Standalone outlets are to be charged a £180 fee to be included in the AA's rosette scheme and annual restaurant guide in the future.
The awarding body said that it was necessary to charge the fee in order to ensure the inspection scheme, which has operated since 1956, remains sustainable. The charge will help to cover the cost of visits to sites by AA inspectors, who pay their own bill and provide feedback to chefs and restaurateurs.
An AA spokesperson said: "In return for the fee, restaurants will be part of the rosette scheme, receiving: website entry, with up to 20 images; an image in the Restaurant Guide; an entry in the next Restaurant or Pub Guide; the AA's quarterly magazine, Quality Matters; regular newsletter and industry updates; and more."
The fee will only apply to restaurants rated with one or two rosettes. Eateries which are awarded three, four or five rosettes will not have to pay the fee, neither will those that don't reach a one-rosette standard.
The AA Restaurant Guide 2020 features 782 one-rosette restaurants, 933 with two rosettes, 210 with three, 50 with four and 18 with five.
The fees which have been charged by the AA for its consultancy and training services to the industry over the past 15 years will continue to be available as a separate cost.
Restaurants with rooms and hotels are already charged a fee to be part of the AA scheme and will continue to pay the same fee, based on the number of bedrooms, ranging from £551.50 for one-star properties up to £1,874.70, excluding VAT, for five-star hotels.
The AA confirmed that the AA Restaurant Guide 2021 will be published in September.
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