A technical bungle by Auckland Council has left a group of restaurants facing increased cancellations and a downturn in business. The restaurants were mistakenly given a D heath grade, rather than an A grade. Peter Chun, owner of Yi Pin Xiang Shanghainese Restaurant in Howick, was affected by the blunder.

“Food hygiene is important to many people, so they do take the trouble to look it up online,” Chun said. “My worry is not just about financial losses, but about our reputation. I am now displaying multiple copies of the A-grade at the restaurant, but some people are saying on Chinese social media sites that I am just trying to fake it.”

The Restaurant Association has been critical of the Council’s response.

“If an incorrect grading has been issued I would say the impact on the business would be significant and would ultimately lead to loss of business for the owner,” said Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association. “Mistakes happen and we understand that but if the mistake has significant financial impact on a business, in our opinion an apology may not suffice in this case.”