The year was 1900, and a pair French brothers, Andre and Edouard Michelin, were looking for ideas to boost the business of the tire business they had started 11 years earlier. Historically Michelin’s business had primarily been in bicycle tires, but Andre knew that the future would belong to the horseless carriage (even though there were only 300 of them on the streets of France at the time). The company couldn’t sell its innovative automobile tires if there were no automobiles, and if people were going to start dropping their hard-earned francs on them, they needed a damn good reason to do so. And what better reason is there to hit the open road than food? The brothers decided to create a guide of the best restaurants and hotels across France, with maps showing how curious diners could get to these far-off destinations in their fancy new horseless carriages. Since that fateful decision was made over a century ago, the Michelin guide has become one of the most important metrics in fine dining, its coveted stars sparingly awarded to the crème de la crème of the restaurant world. And yet, in its entire 120-year history, the Michelin guide has never awarded a single star to Burger King. Imagine that.
Burger King’s Belgian arm believes its new Master Burger is more than deserving of Michelin consideration. In a new ad campaign, BK Belgium’s CEO Kevin Derycke makes a direct plea to the guide’s inspectors, whetting their appetites with an enticing photo that doesn’t resemble anything I’ve ever been served at a Burger King.
To put a some pressure on Michelin inspectors, Burger King Belgium is trying to get the power of the people on its side with a petition; currently, the petition has over 300 signatures and is hoping to make it to 500.