Michelin Star Mayor

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I’m dedicated to this blog.


I go out of my way to bring you interesting things. Recently, I went on a serious research trip to gather important information just for you.


I went to The Hand and Flowers in Marlow.


I can tell you’re impressed. You’re the discerning type, you know that it’s Tom Kerridge’s pub with two Michelin stars. And that It’s amazing.


But that’s not why I mention it, it’s not because I’m boasting either. It made me wonder how a rating system for civic leaders would work.


How many stars would you get?


Michelin are very secretive about how they award stars but broadly it’s based on these criteria:

  • Mastery of techniques
  • The personality of Chef
  • Consistency between visits


I think that’s a very interesting set of criteria and I think we may be able to devise a similar set of indicators to measure the quality of civic leaders. In the interest of bringing you high quality articles, I thought I’d give it a go.


Mastery of technique


If I knew more about food, or I paid more attention to MasterChef then I could rave about the skills displayed by the kitchen at the Hand and Flowers.


Thankfully I’m on slightly safer ground when it comes to talking about civic skills.


There are a lot of them. Leadership and organisation are important, they’d definitely be something the mayoral inspectors would look for. They also keep an eye out for communication skills: from public speaking to engaging on line, from interpersonal skills to dealing with the media.


There are many skills and any Mayor wishing to achieve a star should master them.




I guess they don’t mean does the chef come across well on TV. It’s more about whether they’ve put their stamp on the restaurant and on the food.


I think this will be something the civic inspectors will pay particular attention to. I’ve meet too many people that think once they’re wearing a chain they should act all mayoral.


People don’t want to meet someone pretending to be important, they want to meet you. I know that is hard for some of you to accept as you’re too modest to believe that people want to meet you. But it’s true, people are interested in your personality.


People want to meet the real you, put on a chain not a mask. Click To Tweet


Let your personality shine through everything you do. If you’re not sure how that works here is a sign that explains everything.





If you want to be the best you can’t afford to have off days. I’m sure the Hand and Flowers delivers the same great food every day. In fact, such is my commitment that I’m prepared to go back to check, just for you.


In the same way, you must be consistent. Each person you meet must receive the same sparkling attention. I know that is hard when you’ve already meet 100 people and your face hurts from smiling. But the thing is, it’s a special moment meeting a civic leader, so it should be special every time.


At risk of being controversial, maybe that means going to fewer events. Maybe it’s about doing fewer engagements so you can concentrate more on the ones you do.


After all, the Hand and Flowers serves fewer people that McDonalds. That doesn’t make them a failure.


Ultimately, technique, personality and consistency all build toward one thing, they all create the experience.


We’re in the experience business


Yes, the food was great but there was so much more to it than that.


The staff where fantastic, friendly and welcoming. They were attentive while still being relaxed. They created just the right atmosphere. The food was delivered in an unhurried way giving us time to enjoy our meal without feeling rushed.


When I booked the table, they asked if anyone had any special diets so I mentioned my wife was vegetarian. When we sat down they presented her with a vegetarian menu. They had a special menu that only had vegetarian food on it. The little touches like that make you think, wow!


That’s what you need to do


Civic leaders are in the experience business. The food is just the starting point, you need the skills, you need a personality, you need consistency but they need to build into an experience. Meeting you should feel like a million dollars.


Is it a good experience to meet you?


If it is, when you meet a civic inspector you’re sure to be awarded a star or two.

Duncan Bhaskaran BrownMichelin Star Mayor

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