The Michelin Guide has responded to fast-food chain Burger King’s pleas to be considered for a Michelin star by sending inspectors to review a couple of outlets.
Two Michelin inspectors visited two Burger Kings, one in Belgium and one in Luxembourg, after the chain pleaded with them to be reviewed. Ordering a full meal, including Burger King's Master Angus burger, the inspectors remained anonymous, as always.
While the assessment process remains a mystery, inspectors drew up a report on their experience based on five different criteria: product quality, mastery of cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in their cuisine, harmony of flavours, and consistency between visits.
Burger King will have to wait until 11 November to discover if they have won a coveted Michelin star when the guide for Belgium and Luxembourg will be published.
The news may come as a surprise for those in involved in the fine-dining business, considering the amount of work and attention to detail involved in attaining a star.
However, Michelin is not above awarding stars for street food. In 2017, a Singapore hawker stall Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle was awarded a star for Chan Hon Meng's iconic S$2 ($1.42) chicken rice dish.
The call for a Burger King Michelin star may be nothing more than a PR exercise to publicise the chain's new burger offering. The fact that the Michelin Guide responded means it is a successful one, but equally, it is a good way to publicise the upcoming guide to the Benelux countries.
With so many restaurants struggling during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, and with a widening gap between the larger, well-capitalised chains and smaller independent restaurants, some see the publicity stunt as tone deaf in light of the uncertainty faced by many chefs and restaurateurs.