Healthy Hospitality — Smarter, Safer Dining Options

February 6, 2015
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Think about it: why do you eat at the restaurants you frequent? A lot of times you’re there simply because they’re nearby your home or office, or perhaps a friend or family member has recommended them to you. The advent of online rating systems and the popularity of social media have made a lot of other diners’ opinions publicly available, increasing the pool of perspectives that influence the decisions people are making about what and where they eat.

Think about it: why do you eat at the restaurants you frequent? A lot of times you’re there simply because they’re nearby your home or office, or perhaps a friend or family member has recommended them to you. The advent of online rating systems and the popularity of social media have made a lot of other diners’ opinions publicly available, increasing the pool of perspectives that influence the decisions people are making about what and where they eat.

healthy hospitalityIt’s all part of the Self Health Revolution, or the ways that health and wellness have become more personal and individual via the digital revolution. Websites and apps are always evolving to give consumers increased access to information – including hygiene ratings and reviews of their favorite food venues. This info sharing is not just for foodies: It’s for everyone!

  • Yelp now provides a health score for the restaurants it rates, collecting information from the local health department and sharing it with consumers.  This information gives them the power to make more educated choices about what’s on their plates.
  • The What The Health app assigns restaurants and cafés numerical scores and letter grades. These ratings are similarly based on public health inspection reports from government agencies. The app also provides directions to restaurants and allows users to share scores on Facebook.

In general, nobody will pick a restaurant based solely on its hygiene, but the data Yelp and What The Health provide allow consumer to fine-tune their culinary choices based on factors like location, type of cuisine, kitchen cleanliness and a greater likelihood of safety in food preparation. So if you’re craving Mexican food while in SOHO, you’ll be able to pick the cantina that rates highest in cleanliness, making you feel better about what you and your friends are consuming for the night.   And if your hospital runs a cafeteria or restaurant, Yelp, What The Health and other sites/tools will help you better manage your public hygiene profile so you can get the word out about your glowing grades.

Let’s face it: The Internet and social media keep us all on our toes, so the people handling our food should be no exception.  Information is more accessible than ever – and using it to make healthy dining decisions is the tastiest kind of empowerment.