Lauren Platero

Michelin Star Guide: Begin the Jounrey to Your First Star

The restaurant industry is cluttered with critics and review channels. However, there’s nothing more prestigious than the Michelin star guide. In the fine dining sector of the food and beverage industry, Michelin stars are the ultimate accolade. 

From Michelin star chefs to the most attentive and respectful wait staff you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting, it’s quite competitive to become a restaurant recognized by the Michelin star guide. Does your business have what it takes? Read on to learn everything you need to know about Michelin’s ranking systems. 

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Michelin Star Guide

The Michelin Guides consists of a series of books written by the French tyre company, Michelin. The primary goal of the MIchelin star guide is to implement a strict and prestigious rating system for luxury lifestyle brands

A business can earn up to three Michelin stars for providing extraordinary service and perfectly crafted products. Acquiring any number of Michelin stars typically results in drastic changes in the restaurant profit margin and brand. Michelin restaurants are recognized as the finest food destination in the world. Upon receiving your first Michelin star(s), anticipate a major spike in success.  

Green Guides

To offer recognition on a more local scale, Michelin publishes Green Guides, which are more generic guides for cities, regions, and countries. Green Guides are a valuable resource for world travelers and high-level food critics. 

Red Guides

It’s an exciting time throughout the hospitality industry when Michelin’s Guide Rouge (or red guide) is published each year. The Guide Roude highlights the best restaurants and hotels across the globe. Michelin inspectors travel a region or country to determine the best of the best for that particular year. 

Inspectors anonymously sample the luxury dining room and a guest room in each establishment they visit. The business is then described in two to three lines, using symbols to detail their experience. Reviews of such restaurants will also include up to three specialties as a reference. 

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Michelin Stars: Ranking System 

Michelin inspectors operate anonymously. Their anonymity ensures that they won’t receive any special treatment and experience each restaurant as the general public would, too. It’s quite a luxurious position to be in, as Michelin pays for the meals. However, Michelin counts on the inspector’s refined palate and culinary expertise to thoughtfully judge each establishment.

Inspectors are strongly advised not to disclose their profession to others, including their loved ones. They’re certainly not permitted to speak with journalists. Instead, they draw up reports that are discussed at annual “stars meetings” held at various offices worldwide. 

The Michelin star guide rankings on  each report are as follows:

  • One Star: A restaurant with a single Michelin star is recognized for having exceptional food and great service. Though it’s the lowest ranking, it’s quite the challenge to reach it. 
  • Two Stars: The Michelin star guide refers to restaurants with two stars as those that are “worth a detour.” If you live near a two-star Michelin restaurant or will be traveling near one, make a reservation! 
  • Three Stars: As the ultimate honor in the culinary landscape, a restaurant with three Michelin stars represents the world’s best take on fine dining cuisine, exceptional service, and a stunning environment. In fact, Michelin inspectors refer to those with three star ratings as being “worth a special journey,” meaning that it’s worth the time, money, and effort to travel to its destination for a meal. 

It’s important to remember that a restaurant’s efforts do not end upon receiving a Michelin star. In fact, the pressure can become much more intense thereafter. Michelin inspectors frequent starred restaurants to ensure that they’re maintaining the same quality that originally earned them the accolade. If there are any signs that it’s not up to par with Michelin’s expectations, they have the right to remove stars. After stars are removed, it’s that much harder to redeem your business and gain them back. 

Rising Stars

Receiving a Michelin star doesn’t always come as a shock to the establishment and experts in the culinary world. However, Michelin has a “Rising Stars” category that highlights restaurants that are almost qualified to earn a star. This category will also state if any one or two-star Michelin restaurants are almost qualified to receive an additional star. 

Green Stars

Eco-friendly restaurants exist in the fine dining sector more than you might think. In fact, Michelin launched a green star ranking system in 2020 to reward restaurants for their sustainability efforts. 

After receiving a green star from Michelin, the restaurant is given space on the Michelin website for the sous chef to write a statement describing their vision. Sustainable restaurants are successful at implementing product differentiation as is, let alone when they’re recognized by the Michelin star guide. Whether the restaurant’s goal is to eliminate food spoilage, increase their usage of food tech, or improve inventory management techniques, informing the public of their environmental efforts can go a long way. 

Bib Gourmand

The Michelin star guide highlights restaurants that offer “exceptional food at moderate prices.” Since 1955, less expensive fine dining restaurants have had the opportunity to gain recognition from the MIchelin star guide. To qualify, restaurants must serve high-quality delicacies, offer phenomenal service, and price menu items within a certain bracket based on local economic standards. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the Michelin Star Guide 

The Michelin star guide is the most studied set of guidebooks by fine dining business owners. If you’re the business owner or restaurant manager of a luxurious food business, the Michelin star guide is sure to teach you everything there is to know about offering the best fine dining experience, 

If you’d like to learn more about the basics of the Michelin star guide, we’ve gathered a selection of frequently asked questions about the topic! Read on to find out more. 

How Does a Restaurant Get a Michelin Star?

A restaurant can get anywhere from one to three Michelin stars by providing an exceptional fine dining experience. Once you establish a luxurious reputation for your restaurant, you’ll likely end up on the Michelin guide’s radar in no time. 

What Is the Criteria for a Michelin Star? 

The criteria for earning a Michelin star is vast, but typically includes the following:

  • Ornate dishes made with high-quality ingredients
  • Creative recipes and plating designs 
  • Multi-course meals accompanied by the best wine pairings
  • Exceptional service by every staff member
  • Beautiful, high-quality decor and ambiance 
  • Comfortable environment (furniture, temperature, etc.)

Always remember that Michelin guide inspectors revisit restaurants that have been awarded stars. This process is to ensure that the quality of the entire experience remains as spectacular as it was at the time of the acknowledgment. 

With this in mind, ensure that your restaurant never slacks in any of these departments. After all, you never know when you’ll be serving a Michelin inspector. 

What Is the Difference Between Michelin Guide and Michelin Star? 

The Michelin star guide is the organization and criteria used to determine which restaurants receive a star. The Michelin stars are the individual accolades. Without the Michelin guide, there wouldn’t be a process of assigning stars to businesses. 

What Are the Levels of Michelin Stars?

Earning any number of Michelin stars is impressive. However, each tier signals different meanings to the general public and culinary experts. Here is a brief breakdown of what each star rating represents:

  • One Star: If a restaurant has one Michelin star, it’s safe to say that the food, service, and ambiance is excellent. 
  • Two Stars: If you stumble across a two star Michelin restaurant, it’ll certainly be worth the stop, as the Michelin guide likes to mention. Restaurants with two stars often offer something unique. This offering can be anything from unconventional recipes to exceptional service. 
  • Three Stars: Michelin restaurants with three stars reach the ultimate gold standard of the fine dining industry. Not only are these establishments worth taking a detour, but they’re worth an entire journey. Foodies and restaurant critics travel to three star Michelin restaurants from all over the world. These eateries offer indescribable flavors, breathtaking environments, and unmatched service. 

Is There a Five Star Michelin Restaurant?

No, the Michelin star ranking system only goes up to three stars. Though you might be referring to star ratings left by customers, we can assure you that almost all Michelin restaurants have nearly, if not completely, five star ratings on sites to read customer reviews.

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The Guide to Recognition, Success, and Profitability 

According to French chef Paul Bocuse, “ the Michelin guide is the only guide that counts.” Earning recognition by Michelin will cause your restaurant business to spiral toward positive press, reviews by critically acclaimed culinary experts, and a surge of new customers. Are you ready for the praise? Get inspired by Michelin star restaurants and create a business that meets their criteria.