Australian restaurants to have ‘score on the door’

I’ve been to Bondi beach in Sydney, Australia, a few times. That’s me and Chapman in 2002, (below left, not exactly as shown) while Dani waited on the beach. Age has not been kind.

The Australians were slow to adapt restaurant inspection disclosure, but a series of investigative reports in Sydney in early 2007 helped add some immediacy to the process. First they went to a ‘name and shame’ list.

Today, the New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries, Steve Whan, trucked down to the ever-trendy Skinny Dip cafe in Bondi to announce that restaurants across the state will vie for an A grade or face the wooden spoon under a new `score on the door’ food safety and hygiene rating system.

Restaurants and cafes will be ranked A, B, C or P for pending.

Mr Whan told reporters,

"An A in Bondi is the same as an A at Bathurst. Here’s an opportunity for restaurants who are doing a good job to show that off and make that part of their marketing for customers.

"If (people) see an A on one restaurant, a B in another and a C on the one next door … I think the customers will drive this with their feet."

The state-wide program will be an Australian first, although a similar system has operated at local council level in Brisbane.

The rating system will be trialled for six months from July 1 in 12 Sydney council areas before a state-wide rollout from July 2011, and that appeal avenues will be in place for restaurants that dispute their rating.

Skinny Dip owner Reuven Savitte said his business had worked hard for its A grade and would be rewarded with customer loyalty.

"I’m proud to be the first one to have an A.”