The Julian Star® is the most distinguished service award in the global hospitality industry. The award is issued by the International Hospitality Institute (IHI).

The Julian Star® (also known as the “J Star”) recognizes hospitality establishments and practitioners that are delivering differentiated, and discerning service to their customers. IHI believes that customer service, at its best, should be intuitive, emotive, and imaginative.

The Julian Star® is named after Saint Julian, the patron saint of hospitality. Winners of the Julian Star® will exemplify the spirit of compassion and humility in their dealings with customers, and a servant leadership approach in their interactions with co-workers. Unlike some industry awards which focus on the amenities, luxury level, and location offered by hospitality establishments, the Julian Star® rates only the quality of customer service delivered by hospitality establishments and the customer service competency of practitioners.

Some may compare the Julian Star® award with the Michelin Star award for restaurants. The Julian Star® is different from the Michelin Star in many respects, although both awards are focused on recognizing excellence. Unlike the Michelin Star, the IHI does not award multiple stars. An establishment or individual is either deserving of the Julian Star® or not. There is no such thing as two, three, four, or five Julian Star®.

Less than 1% of applicants will be conferred with a Julian Star®. Once an individual earns a Julian Star®, the recognition is earned for a lifetime and does not need to be renewed. Establishments that earn the Julian Star® will keep the Julian Star® designation for 3 years.

What Type Of Establishments Are Eligible?

Hospitality establishments such as hotels, restaurants, resorts, casinos, clubs, senior living centers, retirement communities, airlines, peer-to-peer lodging, theme parks, water parks, hospitality schools, bed and breakfasts, and others may be considered for the Julian Star®.

Criteria For Establishments

To be considered for the Julian Star®, the establishment must be able to consistently deliver superlative customer service. Customer service must be timely, efficient, responsive, connective, and resonant. Customer service delivery will be measured using feedback from current and previous customers, verifiable online reviews, and verifiable narratives from current or former hospitality associates.

Assessment Areas

Establishments will be judged in the following areas:
*Overall service personality of the establishment
* Quality of service interaction
* Responsiveness of staff
* Compassionate and service-orientation of staff
* Friendliness of staff
* Problem resolution and follow-up.

On-Site Visits

In some instances, an IHI or AHI representative may visit the establishment to conduct direct observation of how customer service is delivered to customers.

  1. Mastery of service technique
  2. Creativity of service
  3. Responsiveness/timeliness of service
  4. Intuitive skills of staff members
  5. Consistency of service
  6. Emotive problem resolution skills of staff members
  7. Compassion in service
  8. Active listening skills

Which Individuals or Hospitality Companies?

Hospitality professionals working in management and hourly positions worldwide are eligible to earn the Julian Star® award.

Criteria For Individuals

  1. Nominees must be able to demonstrate customer service exceptionalism.
  2. The award committee will take into consideration the community service efforts of nominees.
  3. Nominees who are managers must demonstrate not only exceptional customer service skills, they should also demonstrate service leadership, team leadership, and a servant leadership approach. Who has the nominee developed to be a service leader? How does the nominee lead the team?

Assessment Areas

Individuals will be judged in the following areas:
* Overall service personality
* Documented examples of exceptional customer service
* Customer narratives
* Team member and/or supervisor feedback
* Problem resolution skills.
Shortlisted nominees may be invited to participate in a video interview or respond to a questionnaire.

Julian Award For Restaurants

The Julian Star® Award for restaurants follows the same general guidelines as the award for other hospitality entities, however, the J Star for restaurants will emphasize site visits. More often than not, anonymous reviewers from IHI will visit the restaurant and create a detailed report about their customer service experience. The report will be shared with IHI’s full review committee, after which a decision will be made whether the restaurant has earned the Julian Star® or not.

On-Site Reviewers Will Rate:

  1. Mastery of service technique
  2. Creativity of service
  3. Responsiveness/timeliness of service
  4. Intuitive skills of staff members
  5. Consistency of service
  6. Emotive problem resolution skills of staff members
  7. Compassion in service
  8. Active listening skills

Reviewers Will Not Rate:

  1. Food quality
  2. Food presentation
  3. Ambience
  4. Table Setting
  5. Value of food


Our judges are highly accomplished veterans of the hospitality industry. To protect them from the behind-the-scenes lobbyingand pandering that typically accompanies coveted awards such as the Julian Star®, the judges’ names will be kept confidential.


Open call-to-entry starts in October of each year. Nominations are open to hospitality establishments and hospitality practitioners employed in the United States and other countries. There is no fee to apply. While IHI will solicit sponsorship from corporations, vendors, and individuals, IHI’s award decisions are not influenced by sponsors. There is no self-nomination process; nominees must be nominated by another hospitality professional. Individuals and companies can request a nomination form by sending an email to

Selection And Judging

The awards review committee will meet to create a longlist from the list of nominees. After an extensive review of nominees, committee members will reconvene to whittle the longlist to a shortlist from which the Julian Star® winners will be selected.

Announcement Of Winners

Winners will be announced in the last week of July each year. Winners will be announced in media outlets and social media. Winners may be invited (but not required) to attend the annual Julian Awards Dinner event.

What Award Winners Receive

  1. There are no cash prizes.
  2. Award winners will receive a certificate and a commemorative plaque indicating their achievement at no cost. Award winners will be able to order an optional plaque at their own cost.
  3. Award winners will be featured on IHI’s social media pages.
  4. Award winners will be able to add “Julian Star® Recipient” to their social media profiles, resumes, and promotional materials
  5. Award winners will be announced in media outlets and social media. All Julian Star® winners will be featured on IHI’s website. This will allow for verification of establishments and hospitality professionals who have earned the Julian Star®.

If you or your establishment are interested in being considered for a Julian Star® award, contact us by email at to request additional information on how to apply.

Establishments that express interest in being considered for the Julian Star® must agree to waive lodging and dining charges for the IHI or AHI representative who visits the establishment, in the event that an on-site visit is required.