Ever wondered how a restaurant gets the infamous Michelin star rating? Here’s the lowdown:

At the beginning of the 20th century, Michelin created the Michelin Guide, a travel publication, with the hope of encouraging people to travel by automobile. Ever since, the company has created hundreds of travel publications. Today the company sells 22 million maps and guides and sells them in 70 countries around the globe.
The Michelin three-star system is reserved for only the most exceptional establishments. Other star systems use five stars, with one being the lowest and five being the highest. For over a century, the tire manufacturer Michelin has been evaluating and rating restaurants and publishing restaurant guides.


Truffle menu at the Alain Ducasse Restaurants in Paris

Rose Raspberry

Michelin hires professional hotel and restaurant evaluators to visit establishments anonymously evaluate them using a well-defined (but secret) set of criteria. All evaluations involve anonymous test meals or overnight stays at each establishment to assess the quality and the reliability of the experience.

Evaluators use the following criteria to determine the number of stars:
   - 1) The quality of the products
                - 2) The mastery of flavour and cooking
          - 3) The "personality" of the cuisine
- 4) The value for the money
          - 5) The consistency between visits.

Louis XV, Alain Ducasse's 3-Star Michelin
Paris

The Michelin website outlines these definitions for each star categories:
  • One star indicates a very good restaurant in its category, a good place to stop on your journey.
  • Two stars indicate excellent cuisine, worth a detour, with specialties and wines of first-class quality.
  • Three stars reward exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey, where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. The wine list features generally outstanding vintages and the surroundings and service are part of this unique experience, which is priced accordingly.
Keep in mind that Michelin stars represent only the food you find on your plate and that evaluators didn’t  take into account interior decoration, service quality or table settings.

Bon appetit

By E. J.R.M. Engelen
 
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