Online urban city guide Yelp has helped millions find and review businesses in their area, from discovering a local deli to cure a lunch break rut to trying out a new hair dresser with fingers crossed and eyes closed. And soon, Yelp will not only be in our back pockets, but in our backyard as well. Yelp Co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have recently announced the expansion of Yelp to the Merchandise Mart, where it’s slated to open shop January 2015.
In addition to providing ratings and reviews, Yelp lets patrons “check-in” on the mobile app to their frequented restaurants to earn titles of Regular and Duke, even Baron of the Neighborhood – a lesser-known Yelp marketing technique. But beyond virtual royalty, Yelp is now offering Chicagoans something a little more substantial – jobs. They plan to hire 300 employees in the next 12 to 18 months in Chicago.
With offices in San Francisco, Scottsdale, New York, London, Hamburg, and Dublin, Yelp chose Chicago due to its pipeline of talented personnel from universities across the Midwest, along with its dedication to local business and a nationally-recognized technology community. The office in the Merchandise Mart attracted Yelp, as it sought a commuter-friendly location situated near Chicago’s thriving business district. Yelp is excited to play a part in Chicago’s rich history of innovation, which includes the Ferris Wheel, the skyscraper and brownies, to name a few.
“This vibrant metropolis is an ideal location to source talented new employees and connect with even more great local businesses. Chicago’s history as a leader in innovation and support of small business and tech industry growth fits seamlessly with Yelp’s initiatives, and we are excited to build a home here with Yelp’s seventh office,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, Co-founder and CEO of Yelp.
Since its 2004 launch in San Francisco, Yelp has connected millions of users to local businesses in 27 countries worldwide: US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore, Poland, Turkey, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Portugal, Mexico, Japan and Argentina. And like that guy who always knows the newest, trendiest place in town, Yelp is popular. It boasted a monthly average of 68 million unique hits on mobile devices in the second quarter of 2014.
Yelp will be joining an already thriving tech community in the Merchandise Mart: technology hub 1871, Razorfish and MATTER, a start-up for next-generation health IT, medical device and biopharma companies. The City looks forward to welcoming Yelp to its skyline, in what is hoped to be a fruitful – and tasty – relationship.