Who are we?
It’s been more than 53 years since Gault&Millau published its first restaurant review. Today, qualified Gault&Millau reviewers evaluate more than 10,000 restaurants and hotels each year, across thirteen countries.
In 2016, Gault&Millau Australia’s team of qualified restaurant reviewers evaluated more than 870 restaurants across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. That’s nearly 3,000 dishes! We take the process of evaluating restaurants very seriously, as we understand the impact that scores and hat ratings can have on business. Our reviewers use the same strict standards as all our international counterparts, which have been well honed over five decades. This framework allows us to benchmark Australia’s chefs and restaurants alongside the best in the world.
As Australia’s first international restaurant guide, we continue to be impressed by the quality of talented professionals we have in Australia. We are proud to show off to the world that our restaurants that are well on par with, if not superior to, their international counterparts.
What are the key features of the evaluation process?
· All reviewers must undergo our rigorous training and assessment program, used globally;
· All reviewers must dine anonymously;
· All meals must be paid for, and reviewers must provide copies of itemised receipts for every meal;
· Each completed review is assessed by our judging panel to ensure it meets our strict international standards;
· Any restaurant whose score has moved more than one point from the previous year is re-evaluated to ensure consistency;
· 4-hat restaurants are evaluated by at least two different reviewers, while 5-hat restaurants were evaluated both by a local reviewer and the Chief Judge in the relevant state;
· We review restaurants that have been trading for less than a year, but do not publish the scores. This allows them to iron out any of the typical teething issues before they are scored;
· Gault&Millau Australia is a 100-per-cent Australian-owned licensee of Gault&Millau France, and we have no affiliations with external companies.
At Gault&Millau, we are all about the food, and our evaluations focus on the ability and creativity of chefs and their entire kitchen brigades. We consider service, ambience and the dining experience.
The evaluation process is split into two parts. In the first part, six components of each dish – seasoning, harmony of flavours, technique, quality of ingredients, presentation, and the overall success of the dish – are rated equally. The averaged ratings of the dishes make up approximately 90 per cent of the restaurant’s final score.
The second part of the evaluation is the rating for service, ambience and the overall experience. It encompasses everything from making the booking through to walking out the door at the end of the meal. While this aspect of the dining experience makes up a much smaller proportion of a restaurant’s total score, comments about service, experience, and atmosphere always make it into the written review to help diners determine whether an establishment will match an occasion or mood. We see this a key factor in the evaluation process because, as diners and restaurateurs understand, outstanding service can make a good meal great.
Each restaurant is scored out of a maximum of 20 points, and each point score equates to a hat rating, as noted in the panel below. While 20 points is ideal, it is a vanishing horizon – and until 2004, no restaurant in the Gault&Millau family of guides had achieved this honour. Any restaurant that receives a score of less than 11 points is not published in the Guide.
When we launch our fifth Guide this November, it will be Australia’s first national restaurant guide. We are so excited to expand our reach as it gives us an opportunity to truly show off the high quality and inventive industry we have here. Our 60-person team of anonymous reviewers are already out reviewing across all our major cities – not that you would notice!
If you have any further questions about the process, or are a venue and would like to register your interest in being reviewed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Mark Dorrell, Editor-in-Chief, Gault&Millau Australia