Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yelping! + Yelp! Elite

I've been using Yelp! for a little less than a year to find places to eat and thoughts on businesses around me, and now I've been to two of the CMYE events! I got an email from the Tampa Bay community manager inviting me to the Sunday event at Burger 21 because I had recently been there and written a review about it. I was so excited to be included in one of these fun meetups. I see so many of my Tampa blogging friends attend the Elite events, and I'm always a little jealous of the fun they get to have! 

The last Yelp! event I attended was at Datz in November, and it was a Livin' La Vida Local event. I don't know all the differences in the events, but I know there's always free food and fun people to hang out with!
This event was particularly fun because Tim was able to come with me to meet a couple of my blogger friends. Because of his working schedule and MBA course load he's often busy during my events, but I was excited that he was off and able to come on Sunday. 

The event was at Burger21 in Westchase, which isn't far from where we live. We arrived and checked in, and we found a seat on the patio. Though it was muggy out, it never rained and made for pleasant temperatures to be sitting outside.
When we sat down we found all of the condiments on the table. I'm a sucker for sauces, and this little spread made me want to create something like this at home. I seriously don't forego condiments on anything I eat.
I learned that at CMYE events, much of the food is comped, but not everything is free. We paid for our sodas, but my goodness there was so much free food we were satisfied and didn't even end up eating dinner Sunday night. They were offering cheesy sliders, black and bleu sliders, chicken tenders, and the turkey skinny in terms of main fare. They also were bringing around cups of sweet potato and regular fries. 
We knew we liked the food because we eat at Burger 21 a lot, but I'll say I was surprised about how delicious the turkey patty was. It was creamy, moist, and flavorful. I use turkey meat a lot at home, but it always seems to get dry while I'm cooking it. This definitely wasn't dry. 
They also brought little milkshake samples, and I tried the strawberry. Tim had one of each, because he loves milkshakes, and his favorite was the bananas foster.
We had so much fun at the event! There wasn't quite enough seating for everyone to have their own table, and we ended up sitting with a couple I'd never met before. We had so much fun talking about their favorite places around Tampa. They're both Yelp elite, and we added each other while we were talking. They've got some serious reviews! I will definitely be checking their profiles next time we're looking for a new restaurant.

Our favorite part of sitting with them was learning about their restaurant crawls they do. They take weekend days and just make their way around different parts of town to cover new restaurants they've never been to. Just the Saturday before they said they had hit up 6 or 8 places in one fowl swoop. I told Tim afterwards that I wanted to plan one of those days!
I also saw Nichole and Jen; Nichole won a free burger a month for the rest of the year because of a tweet during a contest for the event!
And then I had to get a picture with the Yelp sign with Caroline! She and her husband were celebrating exciting news (I don't want to say it here because she hasn't posted it on her blog yet), so she was excited to be out and enjoying the day. 
And then, Caroline nominated me for Yelp! elite! I found out yesterday that I was accepted! Now I'll be able to attend all the amazing events they plan around Tampa for the elite crew! I can't wait to be part of the group. To be elite you have to have written 30 reviews, but I don't know what the other requirements are.

Yelp is such a neat website and phone app. If you want to go to these events in your city, just create an account and get writing reviews on their site! They have no idea whether you publish blog posts about your events or not, because a lot of Yelpers aren't bloggers. They just want you to stay active reviewing places and checking on on their site and on the app. The events happen quite frequently, and they're so much fun! The next Tampa one is going to be for anyone with an active account, and Brett (the Tampa Bay community manager) said they're expecting somewhere around 600 people! Isn't that crazy?! I can't wait to find out where it's going to be!

I just feel like I need to mention that this event isn't sponsored or required or paid or anything. I just had fun at the event and feel like it's worth sharing since you can all go to events like this in your cities!

Do you use Yelp for find businesses? Do you write reviews? Have you been to a Yelp event?

17 comments:

Katie said...

This looks so fun! I use yelp all the time when traveling, but not very often at home. Love the condiment samples!!

B.o.B. said...

Yay Yelp elite!!! Congrats!!!

Amy @ A Glimpse of the Gouglers said...

Oh my goodness this looks like so much fun! I'm not on Yelp, but you've convinced me to join! I know there are SO MANY restaurants in Houston that I've never been to so this would be perfect!

Carly said...

This looks like a blast! I'd always wondered what the deal with Yelp Elite was!

Carly
www.lipglossandcrayons.com

Kristin @ A Mom on the Run said...

Fun!! I use the Yelp app but never leave reviews myself, I need to start!!

lpnedwards said...

That looks like so much fun! How do you get involved with thing like this?

Lauren said...

How fun, those sauces all look amazing. My friend Wendy actually was helping with this event at Burger21 (she does their social media)so wish I would have known about it in advance!

Beka said...

I loveee Yelp! I need to get on there an update with all my recent outings :) Lately I have not been able to attend any of the CMYE or Elite events because they fall on Thursday or Saturday nights that I work until midnight... Hopefully soon though I will be able to get to a few!

Amanda RunToTheFinish said...

i have started using yelp all the time! i'm planning to go for elite when we move because there are so many good events!

GiGi Eats Celebrities said...

I am a YELPING hoe!!! I used to have 200 reviews but then my account got deleted... I cried when that happened!!!!!! SO SAD! Now I am working my way up again, it sucks! I only have like 40 reviews, but I take my time and write long reviews - I want people to know what they're really getting :D

Karen said...

I love using Yelp. It has only led me wrong once.

Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie said...

What an awesome event!! I'm so excited for you to be Yelp Elite so I can read about all your adventures!

saltedplates said...

I love being part of the Yelp Elite here in Philly I have met so many great people since I became involved. I am off to a CMYE event tonight at a bar I've been wanting to check out for a while now!

Kat @ Sneakers and Fingerpaints said...

Restaurant hopping is SO much fun! That's what we did at the food trucks in Austin - little bits here and there ;)

Nichole said...

Yay!! ELITE!! Was very good to see you and meet Tim!

Jen said...

That's way fun! I've never used Yelp, but I've heard of it. Now let's get back to those sauces....YUM! I want someone to bring me 10 sauces with my meal. I also tend to eat significantly more condiments than is considered healthy...whoops

Not Elite said...

god yelp is like a freakish cult. it's brainwashing people into thinking it matter.s and the whole "elite" concept is beyond obnoxious. don't even get me started on how yelp practices extortion on small business to get them to join their silly community (or lest suffer the consequences of good reviews disappearing and bad reviews moving up)