March 06, 2015

Yelp’s New Office in the Windy City: We’re Hiring in Chicago!

Yesterday we celebrated the opening of Yelp’s brand new Chicago office, our fifth in North America and eighth worldwide. Ribbons were cut, high fives were given, Yelp-burst-adorned deep dish pizzas were devoured, and local Chicagoans were treated to Check-In Offers at great local businesses inside our new home at the historic Merchandise Mart.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and local Chicago small business owners joined our CEO Jeremy Stoppelman for a tour of the new digs, which were designed to pay homage to the Windy City with a resemblance to Chicago’s “L” stations and conference rooms named after Chicago landmarks (Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, etc). More than 170 employees are already hard at work at our new location, and we plan to employ a total of up to 400 people in Chicago in the next 12-18 months.

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 1.51.22 PM

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cuts the ribbon with Jeremy at our new Yelp Chicagoland offices. Photo via @yelpcareers

Chicago collage

The welcome sign in our Chicago lobby, Yelp deep dish pizzas as far as the eye can see, and Check-In Offers for local businesses in the Merchandise Mart.

Yelp has a long history in Chicago. After being founded in San Francisco, Chicago was one of the first cities Yelp expanded to (and where I began my Yelp journey as Chicago’s first Community Manager!), making this community of local Yelpers one of our oldest. Now in 29 countries and with almost 3,000 employees, we’re a bit bigger than we were back then. It seems only natural that Chicago is part of Yelp’s journey as we help support the local economy.

Chicago’s Yelp employees will get to enjoy a unique culture in this open-office environment with a café with in-house baristas, stocked kitchens, a specialized training room, a genius bar and an entertainment space. We’ve partnered with Skills for Chicagoland’s Future to recruit under- and unemployed local candidates, and interested job seekers can apply for open positions at Well, what are you waiting for? Click that link!


February 18, 2015

Yelp Gives Net Neutrality Five Stars

Since Yelp’s inception as a platform to connect people with great local businesses around them, we have supported and relied on the principles of an open and free Internet in order to do business. These principles, which have become enshrined in the term “Net Neutrality,” provide that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all legal data and content equally, and not discriminate, throttle, or charge different rates depending on the nature of the site, platform or data being transmitted.

We believe that the Internet, Yelp, and our users have benefitted tremendously from Net Neutrality and that any deviation from these principles could fundamentally threaten the Internet and sites like Yelp as they exist today. This is why we have observed with great interest over the last year as the Federal Communications Commission has considered updating its Net Neutrality rules in the wake of the Verizon vs. FCC federal court decision. It is also why we were incredibly pleased when FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his intention to seek reclassification of Internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 for the purposes of enforcing open Internet protections. This reclassification will ensure strong, robust, and enforceable Net Neutrality protections.

We realize that the debate over whether to reclassify Internet access service under Title II has become highly politicized. While we are not directly opposed to any future actions by Congress to promote open Internet protections through new legislation, the litmus test will be whether our elected officials can at the very least meet the threshold of Net Neutrality protections set by the FCC. Anything less will likely cause more harm than good for the Internet and public at-large.  

Without an empowered enforcement agency like the FCC to protect that free and open nature, the Internet could fall victim to entrenched, monopolistic ISPs and gatekeeper companies who would control when, how, from whom and at what cost you view content online. This threatens the very core of American freedom and values. At Yelp, we value our users first and foremost, which is why we will work with other companies and organizations to support adoption of the strongest Net Neutrality principles to protect the American public.

Click here to get involved and join millions of other Americans in expressing your support for Net Neutrality before the FCC votes on February 26, 2015.

February 16, 2015

Yelp + Open Data = The End of Food Poisoning?

In the Spring of 2013, a group of randomly selected restaurateurs in a major U.S. city received a letter in the mail with their most recent restaurant hygiene inspection score. Half of the recipients were also notified that this score would be published on Yelp.




















After the letters were sent, inspection scores for all restaurants were tracked to identify any changes in performance. The result? Restaurants informed that their score was posted on Yelp tended to clean up their act and have higher scores in their next inspections.

