Some cities post letter grades on restaurants. King County opted for something more visual. The person who pushed for public ratings in the first place, though, isn't satisfied.
Walk by a Seattle restaurant today and you might notice a smiley face on the window. The emojis, which started appearing in January, indicate the business' food safety rating.
The scoring system may be the first of its kind in the United States. It rates restaurants on a four-point scale from “needs to improve” to “excellent,” with each category illustrated by an emoji. The higher their health inspection score, the happier the face.
The idea for the emojis builds on a growing movement to post health inspection grades on restaurants. Other large municipalities, such as Los Angeles County and New York City, require signs with letter grades that are visible to customers. The United Kingdom has a similar system for the entire country. The emoji system exists in China, but King County officials believe they're the first in America to use it.