Whether man or woman, young or older, blond or dark-haired, thin or well-built, the Michelin inspector, always enthusiastic about gourmet dining, is a customer just like any other. Independent because a Michelin employee as well as a hospitality professional often trained in a hotel school, the inspector travels 30,000 km a year on average, eats some 250 meals in restaurants and sleeps in more than 160 hotels in order to select the best restaurants and hotels in all comfort and price categories. Working anonymously, the inspector is an ordinary customers who books a table in restaurants, orders, dines, never takes notes during meals and pays his or her own bill.
This anonymity is what makes the MICHELIN Guide so successful. Inspectors don’t want to be treated differently from anyone else. In their plate, they have exactly what other customers are served. Nothing more, nothing less. It is only after paying their bill that inspectors may introduce themselves and ask for more information, if necessary.
To assess the quality of a restaurant, the inspectors apply five criteria defined by Michelin: product quality, preparation and flavors, the chef’s personality as revealed through his or her cuisine, value for money, and consistency over time and across the entire menu. These objective criteria are respected by all Michelin guide inspectors, whether in Japan, the United States, China or Europe. Used around the world, the criteria guarantee a consistent selection. A one-star restaurant delivers the same value regardless of whether it is located in Paris, New York or Tokyo.
Food trends and dining technologies may have come and gone, but for over a century, the Michelin Guide has held firm to its founding mission of fostering a culture of travel and eating out, and its promise of helping people make the right choice, based on six core values:
Although our “inspectors” work for the Michelin guide, they are above all customers like any other, testing restaurants in complete anonymity in order to ensure that they do not receive any special treatment.
All our inspectors are employees of the Michelin group, who always pay for their meals in the restaurants they are testing to ensure that they do not receive any special treatment.
Our inspectors are also real experts in the catering and hospitality industries, sectors in which many of them have previously worked.
The different categories awarded by the guide are never just the result of one person’s judgement; they are formed by a collective decision which is the result of a long process.
What would be the point of so much work and such a strict approach if our inspectors did not enjoy eating?
Any restaurant can be recommended by our guide as long as its food is of high quality.