This work stems from an open data project we announced in late 2012 to encourage cities to share their data in ways that are easy to ingest on platforms like Yelp. Most consumers aren't using clunky "dot gov" websites to find helpful hygiene information about the restaurants they frequent, so it makes a lot more sense to give them that information when they are on a site like Yelp.

We now know that when cities share their data with Yelp, restaurants behave better and consumers feel more informed, but what happens when Yelp reciprocates and shares its restaurant review data with governments?

A new article appearing in Harvard Business Review discusses this question and offers a deeper glimpse into Yelp’s partnerships with governments and academic institutions. We’re excited about the promise the early findings of these studies show and we’re eager to continue similarly useful data sharing for the benefit of consumers.

February 13, 2015

Taking A Stand Against Misleading “Reputation Management” Companies

We sometimes hear reports about “reputation management” or “small business marketing” agencies that promise (for a fee, of course) to help businesses remove negative reviews and gain more positive reviews on Yelp. Some of these agencies imply that they have a special relationship with Yelp or even lead business owners to believe that they are acting on behalf of Yelp.

These offers are scams, but some business owners unfortunately fall for them and end up paying dearly, both with their bank accounts and their online reputations. Today we’re taking a stand to protect business owners from falling prey to these misleading companies by filing a lawsuit against a recurring offender named Revleap.

Revleap, which has cycled through various names including “Yelpdirector” and “Revpley,” has spammed businesses with unsolicited messages claiming that they can get good reviews to stick and remove bad reviews. One thing Revleap actually does, it seems, is bombard their clients’ customers with surveys. Customers that respond favorably, and agree to post a review, are entered in a drawing for gift cards in an effort to deceptively boost their clients’ reputations.

Revleap’s business model is the sort of thing that can put small businesses at risk with respect to our Consumer Alert program and federal and state regulators who often crack down on businesses that try to artificially inflate their online reputations.

We hope that taking action against Revleap will put a stop to their misleading practices and also help businesses distinguish between companies that are playing by the rules and those that are using Yelp’s name to make a dollar by taking advantage of unsuspecting small businesses.

February 10, 2015

Welcoming Eat24 to the Yelp Family

Eat24 joined the Yelp Platform as a transaction partner in 2013 and since then we’ve been looking at them, well, the way they look at bacon.  We couldn’t resist any longer and I’m excited to announce that we have officially brought them into the Yelp family!

For those of you who haven’t used the service, its mission is to keep you from having to cook, shop, or wear pants. Eat24 is an online food ordering app and website that covers about 20,000 restaurants across the country. As a Yelp Platform partner, they’ve been a valuable driver of our growth in the restaurant category while continuing to build an impressive business of their own.


Online and mobile food ordering is still in its infancy and restaurant and food searches are extremely popular on Yelp. We believe that the acquisition of Eat24 will allow us to build a better, more seamless ordering experience for consumers that we can grow through 2015 and beyond.

We are excited to welcome the Eat24 team to Yelp as we work on delivering the best local search and transaction experience available to consumers and great local businesses.

January 29, 2015

Yelp’s Snack Stadium Donates 4 Tons of Velveeta (and More!) to Local Phoenix Charity

This Sunday, tens of thousands of fans will fill the University of Phoenix stadium to watch two teams battle for the ultimate prize in American football: the title of Super Bowl champion. But there’s another title that’s being claimed in Arizona this week: the world’s largest snack stadium! 

Snack stadium field

Let’s start at the beginning. Nearly one year ago, we began brainstorming fun ways for locals to get in the big game spirit and also have a positive impact on the local Phoenix community. Once we found a partner, Phoenix-based architecture and design firm Bar Napkin Productions, the Yelp Snack Stadium began to take shape.

Fast forward one year and nearly 1,200 hours of work later, and this impressive monstrosity of snack-worthy deliciousness has finally become a reality. The Yelp Snack Stadium, which is housed inside the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, stands over 7 feet tall, 27 feet long and 24 feet wide! Read more on the making of at Yahoo! Food and Delish. Ingredients include:

    • 4 tons of Velveeta
    • 4 tons of Rotel
    • 2,200 bags of Boulder Canyon Chips
    • 32,000 cans of Dole products
    • 400 boxes of Mike and Ikes and Hot Tamales
    • 50 goody bags from Harkins Theaters
    • Support from GoDaddy, PayPal & PRO EM

 The Yelp Snack Stadium in Phoenix, AZ is built over several hours in this time-lapse video.

