Authors: Wilkesmann, Uwe
Wilkesmann, Maximiliane
Title: Who can reach for the Michelin stars? An empirical analysis of human, organizational, and motivational recources
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: Purpose: Research on the careers of fine-dining chefs is still underrepresented in the hospitality literature. Especially, there is a research gap in quantitative empirical evidence of answering the question of human, organizational, and motivational resources needed to become a top chef. The paper provides answers to the question which factors influence whether a chef will be awarded a Michelin star or not. Design/methodology/approach: Empirical evidence is given with the help of two quantitative datasets and eleven in-depth qualitative interviews with Michelin star chefs, three sous-chefs and two ‘Plate’ awarded chefs. The first quantitative dataset encompasses the short CV of all 429 chefs in Germany who received either one, two, or three stars from the Guide Michelin between 2004 and 2019. For the second dataset we conducted a survey with all 309 German star chefs who have been awarded in 2019 and additionally non-awarded chefs. Findings: The Michelin star awards can be taken as an objective career success measurement. Our analysis shows that chefs who were employed at a hotel or have an investor and/or completed a vocational training at a restaurant with a Michelin star chef are more likely to be awarded a Michelin star. Additionally, our study supports that Michelin stars fulfill different functions. On the one hand, the award measures the objective career success of chefs. On the other hand, it serves as a selective incentive to increase extrinsic motivation. Originality: Surprising is the result that award-winning and non-awarded chefs are equally highly intrinsically motivated but differentiate in extrinsic motivation. In this case the objective career success measurement and selective incentive coincide. Practical implications: A practical advice for restaurant or hotel owner and managers is that if they want to start a top restaurant, they should hire a Sous-Chef from a 2- or 3-Michelin star restaurant. And vice versa, chefs who want to make a career in the fine dining world should apprentice to top chefs who already have star awards.
Subject Headings: chefs
Guide Michelin
fine dining
objective career success
Issue Date: 2021
Appears in Collections:Discussion Papers

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