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Restaurant Inspection Survey Results

MARCH 7, 2012

Letter Grade System

In July 2010, New York City instituted the letter grading system, requiring food service establishments to post letter grades corresponding to their sanitary inspection scores.

Letter Grade A B C

Points 0-13 14-27 28+

Frequency of Inspection
0-13 Points Initial Inspection 14-27 Points 28+ Points

1 Year


5-7 Months


3-5 Months

Restaurant Inspection Survey Results

January 10, 2012, the New York City Council released its Restaurant Inspection Survey
o Administered online and in hardcopy o Offered in 7 languages

1,297 survey participants

o Participants completed the survey in English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese & Korean o Survey participants representing all 5 boroughs Manhattan 650 Brooklyn 264 Queens 166 Staten Island 63 Bronx 32

Restaurant Demographics
What type of establishment do you operate?

How many employees work in your establishment?







1-5 6 - 10 11 - 20 21 - 30




Casual dining restaurant Entertainment venue with food concession



12.7% 18.3% 16.7%


Fast food restaurant

Fine dining restaurant

Approximately how much does your establishment earn in gross annual sales?

19.5% 34.5%
$0 - $250,000 $250,001 - $500,000 $500,001 - $1,000,000

16.4% 11.9% 17.6%

$1,000,001 - $1,500,000

Current Letter Grade

What is your establishments current letter grade?

17.1% 1.3%
14.6% 67.0%
A B C Grade Pending


Rating the Letter Grade System

On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate the letter grading system?
1 Poor

Viewpoints of A Restaurants

2 Fair

3.0% 9.8% 19.7%

3 Good 4 Very Good 5 Excellent



Increased Costs
On a scale of 1 to 5, has the letter grading system increased the cost of operating your establishment? (fines, expediters, consultants, improvements, etc.)

Viewpoints of A Restaurants
1 Yes, significantly

5.3% 4.6% 19.4%

2 Yes, moderately 3 Maybe

4 No, not really

5 No, not at all



Interactions with DOHMH

Professionalism of Inspectors
o Have the inspector treat the business owner fairly and with respect.

Relationship with DOHMH

o I feel scared [to contact DOHMH], they have the power and can make your life a misery. So why bother.

Communication with DOHMH

o I didn't know that I can contact DOHMH. o Generally, we have to leave several messages before someone gets back to you sometimes weeks later. Or you have to go waste literally a half work day waiting to see someone at the office.

Experience with DOHMH versus Health Regulators in Other Cities

o Yes, in Las Vegas, the Health Department is tough but act as your partner to ensure food safety. In New York they act like were the enemy.

Viewpoints Sample Violations Believed to Have No Bearing on Health and Safety

Inadequate lighting Employees drinking beverages Plates/utensils improperly stored Leaky faucets Broken tiles Open doors Food Protection Certificate holder not present at beginning of inspection


Reform Recommendations
Improve the consistency of the inspections
Create a partnership between restaurants and DOHMH Provide restaurants with an opportunity to make corrections on the spot Reduce the amount of each fine