Throughout the week, Yelp will be collecting additional shelf-stable food at the Yelp Snack Stadium. These donations, along with all the products used to construct the stadium, will be donated to the local St. Vincent de Paul food bank on February 1st. We’re also accepting online donations for those of you who can’t make it to Scottsdale with your canned goods.

Watch the Yelp Snack Stadium take shape in the time-lapse video above, and if you happen to be in the Phoenix area for the big game, stop by for a #YelpSnackStadium selfie, a game of table top football, and recommendations from yours truly on great local businesses to check out while in town for the big game!

Snack Stadium Birds Eye

January 27, 2015

Yelp Consumer Alerts: Shady Business Tactics? Not on Our Watch

Yelp began its Consumer Alerts program in October of 2012 to help consumers make more informed spending decisions. Our team of detectives is on a mission to catch businesses which may be trying to mislead consumers. We place a clear warning on the front of the offending business’ Yelp page, and link to relevant evidence. In the past, the program has alerted consumers to deceitful behavior by urgent care facilities, doctors, dentists and more - exactly the types of businesses that consumers shouldn’t have to second guess.  

This week, we’re releasing 85 new Consumer Alerts for businesses who were attempting to buy or offer rewards for positive reviews and some that had a large number of reviews submitted from the same Internet Protocol (IP) address (a hint that someone may be trying to artificially inflate their rating). A Consumer Alert message will be posted on these business’ Yelp listings for 90 days.



Although most of the millions of businesses listed on Yelp do play by the rules, and Yelp’s automated recommendation software is already in place to identify and weed out fake reviews, consumers have a right to know about the bad apples before deciding to spend money at their businesses. For example, prospective customers of Back 2 Normal Physiotherapy in Vancouver, BC would probably want to know that a number of their five-star reviews came from the same IP address before deciding to visit them for acupuncture or injury treatment. Likewise, you’d probably appreciate the heads up that tattoo removal shop Dr. Tattoff was caught offering Starbucks and gift cards in exchange for Yelp reviews before turning to them for help painfully removing that mistake you made during college spring break. Or if you’re preparing for a big apartment move and want to hire someone you can trust, it’d be helpful to know that we discovered Roadway Moving in Manhattan, NY was offering $100 American Express gift cards in exchange for 5-star reviews.



Beyond giving consumers a false perception of the business where they are about to spend their money and violating Yelp’s Terms of Service, writing a testimonial without revealing you've been compensated can also violate FTC guidelines.

Consumers have the right to be alerted when a business is attempting to deceive them. Rest assured that when it comes to protecting consumers, we’ll always have your back.

January 22, 2015

Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2015

Yelp is a hotbed of user-generated information. From lengthy reviews to photos and searches, there’s a lot that our data can tell us about small businesses and consumer preferences. From this data we know that one of the main questions people across the world come to Yelp to answer is, “Where should I eat?”

Well have no fear, Yelp’s Top 100 List for 2015 is here, revealing the hottest 100 places to eat in the United States based on Yelp data. How did we compile a list so thorough? To determine Yelp’s top places to eat for 2015, our data science team analyzed which places were the most popular and well reviewed over the course of 2014. Unlike our inaugural list from last year, which unearthed the best places to eat on Yelp based on almost 10 years of reviews, this time Yelp’s data science team gave more weight to recent reviews, so that Yelpers’ opinions in 2014 mattered most, while older reviews had less influence on the list. While we still see some of the great places from the 2014 Top 100 that were as good as ever last year, we've also made room for some up and comers that were off the charts in 2014. Businesses were compared on a nationwide basis.

Top 100 2015 collage

Clockwise from top: Owner Hank grilling up some barbecue at #1 spot Copper Top BBQ, oysters at #3 spot Soho Japanese Restaurant in Las Vegas, and a grilled panini at #45 Persimmon Cafe (located inside a laundromat!).

From food trucks to fine dining and even a cafe located in a laundromat, there are hidden gems galore and something for every taste and budget on this list.

