Yelp users now able to see health inspection reports

Posted at 11:22 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 23:22:21-05

Mel's hot dogs in Tampa is known for two things, good food and stellar health inspection reports.

"There's a certain level of pride in people walking in and saying I've never seen a restaurant this clean, it's what it has to be, my home is clean my restaurant is clean," said Mel Lohn.

Lohn says the good grades don't come easy.

"Here's our checklist, this is our monthly maintenance list," said Lohn.

Along with a monthly checklist, Lohn's staff must also complete daily and weekly tasks as well. With his spotless reputation, it's no wonder he supports Yelps latest feature which allows Florida users to not only see customer reviews but also look at a restaurant's health inspection records.

"If you've got a dirty restaurant and people are being informed about it, it will affect your business," said Lohn.

And he says it should. Yelp rolled out the feature in a small number of cities in 2013 but it's the first time the feature has launched in an entire state.

"I'd say I use yelp on a weekly basis," said Kaitlin Connolly.

Connolly says the added feature seems like the perfect fit.

"I think it'd be really good for tourists or locals to determine where the healthiest place is to eat, the most sanitary," said Connolly.

"If I find out that the health inspection failed, that would prevent me from going to that restaurant," said Yelp user Luciana Gilmore.

Some restaurant owners however, worry people won't actually read the inspection reports and assume even small violations are major problems, driving customers away. But Lohn has some simple advice for those businesses.

"Just clean up and be diligent," said Lohn.