Yelp to post health ratings of SF restaurants

January 17, 2013 12:00:22 PM PST
People looking up reviews for San Francisco restaurants can soon turn to Yelp; not for how tasty the food is, but for how safe and sanitary. SF Mayor Ed Lee made the partnership with Yelp official on Thursday morning.

There are more than 3,500 restaurants in San Francisco. But finding one you like can take some searching.

Many turn to Yelp to see what real customers have to say about food and service. But that doesn't always tell the whole story.

"Yelp is helpful for knowing what people think about their experience, but not really getting information about the cleanliness about the kitchen or, you know, how things are being kept," San Francisco resident Bret Walters said. "You know, it's nice to know what the rating is." Walters will soon know all about his favorite restaurant, or a new one.

Yelp is partnering with San Francisco's Health Department to provide restaurant health inspection ratings along with customer comments, all in the name of transparency and food safety.

Dave Lenengood, who manages Cafe Flore, says customers have right to know, "I guess the restaurants that don't like it, you wouldn't want to go to anyway. So it either makes them clean up their act, or makes them be honest with their customers."

The new information may be helpful, but detailed restaurant inspection information could gross you out.

When asked if it's too much information, San Francisco resident Aimee Sprague said, "No, I want to know more, I want to know everything about all the germs."

But others say they don't, they'll rely on first impressions, "I think it's kinda common sense," San Francisco resident Brittany said. "If you go somewhere and it seems gross, you can make your own decision,"

Health inspection ratings for restaurants in San Francisco have always been available online. But Yelp's partnership with the city will be ramping up in the next few months.


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