Michelin has begun rating restaurants in some U.S. cities after a pandemic pause

The Michelin Guides were published worldwide for more than a century until the pandemic upended the restaurant industry—and with it, the need to recommend establishments based on their outstanding food, service, and ambience. It seemed gauche to rate restaurants while they fought to survive. “Ratings are not appropriate when so many restaurants are closed,” Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the Michelin Guides, told The New York Times last year after the New York guide was postponed. But Michelin is now ready to resume rewarding U.S. restaurants with stars and statuses (the company is introducing a new “green star” category for sustainability alongside categories like “Bib Gourmand,” which rewards value) and will reveal its ratings for restaurants in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York starting this week, reports Eater. The new ratings will apparently be based on inspectors’ previous experiences at restaurants pre-Covid, before indoor-dining limitations were put into place. Inspectors did not evaluate takeout food and took changes in concept and business models into consideration. What will remain the same: The ratings always seem to come with a bit of controversy.

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