SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Health officials in Orange County are working on a plan to hand out cleanliness ratings to local restaurants utilizing letter grades.

Officials say the proposed ratings system would be similar to those used in other Los Angeles and other Southland counties that give restaurants grades of “A”, “B” or “C”.

Restaurant owner Judy Fleenor of Crave Cafe in Santa Ana told CBS2/KCAL9’s Jasmine Viel the advent of social media has made traditional letter grades unnecessary.

“Everybody’s got their iPhones, when they walk up they check your Yelp,” said Fleenor. “A lot of our new customers are all Yelp reviews.”

Crave Cafe customer Ed Bienkowski said, “I don’t see how it would benefit me, so maybe the money could be used other ways.”

According to Fleenor, health officials typically stop in around three to four times a year for inspections at Crave Cafe, where a county “Pass” sticker is currently displayed in the front window.

But Orange County Board of Supervisors chairman Todd Spitzer told Viel the pass/fail system is not clear enough for customers and letter grading is more understandable.

While two previous efforts to launch letter grades in Orange County have failed, emerging reports of food safety issues have prompted the Orange County Board of Supervisors to ask for a new plan to be drawn up. One concern has always been the cost, but Spitzer says the system is cheaper now – at $40,000 to $50,000 – and can be absorbed into the budget.

Crave Cafe customer Ed Bienkowski said, “I don’t see how it would benefit me, so maybe the money could be used other ways.”

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