Yelp adds health inspection scores for restaurants, and restaurateurs are not happy

Starting Tuesday, Yelp is expanding across the nation a controversial program that pulls health-inspection data from government databases and places it directly on a restaurant’s page on the user-generated review site. Yelp is calling it a win for consumer food safety. Some restaurateurs are calling it a misleading ploy to draw more people to Yelp.

Yelp launched its Local Inspector Value-Entry Specification, or LIVES, program in 2013 in San Francisco, working with city officials to make health inspection reports easily available to Yelpers who are trying to decide which restaurant to visit. Yelp executives had hoped other jurisdictions would follow San Francisco’s lead, but only about a dozen did, says Luther Lowe, senior vice president of public policy for Yelp.