Points and Classifications

White Guide's system for assessing restaurants

The White Guide's system for assessing restaurants

A restaurant experience is comprised of many components. In the White Guide we assess the level, direction and quality of a restaurant’s food, beverages, service, and ambiance. The rating-scale is based on a total of 100 points. Tallied separately, the greatest amount of weight is placed on the food, i.e. the restaurant’s gastronomy. Subsequently, adding the results of the other evaluation areas, we compile a total score that summarizes each restaurant’s score. In all areas of assessment, we give extra weight to idea, concept, focus and personality.

FOOD/GASTRONOMY: MAXIMUM 40 POINTS

We take into consideration the concept/idea/personality/style of the kitchen as well as the ingredients, complexity, execution, presentation and flavours.

Focus/personality

We look for a clear direction/concept as well as individual style/character/profile and specialties.

Development

We consider how innovative the restaurant is and whether it is developing/refining an approach/tradition.

Ingredients

We assess the general quality, seasonality and origin of the ingredients.

Level of difficulty and technical precision

We look at the accuracy of execution, the technical level as a whole and its individual parts.

Flavour/texture

We look for well-married, clear/pronounced, balanced flavours in interesting contrasts, as well as innovative ways of juxtaposing textures.

Presentation

Style and esthetics are important aspects of presentation, as are plating, portioning, the interplay of hot and cold dishes and finishing touches at or on the table.


17-21 points solid gastronomy
22-27 points well-executed gastronomy at a fine level.
28-31 points interesting and well-executed gastronomy at a very fine level
32-35 points very interesting and well-executed gastronomy at a master level
36-40 points brilliant, original gastronomy at a global master level

BEVERAGES: MAXIMUM 20 POINTS

We take all drinks into consideration (Aperitifs, wine, beer, water, juices and other non-alcoholic alternatives, digestifs, coffee and tea).

Concept/idea.

A clear concept for the beverage program. This could apply to the breadth/selection, the sommelier’s selections, a focus on a specific beverage area (Anything from a classic wine list and natural wines to beer and non-alcoholic alternatives) or even what roll the beverages play in the restaurant’s overall concept.

Quality

We look for a well-curated beverage program, product quality, character/maturity, etc.


Information, advice and presentation

We consider the staff’s product knowledge, suggested pairings with different dishes as well as handling and presentation.

Before and after

Cocktails/aperitifs, coffee/tea and digestifs. We look for product quality, brewing knowledge, presentation as well as a well-curated coffee and tea selection.


8-10 points solid beverage program
11-13 points a good beverage program
14-17 points an interesting, very good, top-class beverage program
18-20 points brilliant, international top-class beverage program

SERVICE: MAXIMUM 20 POINTS

Service is central to the restaurant experience. It is assessed in the context of the chosen service model. At an informal restaurant a courteous, attentive and professional attitude might be enough, though this is not the case at a top-rated fine dining restaurant. To achieve full score for service, everything must have found its form, have a natural flow and come together perfectly.

Service concept/idea

Here we assess how clear and thought-out the service is. It should have originality in some respect. For instance, a straightforward brasserie set-up cannot score full points.

Breadth and depth

We assess the grace as well as various other functions and elements of service, from reserving a table (by telephone or via digital channels) and greeting you as a guest, to ordering, addressing special needs and bidding you farewell. Only a fine dining restaurant can get full score here.

Implementation, efficiency

We look for “concept delivery” but also for general execution of service in the form of attention, method and precision/timing of serving/clearing/payment, etc.

Style/attitude

We look for knowledge/professionalism, performance, attitude/“tone”, and the ability to interact with diners at the appropriate level within the framework of the concept, all the while making them feel comfortable and appreciated.


10-12 points elementary but solid service
13-15 points well-executed service
16-18 points very well-executed, top-class service
19-20 points excellent, top-class service on an global level

AMBIANCE, SETTING & ATMOSPHERE: MAXIMUM 20 POINTS

We consider every aspect of the restaurant’s ambiance, from the physical setting to how it affects you emotionally as a diner. The assessment of the setting is based on the establishment’s interior and exterior, from the architecture to micro-levels (Like the table setting). The restaurant’s emotional character/personality is important, as is the atmosphere - to which restaurant owners, staff and diners all contribute. Some restaurants have that “little extra something” which makes all the difference.

Design/environmental concept

We look for superiority in concept, profile, personality and design quality, from classic spaces to contemporary architectural trends - from castle to cabin.

Functionality/comfort

We consider the attention given to comfort and seating, aspects like the foyer/bathrooms, acoustics and air quality. Poor acoustics and kitchen odors receive negative points, as does the apparent absence of concern for the disabled, people with allergies and pregnant women.

Additional environmental assets

We consider aspects like scenic locations, attractions such as terraces, lounge/bar areas, open kitchens, chef’s tables, art and interaction among/with guests, etc.

Social Environment

Diners themselves are considered an ambiance-raising factor that affects the restaurant’s allure, as does its regulars and the place’s public profile. We also consider the atmosphere of a restaurant’s neighbourhood, as well as how well the staff blends in.

”It’s in the walls.”

The whole restaurant and its ethos are considered a mood factor.


9-10 points an inoffensive setting with a neutral atmosphere
11-14 points a setting/atmosphere in keeping with the entire experience
15–17 points a setting/atmosphere that adds to the entire experience
18-20 points a setting/atmosphere that in and of itself is worth a visit

Classifications

Global masters level

Ranked according to food score.

Points criteria

80 points, of which at least 36 are for food.

Description

Restaurants where the kitchen achieves outstanding and original cooking in the Global Masters category. The overall experience is on a very high level.

Masters level

Ranked according to food rating.

Points criteria

75 points, of which at least 32 are for food.

Description

Restaurants where the kitchen achieves very interesting cooking in the Masters category. The overall experience is on a very high level.

Very fine level

Ranked according to the overall rating.

Points criteria

67 points, of which at least 28 are for food.

Description

A pleasant overall experience in which the kitchen achieves well executed cooking.

Fine level

Ranked according to the overall rating.

Points criteria

60 points, of which at least 22 are for food.

Description

A pleasant overall experience in which the kitchen achieves well executed cooking.