Primary tabs

Diamond to dust: an end to the Monegasque rankings

During the 1940s in Monaco, government officials sought to find a way of encouraging restaurateurs to provide a minimum level of service that corresponded to what a customer was ‘entitled to expect’ from a Monegasque establishment. The Losanges ratings system was the result.

© Aline Gerard What began with three diamonds (the translation of losanges) was extended to five in 2011 – an attempt to differentiate the ranking from other gastronomic guides, such as the famous Michelin production.

“The ratings were based on objective criteria related to the organisation of the restaurant – its setting, the presentation of the tables, the service from waiting and kitchen staff, the menu – but not its gastronomy. Only industry professionals are able to provide that type of insight,” says André Vatrican of the principality’s Direction de la Communication. Following advice from the Association Indépendante des Hôteliers de Monaco (AIHM), the Monegasque government met inearly 2018 to discuss the system. It wasdecided that among all of the other reviewand ratings sources – official restaurantguides, sites like TripAdvisor and socialnetworks – ‘the information provided by theLosanges was no longer required bycustomers’.

“People don’t expect a government to provide such information anymore,” summarises Vatrican. “The government thus chose to end the Losanges system in April.” So it’s the end of the diamonds, but maybe not all forms of classification.“

A study is underway regarding the possible creation of a new label that could be similar to the Maître-Restaurateur status in France, and would set out higher requirements for restaurants with verification done by accredited inspection bodies.”

As a base, the principality’s future rankings’ criteria are: cuisine prepared in-house, menu composition, qualified waiting staff, quality of service, and the restaurant’s reputation. The new system is likely to be launched in 2019.