Does area Republican and Mayor Ed Lee backer Ron Conway own a piece of Yelp? ‘Cause that’s all that I can think of after seeing this doozie of a press release, below.
So let’s stop the party for a second here, Yelpers:
First, tell me this, tell me why San Francisco doesn’t require restaurants to post their latest Health Department scores “prominently” for tout le monde to see. You know, the way the do it in New York City and Los Angeles:
Instead, you want people to log on to Yelp and read the Yelp ads?
Is that “leadership?”
No it’s not, Interim Mayor Ed Lee.
Hey, wasn’t it your political faction what put the kibosh on the effort to require the posting of grades where they belong?
Yes it was.
Wasn’t that kind of an “Open Data movement” kind of a thing back then?
Yes it was.
Hey, Ed Lee! Why not require San Francisco restaurants to post their scores where people can see them?
That’s what most diners want, right?
Check it, right from the Frisco Zagat:
‘“An overwhelming 83% of San Francisco surveyors say they agree that restaurants should be required to conspicuously post a letter grade reflecting the results of their health department inspection (as recently passed in NYC, taking a cue from LA).”
All right, here it is, the press release from Fantasyland.
(NB: “Haters” aren’t born, they’re made.)
“WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2013 — Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Chairman of the US Conference of Mayors Technology and Innovation Task Force, and Yelp CEO and Co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman announced the initial integration of city-provided restaurant health score information on the site that connects people with great local businesses. San Francisco will lead the charge on this innovative effort to make valuable government data more easily accessible to the public; New York City restaurant grades will also be added as business attributes in the weeks ahead.
Working with the technology departments of San Francisco and New York, Yelp’s engineering team designed the Local Inspector Value-entry Specification (LIVES) which enables local municipalities to accurately upload restaurant health inspection scores to Yelp’s database. Consumers in SF and NYC will be the first to benefit from this partnership upon the full rollout in the weeks ahead. Philadelphia is also expected to participate along with other municipalities that adopt the new specification.
“This new partnership with Yelp to offer restaurant health inspection scores on its site is another significant step in the Open Data movement,” said Mayor Lee. “By making often hard-to-find government information more widely available to innovative companies like Yelp, we can make government more transparent and improve public health outcomes for our residents through the power of technology.”
“Increasing the transparency and accessibility of important public information is another example of how San Francisco, New York and other municipalities are leading the charge in bettering citizens lives by fostering innovation,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO and Co-founder of Yelp. “It’s exciting to be a part of an important initiative to disseminate valuable health department information to the 84 million unique visitors that turn to Yelp each month on average.”
According to a study in the Journal of Environmental Health(1) (March 2005), Los Angeles County’s decision to require restaurants to display hygiene grade cards on their entrances led to a 13 percent decrease in hospitalizations due to food borne illness. The study also demonstrated that the mandatory public display of these health grades improved the overall average score of restaurants in Los Angeles by incentivizing improved best practices across the local industry. As a leading website and app for dining decisions, Yelp’s open data initiative LIVES stands to empower consumers and improve the quality of life within the cities that participate in the program.
Details about and screenshots of the LIVES implementation can be found at yelp.com/healthscores.
Yelp (NYSE: YELP) connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore and Poland. Yelp had a monthly average of 84 million unique visitors in Q3 2012(2). By the end of Q3 2012, Yelpers had written more than 33 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. Yelp’s mobile application was used on 8.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis during Q3 2012.
(1) Source: Journal of Environmental Health,http://kuafu.umd.edu/~ginger/research/JEH-final.pdf
(2) Source: Google Analytics
Examples of LIVES implementation:
Mayor’s Office of Communications