The city announced Tuesday it is launching surprise restaurant checks to ensure eateries clearly post their inspection letter grades.
By law, restaurants must post their grades on front windows, doors or outside walls where they can be easily seen by people passing by. The rule went into effect last year.
The health department said it has issued more than 800 violations related to letter grade posting -- 704 for not posting the grade and 100 for not posting it in a clearly visible place. Violations can bring a fine of up to $1,000 for the first offense.
The New York Post reported Sunday that some notable eateries are hiding their grades or not posting them at all.
Andrew Rigie, executive vice president of the New York State Restaurant Association, a member-based restaurant advocacy organization, said it's possible that some restaurants are unaware of the grade-posting requirements.
"We hope a restaurant that's improperly posting a letter grade is issued a warning before it's levied a fine," he said in a phone interview.
Instead of paying a fine, Rigie said, restaurants could invest the money in their sanitary training.