This week Yelp announced that it would be expanding its use of health scores to restaurant profiles in New York, California, Illinois, Texas, and Washington D.C. The initiative is made possible by Yelp's Local Inspector Value Entry Specification (LIVES) program and HDScores, two platforms that pull hygiene inspection reports from government data. Though it's worth noting that you can very easily just skip Yelp, and look up current restaurant grades on the Dept. of Health's website.
The company first tested this out on San Fransisco restaurant profiles in 2013, but has since run into some controversy, as old scores can linger long after the restaurant has fixed its marked violations.
In a blog post, Yelp's Luther Lowe wrote, "Our goal has always been to give consumers as much information as possible about local businesses. We know from a study of the Los Angeles restaurant industry that when consumers have better access to restaurant hygiene scores, the number of hospitalizations due to foodborne illness drops, and best practices improve across the industry. Just this year a different study found that posting restaurant hygiene scores prominently on Yelp leads to a 12% decrease in purchase intentions for restaurants with poor scores relative to those with higher scores."
In the coming months, Yelp plans to issue health scores to 750,000 restaurants in cities throughout the country. Maybe they can also link out to articles about rat-infested kitchens, bug salads, rat wraps, and frog salads on each applicable restaurant's page.