On the one-year anniversary of restaurant letter grading, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that 8,000 NYC restaurants had fines for violations waived because they received A grades during their recent food safety inspections. The waiving of fines saved these restaurants a total of over $3 million. A report released by the Health Department, which included a survey conducted by Baruch College, showed that 90 percent of New Yorkers approve of the letter grade program, 70 percent see the letters at the entrances of restaurants, and 65 percent use the grades in choosing where to eat. The program appears to be helping restaurants clean up, as 38 percent who received a B grade on initial inspection earned an A grade when re-inspected, and 72 percent who received a C on initial inspection improved to A or B on re-inspection. Restaurants with higher grades have longer cycles between inspections. Almost 70 percent of restaurants now have A’s, 15 percent have B’s, 4 percent have C’s, and 12 percent are in the midst of a grade appeal process. The system is designed to give information to customers, and give restaurants an incentive to implement acceptable food safety systems. Inspection scores for restaurants by borough, zip code, neighborhood, cuisine type and grade, can be found on NYC.gov or by calling 311.