Do you disagree with the data or think our list rules? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with #YelpTop100, and be sure to write a review if you check out any of these spots in 2015. Here’s to the most delicious year yet!

Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2015

1. Copper Top BBQ – Big Pine, CA
2. Art of Flavors – Las Vegas, NV
3. Soho Japanese Restaurant – Las Vegas, NV
4. TKB Bakery and Deli – Indio, CA
5. Ono Seafood – Honolulu, HI
6. Shark Pit Maui – Lahaina, HI
7. Gaucho Parilla Argentina – Pittsburgh, PA
8. Bobboi Natural Gelato – La Jolla, CA
9. Golden Bear Trading Company – San Francisco, CA
10. Little Miss BBQ – Phoenix, AZ
11. Dat Cajun Guy – Haleiwa, HI
12. Sweet Dogs – Miami, FL
13. Aviva by Kameel – Atlanta, GA
14. Sweet Spice – Savannah, GA
15. Royal Taj – Columbia, MD
16. Arun's Indian Kichen – Coral Spring, FL
17. Hall's Chophouse – Charleston, SC
18. Bronze Cafe – Las Vegas, NV
19. Saffron and Rose Ice Cream – Los Angeles, CA
20. Buddha Thai Bistro – Vacaville, CA
21. Yoshino Japanese Deli – Carlsbad, CA
22. Big Al's Pizzeria – Maywood, CA
23. Andytown Coffee Roasters – San Francisco, CA
24. Kech Cafe – Fountain Valley, CA
25. Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que – Kansas City, KS
26. Los Andes Restaurant – Providence, RI
27. Lahaina Luna Cafe – Lahaina, HI
28. Bell Street Farm – Los Alamos, CA
29. Tacos El Gordo De Tijuana BC – Chula Vista, CA
30. Detroit Coney Grill – Tempe, AZ
31. Sessions West Coast Deli – Newport Beach, CA
32. Baguette Cafe – Las Vegas, NV
33. Carrara Pastries – Moorpark, CA
34. Bogart's Smokehouse – Saint Louis, MO
35. Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia, PA
36. Piperi Mediterranean Grill – Boston, MA
37. Kitchen Table Cafe – Denver, CO
38. Mood Cafe – Philadelphia, PA
39. Santos Lucha Libre – Phoenix, AZ
40. Porto's Bakery – Burbank, CA
41. El Dorado Cantina - Las Vegas, NV
42. Jougert Bar – Burlingame, CA
43. Araya's Place Thai Vegan Restaurant – Los Angeles, CA
44. Joe's Falafel – Los Angeles, CA
45. Persimmon Cafe – Charleston, SC
46. Beiler's Bakery – Philadelphia, PA
47. Starbread – Sacramento, CA
48. Kersmon Caribbean Restaurant – Greenacres, FL
49. Vitality Tap – San Diego, CA
50. Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse – Downers Grove, IL
51. Da Poke Shack - Kailua Kona, HI
52. Poke Express – Las Vegas, NV
53. Marukame Udon – Honolulu, HI
54. Bronzed Aussie – Los Angeles, CA
55. Bite Into Maine – Cape Elizabeth, ME
56. Franklin Barbecue – Austin, TX
57. Eddie V's Prime Seafood – San Diego, CA
58. Hey!... You Gonna Eat or What? – Austin, TX
59. Mama D's Italian Kitchen – Newport Beach, CA
60. Outlaws Cafe – Van Nuys, CA
61. Subculture Extraordinary Sandwiches – Huntington Beach, CA
62. Go Greek Yogurt – Beverly Hills, CA
63. Ninja Sushi and Teriyaki – Roseville, CA
64. Los Agaves – Santa Barbara, CA
65. Sal, Kris, & Charlie's Deli – Astoria, NY
66. Genie Den – Garden Grove, CA
67. Garbo's Grill – Key West, FL
68. T-Deli – San Diego, CA
69. Rose's Luxury – Washington, DC
70. Embargo Grill – San Diego, CA
71. Your Kitchen – Honolulu, HI
72. LouEddie's Pizza – Skyforest, CA
73. Blues City Deli – Saint Louis, MO
74. Dametra Cafe – Carmel, CA
75. Nick's Next Door – Los Gatos, CA
76. Don Julio's Rincon Latin Grill and Pupusas – Rohnert Park, CA
77. Mr. Mama's – Las Vegas, NV
78. Los Tacos No. 1 – New York, NY
79. Beyer Deli – San Diego, CA
80. Mojo Donuts – Pembroke Pines, FL
81. Peter's Kettle Corn – Oakland, CA
82. The Pocket Burger Shack – Sunset Beach, CA
83. Mouthful Eatery – Thousand Oaks, CA
84. Playground 2.0 – Santa Ana, CA
85. Monell's Dining & Catering – Nashville, TN
86. Zenwich – Elmhurst, IL
87. Commonwealth Restaurant – Burbank, CA
88. Istanbul Grill California – Fountain Valley, CA
89. Mister Falafel – San Diego, CA
90. Vietnam Poblano – Houston, TX
91. Tanioka's Seafoods & Catering – Waipahu, HI
92. Yak's On The 5 – Dunsmuir, CA
93. Titas Taco House – Humble, TX
94. Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana – Phoenix, AZ
95. Eli's BBQ – Cincinnati, OH
96. Johnny Pacific – Winnetka, CA
97. The Cinnamon Snail – New York, NY
98. Cafe la Maude – Philadelphia, PA
99. Cream Pan – Tustin, CA
100. Pi-Hi Cafe – Chicago, IL

