The world’s most famous restaurant guide, Michelin, announced this morning it has joined forces with user review site, TripAdvisor and booking platform TheFork to “offer diners a complementary way to find their ideal dining experience, as well as improved access to a wider choice of high-quality restaurants around the world.”
“Michelin and TripAdvisor, with its subsidiary TheFork, have entered into a content and licensing partnership to combine the gastronomic selection expertise of the Michelin Guide with the power of TripAdvisor’s large customer audience and TheFork’s advanced booking service,” the statement said.
Here are the key details and components of the partnership and acquisition:
- All 14,000 restaurants in the Michelin Guide worldwide will be identified with their ratings star, Bib Gourmand and plate distinctions on the TripAdvisor website. This will lead to “improved accessibility of the Michelin selection,” it says.
- Nearly 4,000 restaurants across Europe will soon be accessible and bookable on TheFork, and on the digital Michelin Guide platform.
- In addition, Michelin has signed an agreement to sell Bookatable, the U.K. restaurant booking platform it acquired in January 2016, to TheFork, a subsidiary of TripAdvisor. This acquisition allows TheFork to “consolidate its existing markets” and expand into five new countries: U.K., Germany, Austria, Finland, and Norway. It will now operate in 22 markets.
- Michelin says that the 14,000 restaurants bookable on Bookatable will join the 67,000 already bookable on TheFork, “creating the largest online restaurant booking platform.” The terms of TheFork’s acquisition of Bookatable remain undisclosed.
The deal appears to be predicated on two things: data and reach.
“With our more than 120 years of experience making gastronomic guides which provide restaurant recommendations based on independent, expert inspectors, this strategic partnership between Michelin and TripAdvisor will offer unprecedented visibility to the establishments listed in the Michelin Guide selections around the world,” said Scott Clark, member of the Michelin Group Executive Committee.
“By combining the Michelin Guide’s unique restaurant curation and selection criteria, with TripAdvisor’s comprehensive travel planning platform, we will be able to make the Michelin Guide’s selections accessible to a much larger number of diners around the world.”
According to a recent study conducted by PwC network member Strategy&, the companies together “influenced” nearly $8 billion in revenue last year across six markets studied (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.S., and the U.K.), translating into some 320 million additional meals being eaten in restaurants.
“We are happy to add Bookatable by Michelin to the TripAdvisor family. This agreement allows us to continue expanding our business geographically, while offering an even more valuable service to restaurants and diners alike,” said Bertrand Jelensperger, senior vice president, TripAdvisor Restaurants and CEO, TheFork.
“We’ll soon make Michelin-selected bookable restaurants more visible on our platforms to better serve our users and drive the right customers to each restaurant.”
The acquisition means there can now be more of a focus on local consumers: 80,000 bookable restaurants generate over 30 million monthly visits; TripAdvisor is used by approximately 460 million travellers each month; tapping into some 830 million reviews and opinions of 8.6 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, and means of travel.
Michelin says that “these virtual visitors are a huge pool of new customers for restaurants and can positively impact their revenues significantly.”