A restaurant, or more accurately an eatery, is an establishment that serves and prepares food and beverages to customers in a fast, efficient manner. Many people confuse restaurants with hotels or eateries because the services offered in a restaurant are usually more extensive and complicated than those found in an eatery. However, other eateries may only offer a single menu (such as a diner) or they might only serve a single meal (such as a diner that only serves breakfast). In some countries, a meal can only be consumed within a certain period of time (e.g. in Japan breakfast is considered incomplete until the end of the day), while in other countries, several menus are offered for daily consumption. In addition, in some countries, eateries and hotels may share the same building or facilities, but eateries are generally smaller and serve a smaller number of customers.
There are a number of different types of restaurants, all of which serve different types of foods and beverages. There are fast food restaurants, snack bars, sit down restaurants, family restaurants, international restaurants, country restaurants and so on. In most cases, when choosing a restaurant you have to first decide what type of restaurant you want to find yourself in. Some examples of these types of restaurants include:
Fast food restaurants. Fast food restaurants offer either take-away food that can be delivered to your door. Some fast food chains specialize in particular types of food, such as Chinese restaurants or Japanese restaurants, while others may offer a broad selection of cuisine from around the world. Generally, you can order food off the drive-through or online.
Dining establishments. The typical dining establishment offers eating space on their premises and typically includes a dining room, a formal dining area, a lounge, and an eating area or bar. Some dining establishments may offer dessert tables and coffee shops. These restaurants generally provide a lower price per meal than most other restaurants.
Dining establishments that provide food service. Food service restaurants generally provide a variety of menu choices for a wide range of prices. Some of the different types of food service restaurant available are: takeout, fast food, and fine dining. Most of these dining establishments require their employees to have a minimum level of education, training, and experience. Food service is one of the highest paying jobs in the restaurant industry, however, the labor force is also among the lowest paid.
Fast food restaurants. Many people think of fast food restaurants as places where they get take-away meals, however, these establishments do more than just prepare your meal; they also serve alcoholic beverages. Many of the menus available through this type of restaurant will offer a large variety of alcoholic beverages and mixed drinks. They also do not require much training for their employees, often requiring only a high school diploma or its equivalent. Fast food restaurants typically have very high employee turnover rates, which may make it difficult for those who are looking for a career that offers stability and advancement.
Casual dining restaurants. These establishments generally focus on providing light meals and snacks. Some of the popular casual restaurant dishes include: coffee, nachos, sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, vegetable dishes, pizza, pasta, and seafood.
Luxury restaurants. These restaurants are usually expensive establishments that focus on fine dining and gourmet food service. They often have elaborate waiting areas and extensive menus. The wait service may be one of the best parts of the dining experience, as it allows diners to be served before they arrive. Most luxury restaurants require their wait staff to be extremely trained and well versed in fine dining etiquette.