Getting Food Industry Ratings Straight

So, you’re in a bit of a bind. You’re trying to decide where to take your client to eat, but you’re in an unfamiliar city. You really want to wow your guests with an unforgettable culinary experience. You might be familiar with various awards or rating systems, like the James beard or Michelin. These honors are more than just names, and they can boost a restaurant from a local gem to a nationally recognized dining experience. Let’s break down a few awards, ratings and honors in the ever-changing food industry.

Michelin Star

You might be thinking, wait isn’t Michelin a tire company, what do they have to do with restaurants? And you would be partially right. The original Michelin guide was meant to boost the demand for cars in the early 1900’s. Since then, it hlarge-naha-quail_porkbellyas become one of the premier restaurant rating methods. It recognizes superior food, with the coveted three star rating meaning the restaurant itself warrants a special trip. Even achieving one star is a huge honor, and three stars are reserved for some of the most prestigious restaurants in the world.

The James Beard Awards

The annual James Beard Awards are known as “The Oscars of the food industry”. If you’re a chef, and you’ve received even a nomination, you’ve really made it. Established in 1990, the awards recognize culinary professionals for achieving excellence in their fields. Having a Jampeekytoe-crab-salad1es Beard winner in your kitchen is a huge bragging point for any restaurant.


It’s hard for any SNL fan to hear the words Zagat and not picture Chris Farley reading reviews to a disgruntled Adam Sandler. But the Zagat guide itself is a highly respected rating system for restaurants all around the country. Zagat is a great way to survey a restaurant because it’s mostly compiled from customer reviews. The Zagat scale ranges from 1-30 and rates certain aspects such as food, décor and service.

Food and Wine Magazine

Known as THE magazine in the food and restaurant biz, getting your Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 12.51.51 PMname into “Food and Wine” is a pretty big deal. Restaurants always compete to make their annual list of “50 Best Restaurants”. Foodies and casual restaurant goers alike know and recognize this name.

So next time you’re trying to find a spot to dine, this guide might be a good place to start. If you’re trying to close that huge deal, you might want to lean towards a more prestigious spot, whereas if your going more casual, maybe flip through the Zagat guide. When trying to pick the right spot, always remember, not just any restaurant receives a rave review or award.



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