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Friday, December 24, 2010

The Different Restaurant Styles

A Waitress taking a breakfast order at Kahala ...Image via Wikipedia
By Ralph Moldovano

The Many Varieties of Eateries

There are several various different styles and varieties of places of dining. It's interesting to note that in countries outside of North America, fast-food establishments don't fit the conventional definition "restaurant" that well. In fact, the term sit-down restaurant, which began as a way of differentiating fast-food restaurants from the normal variety, is nowhere to be found as well.

The term restaurant, within these locales, refers to the variety of restaurant where you sit down at a table to dine, and... here's the important part... are waited on by a waiter or waitress. Family-styled dining, and casual-dining as well are almost completely non-existent terms.

What are the separate categories of restaurant dining? There is 4 basic categories identified by the common vernacular at large (mostly in the United States). These may include: fast food, family style, casual dining, and fine dining. Fast food dining entails rapid turn-over of orders and swiftness of service. Fast casual dining falls into this category as well, however, with fast casual dining non-disposable cutlery, not characteristic of fast-food, is used.

Family style restaurants often hold true to their name, in that they may be very idiosyncratic and run by a single family. Often they'll have a lower price-point, and bench seats, but may offer non-disposable cutlery as well. Think a little neighborhood diner when you think of a family style restaurant.

The third category of dining known as casual dining is a type of dining experience roughly somewhere in between fast food like McDonald's and fine dining, and probably a step ahead of family style eating establishments. They usually are part of a chain. Most often they have a bar with staff, a medium-priced menu, and serving staff to serve you.

Fine dining often has a fancier interior, more highly trained staff with an obvious dress code, and highly specific dedicated meal courses. Fine dining restaurants frequently have more of an eye towards "atmosphere," and often have a required standard of dressand conduct code of their guests. Usually fine dining is limited to just a few locations instead of being a part of a large chain, which is more common of "casual dining" restaurants.

All other permutations of restaurants generally are various spin-offs of fast casual dining, and casual dining. A good example of this are cafes. In most cafes, you do not have a waitress, however, your food will be brought to you. The availability of mouth-watering food can often be limited to sweets and breakfast, accompanied with an outdoor patio.

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