Attention restaurant owners: now you have a way to promote the cleanliness of your food and location. Or – if you are willing to admit that health, hygiene, and cleanliness haven’t exactly been your top priorities – well, now you have a reason to step up and clean up.
Local business reviews aggregator Yelp has announced that it is adding restaurant inspection scores to its restaurant review listings and rating systems. According to CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, the company has partnered with local authorities in San Francisco and New York to import hygiene scores onto Yelp business pages.
“While ratings and reviews are incredibly powerful ways to guide spending decisions, we’re always looking for new ways to supplement the information to provide a better experience for consumers,” wrote Stoppelman in a blog post. “(The restaurant inspection scores will) enable local municipalities to display their hygiene inspection data as a business attribute on Yelp. Consumers in SF and NYC will be the first to benefit from this program as it rolls out in the weeks ahead. San Francisco users will be able to click through and view the inspection history of a local establishment.”
Working with the local authorities – the tech departments of the cities of New York and San Francisco – Yelp has developed LIVES, or Local Inspector Value-entry Specification. LIVES is a new open data standard that displays local municipalities’ hygiene inspection data as a business attribute on Yelp.
The data can be seen as an aggregated health score (based on a scale of 100) on restaurant review pages. (See example below.) Full reports are also available, providing details of inspection history, violations, and other inspection data collected by local health departments.
Both Code for America and the White House have expressed support for Yelp’s new initiative.
Stoppelman added that, with LIVES, the company hopes to encourage the application of best practices across the restaurant and food and beverage industry. “When consumers have better exposure to restaurant hygiene scores,” he shared, “the number of hospitalizations due to foodborne illness drops.”
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