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Michelin Rating Criteria: How to Get In the Michelin Guide

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Every restaurant owner would love to have their business featured in the Michelin Star Guide. It’s a great honor to earn a Michelin Star and it’s certainly something that will help popularize the restaurant and boost profits.

We have talked at length, here on our blog, about Michelin Star restaurants, Michelin Star chefs, and even how restaurants lose Michelin Stars. We have shared crucial information for every business owner striving to earn their first, second, or third Michelin Star. However, there is more we can say on the topic and help you better understand the Michelin rating criteria.

Before we get started, you can also read about the James Beard Awards that recognize great restauranteurs, chefs, and culinary writers. Learn about the Wine Spectator’s awards focusing on top wine lists, too. Together with the Michelin Star Guide, they are very prestigious and will help your business grow tremendously. 

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What Is the Michelin Rating Criteria?

Getting featured in the Michelin Star Guide is a great honor for any restaurant. It’s a true recognition of the quality of the cuisine and the exceptional dining experience. And although we are all aware of why you may get a Michelin Star, we are not entirely sure what the Michelin rating criteria are. 

The Michelin inspectors use a set of criteria that is a closely guarded secret. However, several key factors are believed to influence their decision the most. Knowing these factors can help you work towards gaining a Michelin Star or even keeping the one you currently have. Now, let’s dive deep into the Michelin rating criteria we know of!

Key Takeaway: The Michelin rating criteria are not shared publicly. However, there are things to do in order to get the inspectors’ attention and be considered for the Michelin Star Guide. 

1. Food Quality

The quality of the food is of great importance. The restaurant’s chefs should use the finest ingredients. They need to showcase skillful culinary techniques and make delicious dishes that are creative and beautifully presented.

2. Consistency of Service

Consistency is key in all kinds of industries, but especially in hospitality. When we are talking about gaining or keeping a Michelin Star, you need to focus on delivering a consistent culinary experience. Food quality must be maintained high and the service needs to remain top-notch even after your restaurant gets a Star. 

3. Great Hospitality

Hospitality plays a significant role in the Michelin experience. Restaurants should provide warm, attentive, and knowledgeable service that enhances the overall dining experience for guests.

4. Attention to Detail

This is crucial in every aspect of the dining experience - from the presentation of the food to the service provided by the waiters. Every element, including table settings and plating, should reflect a commitment to excellence.

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5. Distinctive Culinary Identity

Having a distinct culinary identity or style can set your restaurant apart from the rest. Whether it's showcasing regional cuisine or innovative cooking techniques, having a unique identity can catch the attention of Michelin inspectors. Show them your culinary philosophy through the food that’s on your restaurant’s menu!

6. Value for Money

If you are for a Bib Gourmand designation (an award attributed by the Michelin Guide), offering exceptional value for money is essential. This means providing incredible food at moderate prices so it is accessible to a wider range of people. 

7. Frequent Innovation

Michelin inspectors appreciate restaurants that demonstrate innovation and creativity in their menus. This is one of the Michelin rating criteria everyone agrees on and it plays a major role in the final decision. Chefs should continuously push boundaries, experiment with new flavors and techniques, and evolve the restaurant menus to keep people intrigued.

8. Good Reputation

Building a positive reputation within the culinary community and among customers can increase a restaurant's chances of earning a Michelin Star(s). Positive reviews, awards, and personal recommendations can contribute to a restaurant's standing in the eyes of Michelin inspectors.

9. Outstanding Experience 

Overall, providing an exceptional dining experience that exceeds guest expectations is key if you want to earn a Michelin Star. This includes personalized service, attention to detail, and a genuine passion for hospitality.

10 .Cleanliness and Hygiene

Although the design of the restaurant is not considered to be among the Michelin rating criteria, cleanliness and hygiene sure are. Maintaining a clean environment is essential to ensure a great experience for customers and ensure everyone’s health and safety.

There is no guaranteed formula for getting into the Michelin Guide. However, focusing on these key factors can improve your restaurant's chances of earning a Star. It's important to remember that getting any number of Michelin Stars is a long-term goal that requires dedication and a relentless pursuit of excellence. You need to work on improving every aspect of the dining experience!

Can Beverages Help Get a Michelin Star?

Officially, beverages are not what Michelin inspectors are looking for when they are reviewing a restaurant for the Guide. However, wine lists, cocktail drinks, and other beverages are an integral part of the experience every restaurant provides.

As already mentioned, it’s important to show great attention to detail and ensure your guests feel your warm hospitality and exceptional service. They need to feel that are getting value for their money, too.

Make sure you offer great drink and food pairings. This type of attention to detail will impress the inspectors, whether or not they have it in the Michelin rating criteria. Build an impeccable beverage inventory and be ready to satisfy the taste of any customer. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Michelin Rating Criteria

If you want to dive even deeper into the topic of Michelin rating criteria, you should read the answers to these common questions. 

Who Are Michelin Inspectors?

Michelin inspectors are people employed by the Michelin Guide who visit and assess restaurants anonymously. The inspectors are highly trained professionals with extensive culinary experience who rate different restaurants. 

They visit restaurants incognito and blend in with regular diners. That’s to ensure that their presence does not influence the restaurant's performance. This allows them to provide objective assessments of the dining experience. The inspectors focus solely on the quality of the food and service.

What Is a Bib Gourmand Designation?

The Bib Gourmand designation is awarded to restaurants that offer high-quality food at moderate prices. These restaurants provide excellent value for money and are recognized for their delicious meals. To be considered for a Bib Gourmand designation, restaurants must meet certain criteria set by the Michelin Guide. 

Bib Gourmand restaurants are recognized for their delicious food, welcoming atmosphere, and excellent value. This makes them popular choices for people seeking quality dining experiences without having to spend too much money.

How Often Are Restaurants Re-Evaluated by Michelin Inspectors?

Restaurants are re-evaluated regularly by Michelin inspectors. The exact frequency may vary depending on factors such as:

  • the restaurant's reputation
  • level of recognition
  • changes in management 
  • changes in culinary direction

Overall, there is no set schedule for restaurant re-evaluations by Michelin inspectors. The goal is to provide current and potential customers with reliable information about the quality of food and service in a specific restaurant. 

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