I received a B or Grade Pending [on my health inspection] after a seriously unfair review. I will fight this in tribunal but want to know whether in the meantime I can get away with not posting the sign. I’m sure there are possible fines, but I’m wondering if the loss of business would outweigh them.
– Restaurant Operations Manager, NY, NY
Often my advice in this column helps operators to navigate a gray area or difficult decision. In this case, my advice is clear: post the sign! This applies not only in New York City, where you’re located, but in any letter grading jurisdiction. It is best to focus on appealing an unfair inspection or making the corrections quickly and quietly rather than trying to game the system.
The law in New York City is clear. From their FAQs:
“Are there penalties for failing to post the grade card or posting it incorrectly?
Yes. Not posting a grade card can result in fines of up to $1000. Posting the grade card incorrectly can result in a $200 fine. Repeated violations may result in loss of your permit.”
A bad inspection may be terrible/unfair/demoralizing/bad for business/maddening, but you’ll compound your problem if you try to make it go away too creatively.
More on letter grading here.