The Yelp Elite Squad is a diverse community of passionate writers, photographers, and adventurers. Sometimes being part of the Elite Squad is a family affair! From California’s Easy Bay to Northern Virginia, read on to meet some siblings and even multi generations on the squad across the country.
Jimmy P and Jay P —Jacksonville, FL
Who joined the squad first? Jimmy became Elite nine years ago. Jay kept telling him about the perks of being an Elite.
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? We both love supporting local businesses.
Who’s the bigger foodie? Jay P— he’s pretty good at locating newly opened businesses.
Jiyoung S, Juyoung S, and Sujung S— The NC Triangle
Who joined the squad first? Sujung joined the Squad first and raved about it so Jiyoung and Juyoung had to join in on the fun!
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? We love having excuses to get together, whether it’d be attending a Yelp event or checking out a new restaurant!
Who’s the bigger foodie? Though Juyoung and Sujung are the food bloggers, Jiyoung probably eats out the most!
Maddy L and Vicky L— Northern Virginia
Who joined the squad first? Vicky did! Vicky introduced Maddy to the foodie lifestyle and would take her to the fun Yelp events. Maddy enjoyed meeting new people at the events and wanted to start her own account.
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? We love to have someone to go to the events with (as long as we both get in) and being able to meet our fellow Yelpers together. These events also give us a chance to catch up & spend some time together. We also enjoy supporting the new & old businesses in the area.
Who’s the bigger foodie? Both of us! We both try to be adventurous and go to different spots that neither of us have been to before whenever we meet up. We’ll send each other new local places that open up for us to try on our next night out.
Samantha D and Alessandra B— Louisville, KY
Who joined the squad first? Samantha D. joined the squad first. Samantha loved it so much that she took Alessandra B. as her +1 to an Elite event (new restaurant opening) to show her what she was missing out on. The rest is history.
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? We get to enjoy new and unique experiences together! We’ve been to restaurant openings, concerts, city tours, and also met so many new people.
Who’s the bigger foodie? Alessandra B. for sure! She is always on the lookout for new restaurants and new food trends. She will study a menu before going out and does thorough research on Yelp, looking at pictures, reviews and yelpers order recommendations.
Emily L and Samantha L— East Bay
Who joined the squad first? Emily joined the Yelp Elite Squad first. Samantha was jealous and had some serious fomo so she reviewed her heart out to get accepted three months later.
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? It’s great because if only one of us gets into a plus one event then we take the other! So we still get to enjoy the event still! Samantha is an introvert, so it’s nice going into an event knowing someone. It’s a nice bonding experience for the two of us! Reviewing a new spot is a great excuse for a sister date!
Who’s the bigger foodie? Emily is! Samantha would be fine with a plate of chicken nuggets while Emily is a more adventurous eater.
Eva S and Mabel S— Chicago, IL
Who joined the squad first? Eva joined the Squad in 2011 while she was living in Michigan. She was a student at the time, and Yelp-ing about restaurants was a great way to de-stress. She’s the older sister between, but people mistake them for twins all the time. Mabel joined the Squad in 2016 when she was living in El Paso. She joined because Eva had talked about how the Squad was a fun community to be a part of, and she was constantly checking in, taking/posting photos, and providing food recommendations. The Yelp community was also a way for Mabel to explore a new city and Mabel loved adding new businesses to the map. At the time, the El Paso Yelp community was gaining a lot of traction and growing very fast.
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? We love attending events together and sending funny compliments to each other! The most recent event they attended together (pre-pandemic) was the 2019 Halloween Costume party at City Tap in the West Loop. Eva was the green M&M and Mabel was cookie monster.
Who’s the bigger foodie? Eva is the bigger foodie, maybe because she’s just been on Yelp longer (but they both LOVE food and their family gatherings growing up were centered around eating together). Eva can talk about food, the experience of it, the memories tied to it, and has an insatiable curiosity to try new restaurants.
Victoria D and Christina D— Baton Rouge, LA
Who joined the squad first? Christina joined it first then a year later Victoria joined because it seemed like fun!
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? We love the people we’ve met (especially the CM Rebecca) and also we’ve found the best hidden gems through Yelp events.
Who’s the bigger foodie? Probably Christina because she likes to cook more and watches lots of how to videos on youtube!
