Nine months ago, New York Started to grade its restaurants with the now famous A, B and C letters. There have been a lot of buzz recently about it. From the supporters, but also the detractors of this measure. One of the supporters is Mayor Bloomberg who did not hesitate beginning of March to associate the implementation of the grades to more than 24,000 restaurants to the slight decrease in salmonella cases between 2010 and 2011 and to an increase in earnings by 9% for the city.They also point out the fact that today 72% of the restaurants have obtained an A, increasing from the 69% the year before. Considering that most of the restaurants who get a B or C contest in court and seem to have a big chance of being able to get their rate go up, I am not sure I would use this as an argument!
Detractors are arguing that the inspections are inconsistent (inspectors give contradictory advices on how to keep or not food), driving costs up and unequal. Some say that Per Se was close to get a B when its owner called the city and obtained to keep its A rating (unverified rumor).
Personally, I think this is a great concept as we, dinners, have a right to know that where we are eating meets the sanitary standards. It forces restaurant owners to pay attention to the safety of their customers and improve. After that, we are all free to go an eat in a restaurant rated B or C.
As part of this post, I would like to point out that the City has released an Iphone application called ABCEats NYC where you can see the grade of restaurants. I used it and it is pretty convenient. It allows you to see the rating, but also the detail of the violation! This app is available on itunes and is free.
Let me know what you think about the restaurant grades by posting a comment!
For more information about the grades, click here.
And remember: I just want to eat!