Types of Restaurants

Types Of Restaurants

Various types of restaurant fall into several industry classifications based upon menu style, preparation methods and pricing. Additionally, how the food is served to the customer helps to determine the classification.

Historically, restaurant referred only to places that provided tables where one sat down to eat the meal, typically served by a waiter. Following the rise of fast food and take-out restaurants, a retronym for the older "standard" restaurant was created, sit-down restaurant. Most commonly, "sit-down restaurant" refers to a casual dining restaurant with table service, rather than a fast food restaurant or a "diner", where one orders food at a counter. Sit-down restaurants are often further categorized, in North America, as "family-style" or "formal".

In British English, the term restaurant almost always means an eating establishment with table service, so the "sit-down" qualification is not usually necessary. Fast food and takeaway (take-out) outlets with counter service are not normally referred to as restaurants. Outside of North-America, the terms fast casual dining restaurants, family style, and casual dining are not used and distinctions among different kinds of restaurants is often not the same. In France, for example, some restaurants are called "bistros" to indicate a level of casualness or trendiness, though some "bistros" are quite formal in the kind of food they serve and clientele they attract. Others are called "brasseries," a term which indicates hours of service. "Brasseries" may serve food round the clock, whereas "restaurants" usually only serve at set intervals during the day. In Sweden, restaurants of many kinds are called "restauranger," but restaurants attached to bars or cafes are sometimes called "kök," literally "kitchens," and sometimes a bar-restaurant combination is called a "krog," in English a "tavern."

In Dishing It Out: In Search of the Restaurant Experience, Robert Appelbaum argues that all restaurants can be categorized according a set of social parameters defined as polar opposites: high or low, cheap or dear, familiar or exotic, formal or informal, and so forth. Any restaurant will be relatively high or low in style and price, familiar or exotic in the cuisine it offers to different kinds of customers, and so on. Context is as important as the style and form: a taqueria is a more than familiar site in Guadalajara, Mexico, but it would be exotic in Albania. A Ruth's Chris restaurant in North America may seem somewhat strange to a first time visitor from India; but many Americans are familiar with it as a large restaurant chain, albeit one that features high prices and a formal atmosphere.

Read more about Types Of Restaurants:  Variations

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