The Michelin Star System

Michelin ranking system

Lee Hnetinka, the owner of New York-based delivery fulfillment company Darkstore, enjoys fine dining and travel. One activity Lee Hnetinka particularly enjoys is exploring restaurants which have earned prestigious Michelin stars. Michelin-starred restaurants earn the designation through anonymous visits by Michelin inspectors.

The Michelin ranking system for restaurants includes three primary ranks, denoted by successively higher numbers of stars. A one-star restaurant provides quality food in its category. A two-star restaurant is excellent, and worth a modest detour or making some time for a visit while on a trip to the restaurant’s region. The third and final star is awarded for truly legendary cuisine, the kind of food that would be worth a trip as an end in itself.

Some other categories used by Michelin make the system more robust and complete. A restaurant receiving the bib gourmand designation, for instance, is one which provides high-quality food at a much lower price than many of its competitors. Some guides also use the espoir designation, denoting a restaurant as a rising star which could be up for a promotion to a higher tier some time in the next two years. This designation has fallen in and out of favor, dropping out of at least one guide in the 2010s.


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