To be awarded a Michelin star (or two, or three…) is the top of the restaurant industry mountain. Only the best of the best are bestowed Michelin stars, and if you plan on visiting a Michelin-starred restaurant, you can count on a few things: an upscale restaurant, a delicious meal, and a true fine-dining experience. But what does it take to earn a Michelin star?
Earning a Michelin star is a complex process. According to Quora, the first step is opening a restaurant in a region that’s covered by Michelin: New York City, the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, East Bay and Wine Country, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas. In 2004, a former Michelin Inspector revealed that at that time there were only seven inspectors in the entire country, so in order to gather data they comb food websites and blogs, adding all the best-reviewed restaurants into a “to review” pile. If everyone’s talking about your restaurant, Michelin will notice. Then they’ll send out a scout to dine there. If they’re blown away they’ll send an internal memo to the Inspectors, one of whom will show up to dine there. If they’re also blown away, then you’ll most likely be visited again the following year, and potentially awarded a star.
If you’re looking for a Michelin Star (and really, you should be focusing on running the best restaurant possible, not earning a star), it’s best to focus on making the food, service, and ambiance as good as it can possibly be. Get people talking about it, and Michelin may come knocking.