by COLIN JOHNSON, BERNARD SURLEMONT, PASCALE NICOD, and FREDERICK REVAZ:

The Michelin star system in Europe is the best-known and most respected ranking system for high-quality or haute cuisine restaurants. This study examines Michelin’s grading procedures and how chefs and res- taurateurs perceive the ranking system and the Michelin awards. The study surveyed chefs in thirty- six restaurants ranked as having two or three Michelin stars over the period of ten years in France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. The chefs iden- tified the following key factors that attributed to the success of their restaurants: investment and invest- ment types, sources of financing, pursuit of excel- lence, and culinary craftsmanship involved. While the Michelin star chefs were tremendously successful as culinary artisans, this study revealed that the financial success of the Michelin star-rated restaurants was far more heterogeneous.