Last week, Michelin and Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism board, announced that the Food Guide will begin rating restaurants in the Sunshine State. Under a joint deal that also includes the Miami, Orlando and Tampa tourist boards, Michelin inspectors will dine in those three cities to give the restaurants their coveted stars. However, Michelin does not necessarily come out of the goodness of its heart and simply in the pursuit of culinary excellence. Visiting Florida means paying for the guide to come.
“We are in the process of finalizing a contract between Visit Florida and Michelin for $ 150,000,” said a spokesperson for Visit Florida. Robb Report in a report. “This amount will cover part of the production costs incurred to create a guide in a new territory.”
With this partnership agreement, the $ 150,000 obtains the rights to use the tourist offices for editorial content, including reviews, produced by Michelin, as well as the rights for the Michelin restaurant database. And the entities have agreed to work together on the public relations strategy surrounding the guide. Visit Florida has not disclosed whether this deal will extend beyond the inaugural 2022 guide, and said the official timeline for the guide’s deployment will be released at a later date.
The Miami-Orland-Tampa guide will join the four other American regions rated by Michelin: New York, Chicago, Washington DC and all of California.
The partnership has begun, Visit Florida said, with Michelin approaching the tourist offices in the three cities. Visit Florida in return, the spokesperson saying the board believes the guide’s presence will generate more money for tourism in the state. In each of the three cities covered by the guide, income from food and drink accounts for more than 20 percent of total tourism spending. According to data compiled by Visit Florida, Tampa County generates $ 1.09 billion in food spending each year, Orlando $ 7.33 billion and Miami $ 4.88 billion.
The California tourism board cited similar reasons when it agreed to pay Michelin $ 600,000 to launch an all-gold state guide in 2019. visitors to California overall, ”said the president of Visit California Robb Report at the time.
Although Michelin rates restaurants in some regions without subsidies, such as Washington, DC, South Korea reportedly paid $ 1.8 million and Thailand $ 4.4 million to lure the guide to their respective regions. “We were brought to these cities by governments, tourist boards and local industry. We’re not going anywhere without financial partners, ”former guide international director Michael Ellis said in Dubai in 2016.
Whether Michelin came on its own initiative or was drawn to tourist offices, it will matter very little to restaurateurs and chefs who will earn stars and be propelled into the international culinary spotlight. As chef Dave Beran from Michelin-starred Pasjoli in Santa Monica, CA put it. Robb Report in 2019, after learning that the guide would be back in LA, the guide can move the needle for a restaurant. “I have good friends who opened a restaurant and they had been open for about a year and the restaurant just wasn’t performing as well,” he said. “And then all of a sudden they got a Michelin star and that completely changed everything for them.”
Restaurant owners in Miami, Orlando and Tampa hope this can do the same for them.