soupfly / thinkstock

Bad News Broadcasts Fast

The name says it all: Soupfly. It’s the recently launched app from Spectrum Solutions that neatly packages the failing health scores restaurants earn and puts them in front of consumers, along with diner comments from restaurant review websites.

Soupfly shows the latest health-rating scores along with the dates of the last inspection, and is updated every two weeks. The app recently launched its services in El Paso, Texas, and Las Vegas, with plans to roll out over the summer in a number of markets, including Albuquerque, New Mexico, and three additional Texas cities: Austin, San Antonio, and San Marcos.

For the roughly 280 dining establishments in El Paso, Texas, that report failing health-code scores, this can be a huge fly in the soup of restaurant marketing.

“[The scores] were available online, but the information wasn’t organized or made into something that was user-friendly, and it wasn’t even promoted in some cases,” says Soupfly CEO Juan Hernandez.

Soupfly collects scores from databases including any facility that serves food—from full-service restaurants to gas stations, and even the local jail. Looking ahead, Hernandez says the objective is to launch Soupfly in a new city every two weeks.

Because the scores are already public domain, restaurants do not have the ability to opt out of Soupfly. However, Hernandez is working with restaurant owners, allowing them to submit new scores earlier than the two-week mark and updating Soupfly manually when there is an improvement.

From the diners’ perspectives, users can browse any food-serving venue by sorting through location, name, category, and health-inspection scores. A map is also available for users, providing them with insight into which side of town really has the most reputable food, and consumer reviews are also listed with each venue. In some instances, restaurants with very good customer reviews may have a low or failing health-inspection score, and that colors the opinions and decisions of diners choosing where to eat.