Dutch restaurant gives Michelin star back
A restaurant in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht has decided to give back its prestigious Michelin star because it's bad for business.
Most restaurants would kill for a Michelin star, the recommendation by the prestigious French restaurant guide Michelin. But the owners of restaurant In de'n Dillengaard in Maastricht want to get rid of it. Michèl and Suzan Kagenaar are sending their hard-won star back to France.
The Kagenaars argue that the Michelin star has become a "stigma" for their business.
"Many people associate Michelin with expensive, posh and formal," says Suzan Kagenaar. "Ït creates certain expectations. We had been thinking for a while about going back to our roots, to a less formal atmosphere. The financial crisis has hastened our decision."
Part of the problem, Kagenaar says is that there are too many Michelin star restaurants in the South Limburg region. There are five restaurants with one star and two with two stars. "This means that regular customers alternate between the [Michelin] restaurants and it takes longer before they return to us."
In de'n Dillegaard will close its doors next week to undergo a complete overhaul. It is set to reopen on March 15 as a 'family restaurant' and under a new name: 'Dinner at Michèl's'.
"The interior decoration and the menu will change completely," says Kagenaar. "We're going to have wooden tables and simple dishes like scampi salads and a homemade bisque."
In de'n Dillegaard got its Michelin star in 2004. The Kagenaars have informed Michelin that their star is in the mail; they say Michelin regretted their decision.