spinynorman99 wrote:This is no different than having a restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It's some "authority" giving a place recognition based on some arbitrary standard. You can't just create a culture from whole cloth and make it meaningful. It's just going to be a pretentious Yelp.
There are plenty of people who actually work in restaurants that would strongly disagree with just about every part of that statement. Take whatever value you want, but to many this is a BFD.
A Michelin star (or two) is certainly a BFD for restaurant people. It carries a lot of weight with international tourists; as someone already mentioned, the guide is recognizable to them. I'm still astonished by how many tourists enter the dining room with their Zagat guides. Michelin will be a step up from there. It's much the same for hotels, whether it's the AAA rating, Travel + Leisure, or the Conde Nast ratings--certain tourists will want to stay in these hotels more because the "authority" has given it a good rating. Like it or not, customers give weight to reviews, whether they be Michelin, Zagat, Yelp or (ugh) MetroMix.
I don't know what, if any, difference the Michelin ratings will make to locals. It will make no difference to me, but I am not likely to dine often in the restaurants that will earn stars. I think for most of the population, it will be a total non-event.
That said, at work we have been expecting the Michelin people for about a year now. Everybody is excited to see the ratings come out in November.