Yelp to warn users about restaurants' bad health ratings

Yelp doesn’t want to just be your go-to for reading restaurant reviews and making reservations. Now they want to help you make healthy decisions when you dine out.

The company is working on a new feature that warns you about a restaurant’s low health inspection grade if you visit their Yelp profile.

Right now, the new service is being tested in the San Francisco area, with plans to roll it out nationally soon.

"Following a recent inspection," the pop-up box says, according to the Washington Post, "this facility received a food safety rating that is in the bottom 5% locally, and is categorized by inspectors as 'poor.'"

Yelp officials have acknowledged that the new system will likely have an impact on the offline world, by, hopefully, prompting low-scoring restaurants to clean up their act.

But the National Restaurant Association argues that the new feature could unfairly push restaurants out of business, especially since health inspections are imperfect (remember when Thomas Keller had to contest a low health rating for his Michelin-rated restaurant, Per Se?), not to mention that Yelp has been accused of tampering with reviews, and is largely unregulated.

"It’s our strong belief that this is something consumers have a right to see," Luther Lowe, Yelp's head of public policy, told The Washington Post.

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