Angela S, Crystal H, and Yoomee H— Atlanta OTP
Who joined the squad first? Angela S and then the other sisters followed suit because of the amazing Elite events and perks, and to meet like-minded people who love to socialize over great food!
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? We love being able to see each other at events. Life gets busy so we didn’t get to see each other very often otherwise! We have made many great friends through our amazing Yelp community! We have a lot of mutual friends through Yelp, and we met some of our closest friends at Elite events! We love Yelp, and it’s truly neat to be Elite!
Who’s the bigger foodie? Angela S is the pickiest eater, so we know that whatever she says is good is GOOD!
Jeff M, Jenn M, and Jess M— Oklahoma City, OK
Who joined the squad first? Jeff was the first one to join. He had moved to Philadelphia for school, and was looking for a good cheesesteak. He came across Yelp during his online search and the rest is history (He did end up finding that good cheesesteak). Eventually, he ended up back in OKC and told his brothers about how Yelp had helped him have a social life during his broke graduate student days. But it was pretty early on in OKC’s Yelp scene, so it took a little bit before either of them jumped into using it. Younger siblings do what younger siblings do though: they take their own time to eventually come to the same conclusion as the eldest.
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? Our tastes are remarkably (or unremarkably) similar. We three hold “value” in high regard; that sweet spot where the quality of a product intersects with the cost of said product (whether it’s a cheap “hole-in-the-wall” experience, or an expensive “siddity” place), so it’s nice to have two other people whose recommendations will account for those considerations. Occasionally, the three brothers get to participate in the same Yelp events/perks, which is always a pleasant surprise when it happens. We hang out regularly together, so it’s great being able to do that while eating new foods. Even with the pandemic going on, we’ll still talk about checking out new places.
Who’s the bigger foodie? In terms of checking out new places, trying diverse foods, and generally being more adventurous, Jeff and Jenn have Jess beat.
Julie K (Mom), Niki B, and Courtney K— Indianapolis, IN
Who joined the squad first? Niki did! Her sister and mom followed suit once they heard how awesome the local events were.
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? They love getting to spend quality family time together while also experiencing the most amazing activities and businesses that their city offers. Talk about bonding!
Who’s the bigger foodie? Niki is the bigger foodie for sure and always uses events or even her birthday to convince her family to try new cuisines from around the world. Courtney is the better cook though!
Suzie M, Tammy F, and Brigham M— Utah County, UT
Who joined the squad first? Suzie M. and then both followed because she told them about the awesome Yelp events and fun activities!
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? That we have been able to get together more and even do triple dates together at Yelp events! It has brought us closer together, because no matter how busy our schedules get, we know we can get together at Yelp Elite events! Our love for food started at home. Food means coming together and celebrating and that is exactly what being a Yelp Elite has done for us! Family, food, fun activities: all because of Yelp!
Who’s the bigger foodie? Suzie, she loves to try new places and loves the perks of checking in on Yelp, and getting free things!
Kathy V and Marcia V— Louisville, KY
Who joined the squad first? Kathy did. Marcia joined to get in on the fun and it was a good way to meet people when she moved to Louisville, where Kathy had been living for several years already.
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? Carpooling! It gave us an excuse to hang out together, and have a built in buddy at events where you weren’t sure if you would know anyone there.
Who’s the bigger foodie? Kathy! Because she will slap Marcia’s hand away if she tries to take a piece a food before a photo is taken. She is also bit more adventurous in the foods she is willing to try.
Sherry C (Mom) and Hannah C (Not pictured Hannah’s grandmother Norma O)— Columbus, OH
Who joined the squad first? Hannah did! Everyone saw all the fun events and wanted to join. Grandma does a lot of stuff with Hannah’s mom during the week and once mom joined, grandma wanted in!
What do you all enjoy about being on the Elite Squad? We all love exploring the city and being Elite is like having a behind the scenes look! Plus it’s fun to get to spend extra time with family and experience Columbus together. Yelp is such a fun way to also track the places we’ve been, what we ate, where, and what we liked. There’s also been several times when we all will be talking and use Yelp to reference back to find a place we’ve visited or what dish we had at a restaurant that we liked. So it’s also a neat way to look back at all the cool places we’ve been!
Who’s the bigger foodie? Sherry C! She seems to know all the restaurants and is always quick to check out a new spot.