A fast-food burger joint near Swindon is the hot favourite to become the first ever McDonalds restaurant to pick up a Michelin star. With the awards being made this evening, bookies have slashed the odds on the venue in Faffingham from 3000-1 to 12-1.
Meanwhile, famous names such as Alain Ducasse and the Waterside Inn look set to miss out.
The changes follow a decision by the Michelin organisers to ‘pivot’ this year’s awards to fit in with the new reality post Coronavirus.
‘Frankly, every restaurant worth a damn has been shut for most of the last 12 months,’ said the awards organiser, Mich Elin. ‘So we decided to concentrate on the only thing that’s been thriving, and that means takeaways.’
Unsurprisingly, that’s meant a big change in the judging criteria.
‘When it comes to takeaways, people want fries, a quick turnaround and, ideally, a plastic toy for the kids,’ said Elin. ‘So a two-minute wait-time and a bucket of Coke tended to score better with our judges than snail porridge, a 50-page wine list and a witty deconstruction of ceviche.’
For service, he said the judges were hoping that the staff ‘might have washed their hands some time that week and hadn’t gobbed in the coleslaw. At least, not more than once…’
Manager of the Faffingham McDonalds, Mac Flurry, said he was ‘delighted but not surprised’ by the rumours of his restaurant’s potential elevation.
‘We’re big on authenticity,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘Our chef’s katsu curry chicken McNuggets are as authentic as those you’d find in a McDonalds in Tokyo.
‘Plus our free gifts are awesome.’
Being a drive-through, he said, was also a big advantage.
‘You look at places like Helene Darroze or Le Manoir and they don’t cater for drivers at all, unless they get out of their cars and go inside.
‘Which isn’t easy when the front doors are locked.’
Trans (fat) rights
For Elin, far from being a step backwards, the 2021 awards are a return to the very basics of hospitality.
‘It’s all very well being able to perfectly cook a venison haunch,’ he said, ‘but it’s not as much use in the post Covid kitchen as knocking out a comforting bag-full of artery-destroying trans-fats in under 60 seconds.
‘Everything has changed,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘Eating in is the new eating out, home-delivery is the new hospitality.
‘And closing down is the new opening up.’
Read about how a Job Centre beat the American Bar to take top spot on Trip Advisor here