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The Pinnacle Guide publishes judging criteria

Michelin-star-inspired The Pinnacle Guide has published its judging criteria and opened a final, month-long public consultation.

L-R: Siobhan Payne, Hannah Sharman-Cox and Dan Dove

The Pinnacle Guide is a bar-rating system ‘equivalent’ to the restaurant industry’s Michelin stars. Similar to The Michelin Guide, The Pinnacle Guide will operate a three-level system, offering one, two, or three ‘Pins’ to recognise the world’s best bars.

The judging criteria will cover six assessment modules: front of house, drinks programme, the look and feel of the bar, the staff, operations, and community.

To be considered for a Pin, bars will self-nominate through an in-depth application form covering the six assessment modules.

Successful applicants will then be subject to a series of anonymous reviews. Reviewers will be a mix of industry professionals and discerning consumers – all of whom will have completed The Pinnacle Guide Reviewer Training Programme.

Bars will not only be assessed by their hospitality, but by their efforts to have a positive social impact.

Hannah Sharman-Cox, Siobhan Payne, and Dan Dove co-founded The Pinnacle Guide.

“By requesting a clear demonstration of concept before an anonymous reviewer steps foot in the door, this allows all bars to showcase their own excellence – recognising cocktail bars of all sizes and styles whilst minimising subjectivity,” the co-founders said in a joint statement.

“It is a completely different way of assessing excellence in bars – and one we hope people will read with an open mind.

“We’re excited to be looking at bar recognition systems in a new way. With no limit to the number of Pins available, we hope that The Pinnacle Guide will be a fresh opportunity for more venues around the world to be recognised – showcasing more of our industry in the most positive light possible.”

The published criteria for judging was put together after months of research and development during the guide’s year-long, in-depth consultancy phase.

This period included several virtual round table discussions, each led by a panel of industry experts. These discussions are available to view on The Pinnacle Guide website.

The Pinnacle Guide will be accepting feedback from the trade until 15 June, when the criteria for rewarding Pin-worthy bars will be finalised.

For further information and to submit feedback, visit

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