When I heard about Michelin rating, the first thing that came to my mind was the famous French tyre company, Michelin. I thought that it is all about tyre rating. But I was wrong.
Michelin rating is one of the most prestigious ratings for all hotels and restaurants worldwide. The rating is given considering the fine dining quality of hotels and restaurants.
In 1900, the owner of Michelin tyre Andre Michelin and his brother Edouard introduced a guide book for French motorists with an intention to enhance the demand for cars, and indirectly for car tires. The guide book contained the necessary information for motorists such as road maps, how to repair and change tires, lists of car mechanics, petrol stations and, hotels and restaurants.
Initially, the guide book was distributed free of cost but since 1954 the company started selling the guide. They made many changes to the guide, giving more emphasis on listing hotels and restaurants, as the restaurant section became more popular. The company appointed a team of inspectors who were responsible for visiting and reviewing restaurants maintaining their anonymity.
Gradually, Michelin rating has become critical for chefs, and they consider Michelin stars are the ultimate accolade. Gourmets give more value to the Michelin rating as a mark of quality compared to any other award or rating.
Michelin gives stars to the hotels and restaurants based on the dining quality. It gives maximum three stars. One star (*) means a very good restaurant, two stars (**) mean excellent cooking which is worth a detour and three stars (***) mean exceptional cuisine which is worth a special journey.
Besides the above-mentioned stars, Michelin also gives the Rising Star recognition, which was introduced in 2006, to the best restaurant in each category that may come up to the next higher level very soon. Michelin gives the stars on the basis of the feedback of its anonymous restaurant reviewers who are very passionate about food, have a great taste memory to recall and compare different types of food items.
The reviewers visit the restaurants like an ordinary customer and dine at their expense so that there is no possibility of any manipulation. Every time a reviewer visits a restaurant or hotel, they make a note about their experience. Finally, all the reviewers discuss together and decide on which restaurants will be given the stars.
Unlike other restaurant reviewers such as Zagat and Yelp, Michelin does not consider customers' feedback while awarding stars. The reviewers judge the restaurants and hotels based on the quality, expertise of technique, personality, and consistency of the food.
They do not consider interior decoration, sitting arrangement, or service quality in awarding stars. Michelin stars are so important for restaurant and hotels owners that celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay said once that losing the stars is like "losing a girlfriend."