January 15, 2015

Yelp’s API Fuels Your Favorite Apps & Websites with 100,000 Registered Developers

Consumers rely on Yelp’s trustworthy ratings, reviews, and accurate business details to make important decisions every day – finding a place to eat, selecting a handyman to help them fix up their home, or uncovering the best place to buy a gift. These days, you can also find the same great Yelp content in Apple products; Volvo, Mercedes Benz, and Toyota vehicles; third-party apps such as Eat24, Microsoft, Trulia, and Yahoo; and a variety of cutting-edge startups like AddressReport, DuckDuckGo, and Wildcard, just to mention a few. Today, we’re excited to share that over 100,000 developers have registered to use the Yelp API to integrate Yelp data into their products.

Developers and partners of all shapes and sizes, from tiny startups to Fortune 500 companies, use the Yelp API to help their users make better decisions within their own apps. Trulia helps home seekers find the right home, in the right neighborhood. Providing consumers with a complete picture of the neighborhood – restaurants, grocery stores, and other amenities – is crucial in the home search process. So they integrated the Yelp API into their maps, helping consumers identify their ideal neighborhood without leaving the Trulia app or website.

Trulia - No Dropdown

AddressReport, a NYC-based startup, integrated and launched the Yelp API in less than two weeks, increasing engagement by almost 4x!


Apple has integrated Yelp into iOS and OS X across a variety of devices, apps and operating-system-level features, helping to connect consumers with relevant local businesses around the world.

Apple Yelp API collage

Yelp is committed to providing a robust and unparalleled local search experience via the Yelp API. Our goal is to make sure that every developer can get what they need in terms of local search and data to build, launch, and improve their apps. Whether tinkering with a side project, launching a new startup, scaling a company, or working at a large public company, Yelp will be a resource for all developers. In addition, for those who would love to use Yelp content but may not have the technical prowess to build something from scratch, don’t worry. We will be launching “off the shelf” tools so that anyone can get the Yelp data they need to power their experiences. 

To get started or learn more, just head over to Yelp’s developer site,  We plan to welcome some new API partners and launch new API features throughout 2015, so stay tuned!

January 14, 2015

Elite Yelper’s Passion for the Atlanta Community Inspires Hosting 50 Local Events

For ten years, Yelp’s diverse community members have been sharing their local explorations, both online and off, and spreading the Yelp love from Mexico to Tokyo. In honor of the new year and another year of Yelping, we’re tipping our hats to a superstar Yelper who just hit a huge Yelp milestone: hosting his 50th Unofficial Yelp Event, a cozy group dinner at a hot, new Malaysian restaurant!

PhpZzOe9lPMPhotos via Daniel B.

