At Yelp, we work hard to surface the most useful information to consumers while they’re in the process of making a spending decision. That’s why we launched the LIVES program (LIVES stands for Local Inspector Value Entry Specification) back in 2013. The LIVES open data standard makes it possible for local municipalities to display their hygiene inspection data as a business attribute on Yelp. Today, in partnership with HDScores, we’re excited to announce our first-ever statewide LIVES launch in the great state of Florida.
HDScores, a company based in Baltimore, Maryland, aggregates static health inspection data from public and private sources and standardizes it for consumers. Through our partnership, we were able to add restaurant health scores to Yelp pages in San Diego County earlier this year, and now we’re taking on an entire state. What started in San Francisco and New York City has since expanded to sixteen cities and counties across the U.S. providing about 75,000 business pages with health scores. In Florida, we’re able to bring health scores to the Yelp pages of about 40,000 business, extending our current health scores coverage by more than 50%.
Now, consumers in the Sunshine State can read reviews, look at photos, and also see the restaurant’s inspection score before choosing a place for dinner, instead of catching sight of a scary health inspection score posted at the business after placing their order.
According to a study of the Los Angeles restaurant industry, when consumers have better exposure to restaurant hygiene scores, the number of hospitalizations due to foodborne illness drops. The LA study also demonstrated that, when restaurant scores are posted conspicuously, best practices improve across the industry. We’re hoping to see positive effects both on the industry and for consumers in Florida by making this publicly available data easier to find on Yelp, where millions of people are already coming to find information about local businesses.