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Kali Mireva

Maintain Michelin Stars: How Do You Lose a Michelin Star?

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In the world of fine dining, you can earn a Michelin Star for outstanding cuisine. But you can also lose one or two, or even all three your restaurant may have. “How do you lose a Michelin Star?” is not typically a question people ask. However, it’s an important one. 

Earning Michelin Stars requires a lot of hard work and culinary mastery (see: how to earn a Michelin Star, as well as what is a Michelin Star). It can be hard to impress the anonymous reviewers, especially when you don’t know when they are going to visit your restaurant. 

The first, and most important thing to know is that reviewers focus on food only. No decor or special cocktail or mocktail will be judged. A signature cocktail may spark the reviewers’ interest and pair well with their food. But it won’t be a factor in whether or not your restaurant will be rewarded with a Star. 

The second is knowing how restaurants lose Michelin stars. Learning from other people’s stories and mistakes can help you avoid this happening. As a restaurant owner, you may have to work hard to get recognition but after you get the star the hard work should not stop. Let’s look more into this topic!

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How Often Do Reviewers Visit? 

To get to run a Michelin Star restaurant, a reviewer must come to your place. This is not something you can control or request. Reviewers will come anonymously to your restaurant, try a few dishes and write a report. If they like the food you are serving, they will visit again and create another report. 

Usually, the reviewers visit a certain restaurant about every 18 months. However, if yours is currently flagged as one to potentially earn or lose a star, they will visit more often. In order to earn a star, the food in the restaurant will be reviewed multiple times. To lose one, it will be again reviewed a few times, but generally, it will take less time to make a decision.

Key Takeaway: Any restaurant can lose a Michelin Star. Lack of consistency is the main reason why a Star is taken away.

What to Focus On

Since no one from your kitchen staff can know when a reviewer may visit, the processes in your restaurant have to be streamlined. Although a reviewer is not reviewing the service, in order to be successful in the restaurant business, you should do a few things first. 

  • Supply quality ingredients for every dish
  • Curate the menu well; based on the restaurant concept, seasonality, location, etc. 
  • Focus on organizing inventory well from the start
  • Don’t overlook the restaurant beverage program
  • Utilize software that will help you keep inventory in check, allow digital ordering, and create detailed reports

Once the organizational part is done, Michelin Star chefs (or those aspiring to be) can focus more on creating unique and finger-licking-good dishes for the restaurant guests. And if any of these guests happen to be Michelin reviewers, they will be judging: 

  • The freshness and quality of the ingredients
  • Chef’s skill in the combination of flavors and preparation
  • The level of creativity shown through the dish
  • Consistency of the culinary standards

Bottom line is, it’s all about the food, whether you want to earn or wonder how not to lose your Michelin Star! 

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How Do You Lose a Michelin Star?

All the previous things we talked about are important to know. But how do restaurants lose Michelin Stars, really? The simplest way to put it is - they lower the culinary standards that earned them the Star(s) in the first place. 

Here it’s important to mention that a Michelin Star is given only when this consistency is seen by the reviewers. They make sure the dishes are of high quality every single time. The same goes when the restaurant loses a Michelin Star. They check several times before the final decision is made. 

Another important thing to note is that after a restaurant receives a Michelin Star, the number of people wanting to dine there will increase. This means that the restaurant manager and the entire staff have to be prepared and be more efficient. If needed, new staff members will have to be hired to keep up with the demand. Since consistency is key, the main goal will be to ensure it. 

Being Successful in the Restaurant Industry

A Michelin Star is a symbol of success but even without one, your restaurant can be very successful. Everything comes down to the details of how the food is prepared and presented. What type of ingredients you choose, how they are combined with each other, or even with drinks. 

Beer pairing and tea pairing options can greatly improve the experience of guests in your restaurant. Wine lists are also a big factor to consider when you want to increase customer satisfaction. Beverage pairings with the right types of food can turn a great experience into an excellent one!

Planning well your beverage program will give you a competitive advantage. Whether you have a Michelin Star or two (maybe even three?) already, or you are just starting out in the business, curate your beverage menu. Once you have settled on a great cocktails menu and selected all other beverages, you have to take good care of your inventory. Choose an organization method to ease the day-to-day operations, but also the process of taking inventory. 

Frequently Asked Questions about How a Restaurant Can Lose a Michelin Star

To shed more light on the topic of how a restaurant can lose a Michelin Star, we’ve gathered a bit more information in the form of questions and answers. 

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Can a Restaurant Lose a Michelin Star? 

Yes, a restaurant can lose its Michelin Star(s). The Stars are awarded every year based on certain criteria. If the criteria are not met, the restaurant can lose the Star or the Stars they have been awarded previously. This can even happen to the top 25 Michelin Star restaurants.

The Michelin Star Guide is created every year, which means that as new restaurants are added to the list, some previous ones may get removed from it. Both awarding and taking the Star away are complicated processes that require a lot of visits to the restaurants in question.

How Often a Michelin Reviewer May Visit a Restaurant? 

The anonymous reviewers may visit a restaurant every year and a half, or if they are considered for a Star - more often. It all depends on whether or not the restaurant qualifies for another review, which may eventually lead to getting a Star. 

The visits are more than two, so the reviewers can evaluate the consistency of the cuisine. Quality of service and beverages are not considered when giving the award. 

Can You Earn a Michelin Star Back After Losing It?

Yes, a Michelin Star can be won back after it was lost. What’s required is to meet the criteria again. 

Source quality ingredients, create unique dishes, and show consistency in what you do. This is the only way a Michelin restaurant status can be won back. It may take more time but it sure can be done. 

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