NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says she’s been hearing a steady drumbeat of complaints from eatery owners about the health department’s restaurant letter grading system.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

“If you have a fly on your sidewalk cafe, you’re getting a fine and you’re getting a point against you in your grade. How the heck are you supposed to prevent flies from being in your sidewalk cafe? We need a system that’s fair to the consumer and fair to the small businesses or restaurants in New York,” said Quinn on Tuesday. “If you have a fly in your restaurant, you’re getting a $300 to $350 fine. If there’s one fly in the restaurant, if you see him in the front [and] if you see him in the back, you’re getting $700 worth of fines.”

Quinn is urging restauranteurs to take an online survey.

The results will be used in exploring possible changes to the inspection process in a hearing next month.

To take the survey, click HERE.

Quinn likes the letter grading system and thinks it’s good for consumers, but wants to make sure it’s fair to restaurant owners.

Do you have something else to say about NYC restaurant grades? Sound off in the comments section below!

Comments (9)
  1. Em says:

    In reply to maxinerocks comment, What you see on those shows are from the worst restaurants, that’s why they are failing businesses. You dont assume for a bit that some things are made for the show? If a restaurant was so dirty, it would show in the quality of their food, customers would not return and therefore it closes, common sense. These inspectors exaggerate their reports and this system is a huge excuse for the city to collect money.

  2. Mikala says:

    Has the mayor,s office taken a good look at who is running the show at the Bfscs of dohmh, oh yeah someone who was suppose to clean up the bureau, lol who is training these inspectors who is making a lot of money running the shop. I suggest you look into and don’t trust the dohmh mangmt to tell you the thrush. The issue is not the inspectors is the culture : public health stop being important 6 or so years ago.

  3. Jeanette Rodríguez-Sánchez says:

    I like the Letter Grading System. Best thing ever to happen for diners. I eat only at A establishments, sometimes B’s if I know them a while. I wonder somehow if Ms. Quinn is exaggerating a bit about one fly on a table located outside/sidewalk but if its true, yes, there should be separate guidelines for outside tables. Now if there are roaches or flies inside the establishment, I’m sorry, that’s just nasty, they deserve the fines and points deducted…

  4. Rudy Giuliani says:

    The inspection reports clearly violate the restaurant owners’ right to PRIVACY, which always outweighs anybody’s right to eat safe food.

  5. Bloomy's Victim says:

    This “system” is a massive revenue generator for the city. This system is also highly unfair. Firstly, its not designed to protect anyone, it is taxation. Everyone is inspected quarterly just like taxes are paid. If patron’s safety is a concern the most important issues would refrigeration and food temperature; these are glossed over in inspections. The process is also elitist and racist. Large chains are given preference in the tribunal stage (how many McDonald’s without A’s have YOU seen?) and non-English food establishment owners are ABUSED; their rights are not clarified and info in their languages are unavailable. This are just a few examples, I could be here hours. This system needs a complete overhaul.

  6. PaPa Joe says:

    This fine “system” is a revenue generator – not massive – but a revenue generator non-the-less. What makes anyone believe it will change in order to serve the concept of fairness? I’m not talking about grevious infractions either. Licensins fees, fines and the like are TAXES and don’t forget that. Yes, I know, some fines are punishments and there lies the problem. Is a wandering fly the same threat to society as a speeding red-light ignoring automobile?

  7. Don Juan says:

    If you are serving food on the sidewalk, then it’s your responsibility to keep your own footprint clean, tidy, and bug free. This would have to extend to some part of the surrounding sidewalk and gutter.

    1. PS says:

      So, if an inspector is at your establishment doing his/her job, and is looking at your sidewalk cafe, and a fly lands on a table, you should be fined? You cannot be serious.

  8. MaxineRocks says:

    Maybe Ms. Quinn should watch Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares” – while not all restaurants are bad, most have enough sanitation violations to turn your stomach in a hurry! A single fly? Checked the food storage and prep areas? Nothing like seeing him pick up a plate covered in roaches and droppings, yelling, “What the hell is THAT???” or picking up chicken covered in slime and ham so rancid it sticks to his hands.

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