Background: Preoperative randomization for postoperative treatment might affect quality of surgery. In the CRITICS trial (ChemoRadiotherapy after Induction chemotherapy In Cancer of the Stomach), patients were randomized before treatment to receive chemotherapy prior to a D1 + gastrectomy (removal of lymph node station (LNS) 1–9 + 11), followed by either chemotherapy (CT) or chemoradiotherapy (CRT). In this analysis, the influence of upfront randomization on the quality of surgery was evaluated. Methods: Quality of surgery was analyzed in both study arms using surgicopathological compliance (removal of ≥ 15 lymph nodes), surgical compliance (removal of the indicated LNS), and surgical contamination (removal of LNS that should be left in situ). Furthermore, the ‘Maruyama Index of Unresected disease’ (MI) was evaluated in both study arms, and validated with overall survival. Results: Between 2007 and 2015, 788 patients with gastric cancer were included in the CRITICS study of which 636 patients were operated with curative intent. No difference was observed between the CT and CRT group regarding surgicopathological compliance (74.8% vs 70.9%, P = 0.324), surgical compliance (43.2% vs 39.2%, P = 0.381), and surgical contamination (59.4% vs 59.9%, P = 0.567). Median MI was 1 in both groups (range CT 0–88 and CRT 0–136, P = 0.700). A MI below 5 was associated with better overall survival (CT: P = 0.009 and CRT: P = 0.013). Conclusion: Surgical quality parameters were similar in both study arms in the CRITICS gastric cancer trial, indicating that upfront randomization for postoperative treatment had no impact on the quality of surgery. A Maruyama Index below five was associated with better overall survival.