upserve micheling guide

It’s the most coveted award in the restaurant industry: the elusive Michelin star. As the hallmark of a fine dining experience, the Michelin Guide is a prestigious rating system that signifies the top restaurants in the world.

Instead of the classic five-star breakdown for many restaurant rating systems, Michelin relies on a one to three-star system to set restaurants apart:

  • One star signifies “a very good restaurant”
  • Two stars are “excellent cooking that is worth a detour”
  • Three stars mean “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey”

Michelin released its first U.S. based book for New York in 2005. Since then Michelin stars have been awarded to restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington D.C. For 2018, San Francisco has the highest share of 3-starred Michelin restaurants, while New York has the most overall Michelin restaurants.

The honor of a Michelin star is incredibly powerful in the restaurant industry, and many chefs and restaurateurs work their entire lives with the hope to earn a star. As a guide held in high regard in such a competitive industry, how did the program that once made Gordon Ramsey cry come to life?

The History of the Michelin Guide

The now iconic guide launched in central France in 1889 in a savvy marketing move. With fewer than 3,000 cars in the country, tire entrepreneurs and brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin developed a promotional piece with hopes of boosting tire sales by encouraging drivers to get out more. The guide was filled with practical information for travelers (how to change a tire) as well as maps, and listings of gas stations and restaurants.

As the guide began to grow in the restaurant industry, the Michelin brothers recruited a team of mystery diners—or restaurant inspectors, as we know them today—to visit and review restaurants anonymously. In 1926, the guide began to award stars for fine dining establishments, marking them only with a single star. Five years later, a hierarchy of zero, one, two, and three stars was introduced, and in 1936, the criteria for the starred rankings were published.

During the rest of the 20th century, thanks to its serious and unique approach, the Michelin Guides became best-sellers without equals: the guide now rates over 40,000 establishments in over 24 territories across three continents, and more than 30 million Michelin Guides have been sold worldwide since.

Today, the remarkable foresight of the founding Michelin brothers has given the company a vocation that is as relevant in 2016 as it was in 1900—to make tourism and the search for unforgettable experiences available to all.

usa michelin star restaurants

How to Get a Michelin Star

It’s one of the most common questions in the food and beverage industry: how does a restaurant earn a Michelin star? Getting recognized by the Michelin Guide requires an inspection process by one of 120 anonymous diners who pay for their own meals. On average, a Michelin inspector drives over 18,000 miles a year and eats at 240 different restaurants.

Restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide are visited once every 18 months unless they are being considered for a change in status. One-star restaurants will receive four visits in a single year if they are to receive a second star, and two-star restaurants will be visited ten times if they are to receive three.

There are five assessment criteria that local and international Michelin Guide inspectors have adhered to for over a century:

  1. Using Quality Products
  2. Mastery of Flavor and Cooking Techniques
  3. Personality of the Chef in the Cuisine
  4. Value for Money
  5. Consistency of Food

Upserve’s 2020 Michelin Star Restaurants 

Becoming a Michelin-starred restaurant doesn’t happen overnight. It takes relentless pursuit, risk-taking, consistency, creativity and flawless execution every minute. As 2020 Michelin-starred restaurants roll in, we’ll add them to our roundup to give them the recognition they deserve. 

Washington D.C. Michelin Star Restaurants

Little Pearl

1 star

Sushi Nakazawa

1 star

 

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Grade A5 Miyazaki Wagyu with Grated Perigord Truffles. Only available for a limited time at Sushi Nakazawa.

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Rose’s Luxury

1 star

Tail Up Goat

1 star

Upserve’s 2019 Michelin Star Restaurants

It takes an obsession over each touchpoint of the guest experience, which is why we are so proud to recognize the Upserve customers that earned Michelin stars in 2019.

Michelin 3-star restaurants

Alinea

Chicago, IL

Benu

San Francisco, CA

Michelin 2-star restaurants

Aska

New York,  NY

 

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Potato pancake with pommes soufflé and an emulsion of roe from winter flounder. ?: @andershusa #askanyc

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Acadia

Chicago, IL

Californios

San Francisco, CA

Commis

San Francisco, CA

Lazy Bear

San Francisco, CA

Michelin 1-star restaurants

Aldea

New York, NY

 

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Bacalhau À Brás: farm egg and salt cod custard, crispy potato, black olive

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Atomix

New York, NY

 

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White sweet shrimp for Saengchae #atomixnyc

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Band of Bohemia

Chicago, IL

 

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From our menu – Grilled King Salmon.

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Claro

New York, NY

 

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Marrow bone barbacoa & mezcal ??

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Dusek’s Board & Beer

Chicago, IL

Entente

Chicago, IL

 

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Thai Iced Tea | Coconut, lemongrass, pandan leaf, finger lime #fw18 #ententechicago ?: @brian_fisher

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JeJu Noodle Bar

New York, NY

 

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Anyone else planning on warming up with a bowl of #Ramyun? Photo by @foodie_mirror

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Mister Jiu’s

San Francisco, CA

 

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HODO tofu skin with morels, duck egg and garlic scapes

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North Pond

Chicago, IL

Parachute

Chicago, IL

 

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Monkfish stewed with soybean sprouts and olives on the menu tonight.

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Roister

Chicago, IL

 

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The Roister menu is constantly evolving to build upon your favorites. Now featuring: our take on Patatas Bravas

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Rose’s Luxury

Washington, DC

 

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Some things never go out of style. Currently on the menu right now. Foie Gras French Toast for the win. #rosesluxurydc #megustathat

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Sons & Daughters

San Francisco, CA

Tail Up Goat

Washington, DC

The Finch

New York, NY

The Musket Room

New York, NY

Uncle Boons

New York, NY

 

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Tom Kha Pet-Duck Tom Kha with Maitake Mushroom & Pearl Onion

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Wallsé

New York, NY

Restaurant staff management just got easier, employee turnover just became a thing of the past.

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Written by   |  
Holly Everett is a five-year restaurant industry veteran turned small business marketing specialist. After working at Seven Stars Bakery in Providence, Rhode Island throughout college, she entered the world of marketing where she led B2B marketing initiatives at companies focusing on growing small businesses. At Upserve, she integrates her passion for the restaurant industry and knowledge of the needs of small business owners to help make restaurants wildly successful.