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  • Meredith Peters

The Fascinating History of the Michelin Star Rating System: From Tires to Restaurant Ratings


Chances are that you have heard about the popular Michelin Star rating system used in the restaurant industry. But have you ever wondered how this system came to be? Surprisingly, the Michelin guides had little to do with cuisine as they originally initiated guidebooks published by the French tire company Michelin for more than a century. The term coined from the Michelin Red Guide, the oldest European hotel and restaurant reference guide, grants up to three Michelin stars to a select few restaurants.

Michelin Starred food

Businesses can be influenced dramatically by the addition or loss of the Michelin Star. Once a restaurant obtains all three, the restaurant is usually booked for months in advance and

vastly populated.

The era of Michelin Stars came to place as car demand increased and tire manufacturers became more apparent. The company had started in 1889 as brothers Edouard and Andre Michelin published a guide for French motorists explaining the repair and replacement instructions, car mechanics listings, hotels, gas stations, and more throughout France. They joined in to look for a method to draw in the limited number of drivers to make more journeys and, as a result, buy more tires to increase their profit. The first print included 35,000 free copies of the guide that displayed the wealth of information for motorists showcasing the best meals and accommodation while touring in their vehicles. As time went on, the business expanded along with the guide.

Michelin Star Guide

Publication of the guide was suspended during World War I; however, the publication resumed by 1920. As the brothers ramped up the quality of the guide, they began to change them. The first Michelin star ratings were given in 1926, and a few years later, the rating system expanded to become the Michelin three-star rating in 1931. The dining component was in such high demand that Michelin set up a team of anonymous inspectors to visit and rate restaurants based on this three-tier scale. The three stars exhibit "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey," two stars as "excellent cooking, worth a detour," and one star as a "very good restaurant in its category."

In 2005, Michelin reached the United States and published its first American guide covering 500 restaurants in five boroughs of New York City and 50 hotels in Manhattan.

The renowned Michelin Stars are awarded selectively to a small number of restaurants globally for superior quality. Perhaps you may want to dine at a Michelin Star rated restaurant while traveling through Europe? Currently, France holds the title for the most Michelin starred restaurants at over 600 restaurants. Italy has close to 400 Michelin starred restaurants. The rating system currently covers 23 countries, with 14 editions sold in 90 countries.

Are you ready to experience a Michelin Starred restaurant in Europe? Just click the link below to get started!

Michelin Star Restaurant


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