Introducing the one and only Yelp Atlanta Elite Daniel B! Daniel has been churning out solid gold Yelp reviews for over six years now and hosts monthly Unofficial Yelp Events (UYEs) in one of the most culturally diverse parts of Atlanta - Buford Highway. UYEs are events organized and hosted by some of Yelp’s most engaged local community members (separate and apart from the official events planned by local Yelp community managers) and can involve anything from wine tasting to horseback riding. Anyone with a Yelp account can RSVP. Each month, Daniel captains a group of people for a stellar meal of everything from tacos to Venezuelan delicacies. Last Friday night marked 50, count em, 50 UYEs for Daniel.


Looking for a new spot to try in the ATL? I always say, “just read Daniel B.’s review first” before heading off into the wild, blue yonder of Atlanta’s culinary scene. Don’t take my word for it, though - I’ll let you hear it from the man himself. Take it away, Daniel!


Q: How did you discover Yelp in the first place?

A: I was meeting up with my friend Jimmy after work one evening at Cypress Street Pint & Plate in Atlanta. I'd never been to Cypress before, so I Googled it. The Yelp listing for Cypress was one of the top search results. I clicked on it and saw Jimmy's wife had reviewed the business. I had no idea she was a Yelper or even what "Yelpers" were at that point. I clicked on her name, explored her profile, saw all the fun pictures she'd taken at Elite events, and just knew I had to join.


Q: What’s your day job? What do you enjoy doing when you’re not Yelping?

A: I'm an engineer. I work for an engineering and consulting firm in the utilities industry. In a nutshell, we help power companies make strategic decisions and also assist in regulatory proceedings. Outside of work, Yelp is my biggest hobby. When I'm not going out with friends and Yelping, I enjoy attending Georgia Tech men's basketball games (this is my 10th year as a season ticket holder), cheering on the San Antonio Spurs, traveling, playing golf with my dad, going to geeky conventions like Dragon Con, watching movies, and playing video games.


Q: What motivates you to throw so many UYEs?

A: The Yelp community motivates me. Not only are we gathering to try new and interesting foods, but we genuinely enjoy each other's company. We are like a family and we are constantly adding new members. Several Atlanta Yelpers' first Yelp event (official or unofficial) was a Buford Highway UYE. Some have gone on to become members of the Elite Squad! There are so many restaurants and businesses to explore on Buford Highway that I don't think we'll ever run out of places to check out.


Q: Tell us more about your 50th UYE! Why was this a special moment for you?

A: My 50th Buford Highway UYE was at Mamak, a relatively new restaurant that specializes in Malaysian street food. It's opened to rave reviews. I’ve organized a Buford Highway UYE every month since November 2010. If I'm already at number 50, that means I have been doing it for a long time! I'm just happy so many people have been able to enjoy them over the years.


Q: Can you name the top three businesses you’ve discovered through Yelp that you may not have found otherwise?

A: I've discovered hundreds of businesses through Yelp. Narrowing it down to a top three is difficult, but here are a few that come to mind:

1. Jeju Sauna & Spa Home of Wellbeing: Who knew Duluth had a little utopia inside the walls of Jeju Sauna? This place is super relaxing (if you can get over walking around without any clothes on).

2. Heirloom Market BBQ: Now one of Atlanta's most popular BBQ restaurants, I discovered Heirloom on Yelp shortly after it opened its doors next door to a nondescript package store near the Chattahoochee River.

3. The Painted Pin: This posh bowling alley and bar/restaurant is hidden on Miami Circle. If you're able to find it, they've got table tennis, indoor bocce, skee ball, shuffleboard, and more fun games waiting for you inside.


Q: What’s your favorite thing about being part of the Yelp Community?

A: Without a doubt, all of the cool people I've met and all of the great friendships I've made. I love the friendliness and camaraderie as well as the diversity. Yelpers come from all over. Different ages, different walks of life. There are really no bounds. Among the Atlanta Yelp community, I've met fellow engineers, accountants, school teachers, a surgeon, a stand-up comedian...the list goes on and on. Despite our different backgrounds, we all share one hobby: Yelp. We enjoy going out, exploring our city, and sharing our experiences with others through our tips, photos, and reviews.


Are you inspired to follow Daniel B.’s lead? Post your own event to Yelp, or find a UYE near you on