any city's Elite event. Let's say you are visiting San Diego for a weekend and lo and behold, all the stars align and there is a San Diego Elite event on one of the days you are visiting. You can easily sign up to get into that event. I have done this before and I got in with no problem.

In addition, if you are an Elite in a city where there are neighboring Yelp cities then, you are in luck! You have access to even more events. As a Washington D.C. Elite member, I have gone to numerous Northern Virginia, MD Burbs, and Baltimore events.    

Are there any tips to get my badge as soon as possible?

Tip #1

Write your reviews in the following format: 

  • State how you feel about the business. Then write a quick prompt as to what brought you to the business. 
  • List all the pros in a bullet point format
  • List all the cons in a bullet point format
  • List any details about the service in a bullet point format
  • End your review with whether or not you recommend the business. Write your main reasoning behind your claim. This reasoning will most likely be you summarizing your pros or your cons.
  • Paste the following statement at the end of each review:
    •  "Please let me know if you have any questions about this place!" 
      • This statement allows for fellow Yelpers to leave you compliments. As a result, it will increase your Yelp engagement. 

Note my spacing as well as the format outline. This format and spacing gives the look of a longer review. But, most importantly, it makes your reviews easy to follow along. With this format, each review will take you less than 5 minutes.

Tip #2

Now, think of the 10 local businesses you go to on a daily or weekly basis. These businesses can include coffee shops, flower shops, restaurants, dry cleaners, cafes, nail salons, hair salons, or even hotels. These are the first reviews you will write. Write them in the format and spacing I showed you.

Tip #3 

Another tip is to take pictures of your food from multiple angles. This increases your photo count. In the following photos, I take the same five macarons and create three very different photos. Another tip, take detail shots of each individual macaron. The more photos you upload the higher chance of getting your badge.

Tip #4
The last tip I will leave you with is have fun Yelping! Life is too short not to enjoy the small things in life. View Yelp not as a task but, as an interactive memory log of all the restaurants you eat at and all the places you visit. 

Yelp events I have attended: 
(Click on the event title to see a detailed review of the event)
Elite Event: May Day
Elite Event: Yelp's Overeasy


  1. Great tips hun! Nice of you to have shared.

    Funmi xx