Yelp reviews can make or break businesses, to the extent that legal spats are a commonplace between customers and establishments. Starting today, restaurants will have something else to worry (or not worry) about, with the addition of restaurant hygiene scores starting in New York City and San Francisco.
Yelp will be adding raw numerical scores to restaurant listings, which the site says is a new standard coined the Local Inspector Value-entry Specification — or just called LIVE. The scores range between 0 and 100, depending on what the local health inspector has determined.
Food and health inspection scores are tallied and interpreted differently by state. In South Carolina, a numerical score between 70-100 is translated to a grade between A and C. In New York City, grades are based on point deductions. There is no standard, but Yelp is trying to solve that problem. What Yelp has done with LIVE is to change this and create a unified standard across all states that customers can understand no matter where they’re eating in.
If you click on the “Health Score,” which you’ll find above the hours of operation and below “Explore the Menu,” a page with all the information you want to know about the restaurant’s hygiene is at your disposal. You can check the violation and the establishment’s history of inspections. To point out why scores and grades alone are dubious, the restaurant Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman plugs as an example in the blog post has a health score of 92. But if you dig into its inspection history, you’ll notice that points were deducted for “rodents/roaches/flies/other animals.” That might make you think twice about eating there.
While San Francisco and New York are the first states to have LIVE rolled out to, the next cities on the list include Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago.