Star Rating of Restaurants: The Importance of Ratings

Marketing 16 minute read 30th June 2023

Star rating of restaurants is a universal way of ranking. Star ratings usually work on a 5-point scale. However, the Michelin Guide, a food safety rating system, or food critics can award them. Anyone reviewing a restaurant can utilize a star rating system. So, why do we care so much? Why does a star restaurant rating matter so much? Well, star ratings signify quality in a super simple way. It is an accessible and quick form of rating to interpret. However, there is a lot more than meets the eye here.

In this guide, we will unpack the importance of restaurant star ratings. This is vital information for you to take on board to run a successful restaurant. So listen up, and jot these gems of information down. Here’s everything you need to know about the restaurant rating system and how to tackle it and gain business success.

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What Is a Restaurant Star Rating System? Defining the Star Rating of Restaurants

What is a restaurant star rating system? It is an excellent question. The star rating of restaurants is a universal code that shows customers the restaurant’s quality before dining. The rating system intends to help guide customers to high-quality restaurants, all while upholding quality standards in the industry.

The star rating system operates on a 5-point scale. 1 is awful, meaning poor hygiene, service, and food quality. Whereas 5 means outstanding hygiene, food quality, and service. This system is crucial for customers. For instance, a 5-star restaurant has a high food quality and a great dining experience. Customers can see this before dining and decide this is their preferred restaurant. A 1-star restaurant might have poor-quality food and an awful dining experience. The customer can take note of this and decide against dining there.

Anything above 3 is passable on this system. A 4-star rating is classifiable as good and is confidently dined at, while 5 stars are the ideal score. As you can see from the scenarios we just covered, the higher your score, the more customers you’ll get. Nobody wants to dine somewhere unhygienic.

Ironically, anyone with some minor authority in the restaurant industry can issue star ratings. These could be individuals acting as food critics, organizations like the Michelin Guide, or food safety regulators. We’d recommend starting with your official food quality and safety assurance organizations. Then you can progress to getting reviews from food critics and the Michelin Guide if you feel particularly ambitious.

Star ratings are the premise of quality assurance in the restaurant industry. The universal scale is a benchmark for what restaurants strive towards, helping guide customers to excellent dining experiences.

Why Is the Star Rating of Restaurants Important?

Why is the star rating of restaurants so important, then? While we’ve briefly touched on this in our definition, it certainly needs more unpacking. Star ratings are vital for the industry as they set expectations and minimum standards. These star ratings hold restaurants accountable for food quality and encourage excellent cooking. This is important because customers often don’t see the ‘backstory’ to their food and its preparation. Therefore, a restaurant star rating is vital because it holds the industry accountable for its service.

Star ratings also attract customers to restaurants. Which would you choose, the 1-star restaurant or the 5-star restaurant? And this rating system quickly builds associations with the star number - immediately repelling customers from low-scoring restaurants. Customers can immediately make quick decisions about your restaurant because it is universal and simple to understand.

In short, scoring highly on star ratings works in your favor. Whether you seek ratings, this rating system dictates how customers feel about your business. People are encouraged to rate your business on star systems on restaurant review sites and platforms like Google and TripAdvisor. And this is totally out of your control. Similarly, customers may feel suspicious of your restaurant if you don’t have a rating (especially for a food safety rating). To overcome this, some restaurants put up official waiting-to-be-reviewed signs - provided by restaurant review organizations. Think of it as reputation management.

The star rating of restaurants is essential for building a sense of transparency and authenticity. Getting a rating is necessary if you want customers to trust your restaurant. Customers will feel at ease purchasing and engaging with your business, reassured by the rating system. You can even build better levels of customer loyalty.

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Michelin Star vs. Food Quality Star Rating of Restaurants

What is the difference between Michelin Star and other food quality ratings? Which rating should you take more seriously? In short, Michelin Star is not mandatory but is usually associated with the top caliber of restaurants. Think Gordan Ramsey style. General food quality ratings are often required, and 99% of restaurants will have one.

Depending on which country you visit, there will be different rules about the mandatory star rating of restaurants. In many countries, it is mandatory to have a food hygiene inspection but optional to display the results. This is definitely food for thought (no pun intended). As a consumer, you should consider why a restaurant doesn’t reveal its rating. Food quality star ratings are about preserving public health and warning customers about food that could make them ill.

On the other hand, it is tough to get a Michelin Guide review. The Michelin Guide operates on a 1 to 3-star rating system and only reviews restaurants that catch its eye. This is an exclusive rating to receive and you definitely expect it of only a few restaurants.

So, which is worth more? A Michelin Guide rating is comprehensive and you should take it very seriously. It is worth noting that it supposedly doesn’t consider restaurant customer service. However, overall, it carries a lot of weight. A food quality rating is vital, though. And for most restaurants, this is the rating system you must pay attention to.

How Do You Get a Michelin Star Rating? Cracking the Michelin Code

So you know more about food quality reviews versus a Michelin Guide review. But how do you get a Michelin Star rating? Michelin Star rating of restaurants is a very specific and exclusive process. The entire process relies on anonymity to get the most accurate results. And reviewers have their expenses covered by the Michelin Guide, meaning they receive no affiliation with the restaurant at all. This differs from many food critics, who often have their meal expenses covered by the restaurant they review. It doesn’t take a genius to see the flaw in this plan.

The Michelin Guide reviewers can not be ‘paid for’ or invited, making them much less biased. To get stars, restaurants are reviewed by an anonymous reviewer. Completely anonymously, the reviewer has a dining experience at the restaurant, unbeknownst to the restaurant observing everything in action. The guide states that it does not consider the quality of service and decor, focusing solely on the food element. Of course, this doesn’t mean these helpful factors don’t naturally sway the reviewer.

This reviewer then files a report about food quality, presentation, and value for money. This report is intensely analyzed before Michelin makes a decision. The restaurant star numbers range from 1 to 3 stars - with 1 being the lowest and 3 the highest. You could also be added to the guide without a star if you miss the mark for a star rating. Getting a Michelin review is very competitive.

How Restaurant Star Rating Michelin Awards Restaurants & Why Star Ranking Matters

Why is it important what restaurant star rating Michelin gives? Because depending on your Michelin rating, you’ll get lots of publicity. A Michelin Guide ranking is the highest praise in the restaurant industry. The star rating of restaurants doesn’t get any more prestigious.

However, with that said, there were just 142 restaurants with 3 Michelin Stars worldwide in 2022. There were over 2,100 restaurants with Michelin Stars. Being part of the 2,100 is very impressive, but being part of the 142 is ten times more so. There are also additional awards that you can win on top of the stars. In the Michelin Guide, there’s a real sense of meritocracy and progression.

Think of the Michelin Guide as a ladder. The higher you climb, the more rewards and fame your restaurant gets. Besides, there is a massive difference between star ratings. 1 Michelin Star is a brilliant indicator that the restaurant is a great example of its category. People call this star number ‘worth a stop.’ 2 Michelin Stars indicate that the restaurant has excellent cooking and is ‘worth a detour.’ While finally, 3 Michelin Stars suggest exceptional cooking and a restaurant worth a ‘special journey.’

A restaurant deemed worth a ‘special journey’ will be much more successful in gathering customers. A higher Michelin Star rating is the perfect way to increase your profit turnover.

What Is The Highest Rated Michelin Star Restaurant?

What is the highest-rated Michelin Star restaurant? That is a bit of a trick question. There’s a collection of restaurants with the maximum number of stars - so in that sense, there’s no singular highest restaurant.

If we had to choose one, we’d select Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. This restaurant has three stars in total. However, its chef, Alain, has led a grand total of 5 other restaurants to Michelin Stars. 5 Michelin-starred restaurants are quite the portfolio. And Alain Ducasse is an example of how chef personalities make a big difference at the top of the ladder.

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Is Investing in Star Rating of Restaurants Worth It?

The star rating of restaurants underpins the entire industry. Star rating matters regardless of whether you are targeting the Michelin Guide or the mandatory food quality board. And if star ratings dictate your success and profit, why wouldn’t they be worth it? You should always invest to get as high a star rating as possible. Treat it like revising for an exam. Prepare in advance and know the criteria.

Do you want some extra help with marketing your restaurant? Star ratings aren’t the only form of marketing that restaurant owners need to worry about. At Beambox, we are always happy to assist you with marketing your business. As experts in WiFi marketing and making the most of restaurants, we can help you reach new levels of success. Outsource to us, and let’s take your next steps together.

Let’s get started today. Beambox offers a top all-in-one WiFi marketing platform. We leverage a dynamic approach to connect, capture, and retain more customers. Start your Beambox free trial today, and let us help you maximize your rating potential.

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