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The Insigna certificate is an initiative of the Gremi de Restauració de Barcelona, the city's professional association for the restaurant industry. Insigna enjoys the support of the Barcelona City Council and Font Vella and is designed to promote industry excellence. Certification is voluntary and carried out in an independent and impartial manner. The process considers a host of factors that directly impact restaurant quality.
Please contact us if you are interested in obtaining Insigna certification for your restaurant so that we can get the process started as soon as possible.

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Main evaluation factors

Customer service

  • Appropriate and friendly service over the phone
  • Efficient reservation system
  • Staff quickly attends to customers when they arrive
  • Reasonable wait times
  • Accurate “information about ingredients and preparation of dishes
  • Food quality (ingredients, flavour, temperature, etc.)
  • Friendly service by restaurant staff
  • Staff follows up on customers' needs
  • Clear and precise bill

Venue conditions

  • Outdoor signage, lighting and windows in good condition
  • Clean and tidy interiors
  • Appropriate indoor lighting
  • Interiors free from unpleasant odours and smoke
  • Interiors free from unpleasant noise
  • Comfortable temperature
  • Bathrooms in good condition and adequately stocked (toilet paper, hand towels, soap, etc.)
  • Barrier-free architecture
  • Comfortable table and furniture arrangement

Internal organization and staff

  • Well organized operations and appropriate workplace environment
  • Languages spoken by staff (Spanish, Catalan and a third language)
  • Staff is familiar with the ingredients and preparation of menu items as well as any allergens

Food management

  • Proper food conservation
  • No expired products
  • Proper freezing and defrosting methods
  • Monthly inventory of available stock
  • General kitchen cleanliness and tidiness
  • Vegetarian and gluten-free menus, as well as menus for people with diabetes


  • Well-marked fire extinguishers
  • Well-marked emergency exits that open easily and are free from obstructions
  • Smoke detectors
  • Staff is familiar with workplace safety and hazard prevention
  • Proper waste sorting, including cooking oil
  • Separate, well-ventilated refuse room with street access


  • Useful information provided on website or other online channels
  • Easy online contact and booking
  • Customer satisfaction and online reputation management (TripAdvisor, etc.)

Visits by inspectors

SGS is the company responsible for certifying Insigna restaurants. The company is internationally recognized for its impartiality, independence and experience in the area of professional and business certification. Inspectors visit the restaurant twice in an anonymous and confidential fashion.

First visit

Inspectors evaluate the restaurant using the mystery shopping technique, pretending to be two ordinary customers without revealing their identity. The evaluation begins with the first phone call to make a reservation.
During the meal, the inspectors instigate certain situations that are common at restaurants to assess the staff's response: indecision when ordering, questions about menu items and their ingredients, a minor incident at the table, etc. After dessert and coffee, they pay their bill.

Second visit

The second visit takes place on a different day and at a different time so that inspectors can evaluate the restaurant at lunch, dinner, during the week and at weekends. Much like on the first visit, the inspectors behave like two ordinary customers, but this time they reveal their identity at the end of the meal in order to continue the evaluation.

Back-of-house analysis and report

The restaurant's manager assists the inspectors in analysing everything that customers don't get to see: the kitchen, warehouse and pantry; handling of raw materials, internal operations, etc. This analysis is mandatory for Insigna certification and must be carried out during the second visit and cannot be postponed.
Using the assessments made during both visits, the inspectors prepare a detailed report that includes a score for each analysed factor. They also include subjective assessments, identify weaknesses and make recommendations for improvement. The report is confidential and delivered solely to the restaurant's manager. It is valid for one year. Following this period, the restaurant may request to renew its certification, which is subject to another evaluation.

Awarding of certificate

Restaurants that pass the certification process receive an official Insigna certificate, a sticker to display on the restaurant's door, and an exclusive award in concrete and copper engraved with the restaurant's name in recognition of its effort and commitment to providing excellent quality and service.

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