Choosing a restaurant near me has never been easier. There is an ever-growing selection of eateries to choose from and endless ways to find the right one. Online searching, mobile phone apps or good old-fashioned flyers and newspaper advertising all aim to make your decision easier and more enjoyable.
Restaurants have been a part of the culture of different countries around the globe for hundreds of years. A restaurant is a type of business where you prepare and serve food and drinks to your customers in exchange for money. The food can be eaten on the premises, you can take it out or have it delivered depending on the services offered by the restaurant.
Restaurants vary greatly in their appearance, the food that they serve and the services that they offer. There is such diversity when it comes to restaurants that it is pretty safe to say that you cannot find a single restaurant anywhere in the world where you could order all types of cuisine from every country, there are just too many.
The History of Restaurants
No one knows exactly where the idea of a restaurant came from because in almost every continent and every country, different types of restaurants have existed way back into history.
The idea of selling food for money started in the earliest civilization when currency was first introduced. The growth of cities also correlated with the growth of restaurants throughout history.
The need for public eateries started in the Roman Empire and Ancient China. Peasants and farmers brought their livestock and other goods to the urban markets and as they had to travel for several days just to reach their destination, the need for food and accommodation grew.
Roadside inns became popular because they served meals at a common table to travelers. There were no menus or specials back then, the chef decided what the menu would be for the day and it was truly a case of like it or lump it. This is where the earliest form of restaurant probably started.
Inside the city walls, the living conditions were cramped and most people didn’t have the means to cook their own food so vendors decided to sell precooked and cheap food from small carts, which is where the modern fast food industry can be traced back to.
Types of Restaurant Concepts
We had to travel back in time just to understand where restaurants actually began, so let’s look at some of the modern restaurant concepts that were derived from ancient civilization.
Chains like McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Wendy’s and more have become extremely popular over the last few decades.
People who are on the go or those who do not have the time to wait for a cooked meal usually go to a fast food to order.
One of the hottest trends right now, it is slightly more up-market compared to fast food chains. In a Fast Casual restaurant, they are offering disposable dishes and flatware, but their foods are completely different from fast food chains and are better presented including items such as gourmet breads, organic ingredients, local produce. One of the best examples of fast casual chains is an Open Kitchen where the customers can actually see their food being prepared in front of them.
Family Style Dining
In the United States, this is commonly known as casual style dining because it provides moderately priced entrees from menus along with a mix of different cuisines, individualized sauces, dips or other toppings. This style of restaurant is quite similar with fine dining, but in a lower key setting. The menu is also priced more moderately and the quality is certainly much better when compared to fast food and fast casual chains.
Describes the most exquisite type of restaurant with their main goal being to provide the finest food, service and atmosphere to their customers. This is also the most expensive type of restaurant to operate.
Everything inside is laid out to perfection and you would be expected to be aware of and comfortable with correct dining etiquette.
Definitely very formal and not always everyone’s choice but for the right occasion makes for a memorable experience.
This is much more casual than most restaurant settings and does not offer table service. The customers will order their food from a counter and serve to their tables themselves. Cafés offer coffee, espresso, pastries, sandwiches and light snacks, they don’t usually offer full meals. They are popularly known for their intimate and relaxed atmosphere so people who want to have some alone time or those who don’t want the fuss of a fine restaurant usually choose to eat in a café.
As the name implies, the food will be prepared inside a truck and you can order through an open area at the side.
The food that they serve is cheaper than the other types of restaurants and they also serve faster.
This is the best type of restaurant for people who just want to have a bite before going to work or before going home.
This is a type of restaurant that uses the buffet-dining concept that is more often used in private gatherings. You might even think of catering services when you enter a buffet restaurant. The main goal is to provide the customers with different types of dishes that they can choose from. The guests will have to serve themselves and they can choose whatever food they.
Restaurants also have different specialties. There are some fast food chains with their own specialties such as KFC which is focusing mainly on meals made from chicken. Burger King is focused mainly on burgers though they also offer other meals aside from that.
There are some restaurants that are also focused on specific cuisines. You will find restaurants that only serve Asian cuisines and there are some that are offering western dishes.
Customers do not only choose a restaurant based on how they serve their food, but also on the type of food that they are offering. This is the reason why you can find Chinese, Korean and Italian restaurants almost anywhere in the world.
Restaurants have evolved continuously since ancient times and modern restaurants have become more and more meticulous about the food that they serve. As customers are becoming smarter they tend to pay more attention to the nutritional value and the quality of the food that they are eating.
The spread of Social Media has also meant that people can now find out about that great little restaurant someone else found, so much quicker than in the old days.
Reviews and diners’ comments have had a growing impact on forcing new restaurants to maintain high standards.
However, fast food chains are still the most popular even if many of them are offering food that is not as healthy as it could be. They are trying to bring in more fresh ingredients and healthier items to their menus, but preservatives and other additives are often still present.
Once you know the type of food and style of presentation that a restaurant is offering, you can more easily make a decision as to which one you will be dining at tonight.
Fast food chains focus on speed of delivery and consistency in the end product while fine dining, fast casual and family style dining focus mainly on quality of food and service offered to the customers. With all the different types of restaurants that we have right now, you won’t have a problem finding a “restaurant near me”.
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