There were few cars and drivers at the time, so the guide had information for motorists on hotels, restaurants, gas stations, maps and mechanics around France (think of it as the early beginnings of the Lonely Planet travel guides). The goal was to encourage people to drive, explore and buy their tires.
The restaurant section of the guide gained popularity, and the first Michelin stars were awarded to restaurants in 1926. In 1931 the three-star rating system was developed and has since been used.
Be where Michelin is
This tip might seem obvious, but only certain regions of the world are covered by the Michelin Guide. Currently 28 countries are included. Europe has the most presence, followed by pockets of South-east Asia and North America.
In 2015 South America was the latest region added to the Michelin Guide, with focus on Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Find a full world map of which regions are included in the Michelin Guide here. In the meantime, we’ll all have to stay tuned for any new additions.
Get the right attention
Build your restaurant’s reputation through great work, and the right kind of attention will flow on naturally. Give your customers positive reasons to return and preach, whether to their friends, family or online. Eventually media coverage and reviews will follow, although building connections with your local media doesn’t hurt.
Keep in mind Michelin inspectors are always combing through online and print reviews, so good media attention will help them find your restaurant.
For super keen restaurateurs there’s another sneaky way to get noticed, although it’s not practiced as much today. Nicknamed the 'Walk to Canossa’, chefs would travel to Paris and meet with the Michelin Guide editors to pitch their restaurant in the hopes of being considered for Michelin recognition.