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No one publishes a definitive guide that explains how to get a Michelin star for your restaurant. The organization responsible for bestowing the prestigious honors keeps the details of its process under wraps.
That doesn’t stop the restaurant industry from analyzing Michelin Guide ratings that remain unchanged from its original publication back in 1904.
1 Star – For its category, a very good restaurant
2 Star – Worth a side trip, excellent cooking
3 Star – Make a special trip, exceptional cuisine
The industry’s pursuit of star status doesn’t change either. It’s an honor that stands as a hallmark of fine dining and a designation that brings in business.
10 Tips for Chasing Michelin Stars
It’s worth noting that Michelin is also the same French company that makes tires. Their original publication included hotel and gas station listings as well as tire repair and replacement advice. How do you earn a star from an organization known for playing its rating cards so close to the vest?
1. Your Location Really Does Count
Currently, the Michelin Guide focuses on restaurants located in the Los Angeles wine country, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York City. If you’re making diners happy in the Heartland or Southern states, you may have to wait for Michelin to expand its American territory.
2. Service Must Be Impeccable
Every restaurant experience should start with a cordial greeting, little to no wait time and prompt table service. An official Michelin inspector won’t show credentials on seating, so treat every customer with the flawless service that makes all your dining guests feel special.
3. Pay Attention to Presentation
Carefully crafted details count especially when you’re serving someone positioned to review your restaurant. Cooking is an art, and a beautiful plate presentation frames a chef’s creativity. It gives you the opportunity to impress guests before they savor their first bite.
4. Only Serve the Very Best
You know you have to do more than thrill the Michelin inspector with beautiful plating. Work with premium ingredients, and serve the best possible menu. From sophisticated romaine heart appetizers and baby iceberg lettuce salads to simply perfect steaks, make every dish memorable for every guest.
5. Stay True to Your Style
The ambiance in an upscale restaurant sets a luxurious tone. The atmosphere in a casual eatery makes customers feel at home. Create a dining environment that’s true to your food’s style. Complement the guest experience with decor that puts you on the star track.
6. French Accents Can Help
Industry rumor has it that the Michelin Guide shows a favoritism towards French-styled cuisines. While it can’t be proven that this is a criteria for a Michelin star, it’s worth keeping in mind. On the other hand, the guide also showcases a deliciously diverse selection of restaurants with its Bib Gourman designations.
7. You Need Great Reviews
You already run a successful restaurant, so sharpen your promotional skills. Stay in tune with local bloggers and food critics. Court national players like Zagat and publications like Food and Wine. It’s very likely that Michelin inspectors follow the same reviews that highlight your restaurant’s best offerings.
8. Pass the Scout Test
If you want to know how to get a Michelin Star for your restaurant, don’t plan on asking an advance scout. These anonymous customers report back to the organization and set the inspector’s process in motion. Still, passing the scout test is easy when you treat every guest to the same signature service and fine dining experience.
9. Be Prepared to Wait
A visit by an advanced scout puts you in the Michelin Guide portfolio. An inspector’s follow-ups come and go without any announcements. As you continue to consistently earn stars with your restaurant guests, you have to be patient and wait. When you make the guide, you get the call.
10. Be Prepared to Wait Even Longer
That first star can send business to the moon, but you still have to be patient. It’s not unusual for a restaurant to wait five years or more for a second or third star. Stay grounded, blame the delay on a shortage of scouts and inspectors, and enjoy a high profile on other respected review sites and travel guides.
Keep Reaching for Those Stars
We know your restaurant reaches for the stars every day from front to back of house. Excellence is always on the menu because you always serve customers your very best. We look forward to reading your restaurant’s review soon in the next online round of Michelin Guide updates.
You can count on us to do our part and support your operations with the freshest premium produce available. Our team here at Hitchcock Farms proudly supply the restaurant industry from coast to coast. You have our commitment as one of California’s largest produce growers to earning your business with our own special five-star service.