Yelp will start posting the health department letter grades along with customer reviews of restaurants in the coming weeks.
The grades will be automatically uploaded to the site, which attracts over 70 million users across the country.
Yelp spokeswoman Stephanie Ichinose said A, B, C, fail, or pending grades will go live on the New York site within several weeks. A similar policy went into effect on the San Francisco site Thursday, and is expected to be added to the Philadelphia and Chicago sites.
According to the New York Post, restaurant owners aren’t too happy with the implementation of health department grades on reviews.
“You can have an A grade then fail an inspection, but while waiting for the tribunal keep posting an A — while someone will have a ‘grade pending’ [and] may actually be fighting to change a B to an A,” said Jeffrey Bank, CEO of the Alicart Restaurant Group.
“It’s not as simple as A, B and C.”
According to Bloomberg, a requirement that Los Angeles restaurants post health grades at their entrances led to a 13 percent decline in hospitalizations for food-borne illnesses. While owners may argue that their health department grades are already listed, a potential customer will have to wait until they actually get to the restaurant to decide if they want to eat there. In being able to view the grade online, without having to navigate the health department website, the customer is armed with that knowledge beforehand. Online grades can also put pressure on low-scoring restaurants to bring their grade up.
Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said, “The open-data standard will have a good impact on society.”