Have you ever wondered about the Michelin Guide and its stars? The Guide (pronounced geed in French) gives out stars from 1 to 3 when it reviews restaurants; this is the most prestigious rating that a restaurant can get. The acquisition or loss of a star can have dramatic effects on the success of a restaurant. See the entertaining film The Hundred-Foot Journey to see what restaurants will do to keep their stars. So what do the stars represent?
One star: “A very good restaurant in its category”
Two stars: “Excellent cooking, worth a detour”
Three stars: “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”
A Little History of the Guide
The Michelin Guide actually started as a way to sell more tires. By 1900 the tire makers André and Édouard Michelin had been in business for 11 years, primarily making bicycle tires. They were ready for the automobile age, even though they had a very limited audience for their car tires. There were only 3,000 cars in all of France at the time! In order to encourage use, and wear and tear on the tires, the brothers hit on a brilliant idea: write a guide book for hotels and restaurants that would entice motorists to make some road trips.
The original Michelin Guides were free and contained maps, instructions for changing and repairing tires, lists of mechanics, gas stations and other useful information for travelers.