A restaurant, or, more formally, an eating establishment, is a privately owned business that prepares, cooks and serves food or drinks to patrons. In most Western countries, all mid to high-scale restaurants also serve alcohol including beer and wine. Others may only offer a single meal (such as a local pizza place may only offer breakfast) or they might serve two meals (e.g., a cafeteria may only offer lunch). Restaurants are available in almost every country.
An eating establishment can be privately owned by one person or it can be publicly funded. Publicly funded restaurants receive government funding, either from a town, city, national or state-level office, which then covers the costs of the restaurant’s meals. Private non-government owned restaurants receive funds from their own profits or their own investors. No matter how the funds for a restaurant are raised, the majority of restaurants begin their business by selecting the recipes, menu and then paying for the cooking and serving services themselves.
In almost all developed countries, restaurant etiquette requires that waiters serve all food items to the diners. In some countries, only certain types of food may be taken from the kitchen and only in specific restaurants. Waitresses, for example, take orders only for coffee, juice or other non-alcoholic beverages. Some countries have taken this further and have laws limiting what food may be taken from the kitchen. For example, in Japan only canned Japanese food may be taken from the kitchen. It’s not clear exactly what the rules are in other countries, but generally, waitresses won’t serve you anything unless you ask them.
Many people are confused about the difference between a burger joint and a restaurant. In a burger joint, there is usually only one or two dining tables, and many customers dine on a conveyor belt system moving up and down the aisles. In a fine dining restaurant, by contrast, there may be several different levels of dining experience, with the main courses, side orders and desserts being served at different levels. The customer may also be offered alcoholic drinks on the go, as well as more casual foods such as sandwiches, fries and other fare. Fine dining establishments tend to be much more expensive than burger joints, though they tend to be more successful because of their reputation.
Eating at a casual eatery tends to be a lot less formal than dining in a restaurant. Many of these places are usually set up for folks who live locally or who work nearby. In these settings, casual dining means food and drinks on the go. Many have smaller menus than traditional restaurants, but they are often more creative with how they serve their dishes. They may offer interesting salads or delicious grilled dishes that aren’t too heavy on the calories.
Fast food restaurants are great places to eat when you don’t have much time to sit down and eat a full meal. However, these eating places often use grease products in their cooking, which can be unhealthy. By going to a place where the chefs prepare their meals in a more healthy way, you can enjoy a more healthy meal without compromising your standards for good health. A fast food restaurant that serves vegetarian or kid friendly meals may also offer a few dishes from non-conventional cuisines.
Wait staff in many hotels, motels and inns are generally overworked and overpriced. On the other hand, at some quality places, wait staff often includes helpful waitresses and helpful front desk staff who can help a customer find the right room or the best meal. Sometimes it’s just more convenient to order a meal in and wait for it to be delivered. In some cases, the prices of these kinds of meals may be cheaper, which may make it worth it if the price difference allows for a better meal or entertainment value. Of course, this doesn’t always apply to all waiting staff at fine dining establishments.
Many casual dining establishments, like small tapas bars and bistros, have great food served by friendly and informative servers. Casual Spanish restaurants, Mexican restaurants, and Italian restaurants are often filled with people enjoying themselves and socializing with each other. By having a staff that is knowledgeable about the different types of food served in the restaurant and is able to speak the native language of the people eating, you will be able to encourage interaction and keep your guests happier and more comfortable. A great Spanish restaurant in the West End of any city will be able to provide authentic, flavorful food to its patrons while saving them money.