With help from a new app, restaurant goes will be able to remain informed and aware when selecting their next stop for a meal.
The app is known as HDScores and when you open it on your phone, it shows a map with a list of restaurants in the area. A percentage score is listed next to the name and that percentage is based on a point system through county health inspection records.
Based in the East Valley, the mission of the company is to ensure hygiene remains a focal point for everyone.
“We’re not really interested in shaming the poor performing restaurants,” said HDScores Chief Operating Officer Glynne Townsend. “We’re really interested in you making the right choice in a higher performing restaurant.”
When it comes to basic cleanliness, allergies and food temperature, people sometimes blindly place their health in the hands of strangers.
“When you ask the waitress if she can separate the food from preparation, she’ll say ‘absolutely’ – but, you have no idea what goes on in the kitchen,” Townsend explained.
HDScores is able to pull health inspection records from restaurants, schools, hospitals and more from around 1,700 counties nationwide.
“We take a critical violation and we’ll assign it two points,” Townsend described. “Non-critical: we’ll assign it a point. If it’s a repeat violation, we’ll add in half a point. If it’s fixed on site, then we’ll detract half a point and then we’ll put more emphasis on our most recent scores to try and improve restaurants or encourage restaurants to continually improve.”
Restaurant inspection records are also listed, while users can see how often the restaurant made the same mistake and decide if it is somewhere you want to dine.
In Maricopa County, restaurants can opt out of getting a grade rating or even displaying it.
If a restaurant got an ‘A’ rating years prior, there is no law that says they have to take it down, even if that ‘A’ rating is not accurate anymore.
“In fact, we don’t just provide an ‘A’ rating for that moment in time,” Townsend said. “We provide a score that looks at an operation benefit of over two years of data.”
The app costs 99 cents a month or $10.99 per year.