Anchower, I know. Sorry. Anyway, there was this thing I saw about how letter grades make your food worse. The majority of the complaints involve food temperature management, with, say, cheese, where responsible service would allow the cheese to temper before serving.* However, in a world where DOH folk have to think in terms of a kitchen staffed by parolees who will leave egg salad on a counter for days if you let them, I kind of get it. Food safety does also explain the brutal phenomenon of the deli sandwich where the cold cuts are 33 degrees. (Come to think of it, this might explain why some sammich chains, like Firehouse, "grill" [broil, actually] their sammiches.)
I seem to recall some beefs from NYC restaurant people when the letter grades came in, along the lines that they were not children, and being graded on an A/B/C/F scale was inherently insulting. The real problem, however, is one that is familiar to those who grind in the same day job as the 'Fesser -- grades are a blunt instrument. Where I teach, there are no plus or minus final letter grades, which means there are essentially four cohorts of students A, B, C, and F (it's hard to get a D, but that's another story.) There is an enormous difference between someone with an 89.4, figured numerically, and 79.5, but they both go in the book as a B. The Times article offers some insight into how the grades are calculated, and I'd suggest the takeaway is that grades are a bad idea for restaurants -- letter grades are a relative measure of what is an up or down question -- "is this place safe for me to eat at"? As such, a pass/fail system would make more sense. That said, the person who works in a system where numerical (exams) and letter (papers) grades are converted to numbers, to come up with an overall numerical percentage for the semester, which then is converted into a letter grade, which in turn is converted into a GPA, is maybe not the person who should be opining on this.
*B/C this is Forbes: "But today, I am relieved to learn that I don’t need to blame the bar—the cold cheese was the government’s fault." Yay! Let's fire the DOH and let the market tell us where we won't get salmonella!