The Eight Different Types of Restaurants

The Eight Different Types of Restaurants

Restaurants have grown from just simple catteries to well-designed spaces with intricate menus to keep up with the more discerning tastes of diners. While each restaurant has its unique characteristics like having leading-edge commercial kitchen equipment that set it apart from the rest, restaurants still have some common denominators that put them into certain categories in the food industry. Here, we look at eight of the most popular types of restaurants today:
  1. Casual Dining

This is what you’d imagine a typical restaurant to be, a casual place where you can enjoy a good meal and a relaxing ambiance without the need to dress up. Casual dining restaurants offer table service and moderately priced menus that make them one of the most attractive for customers. Most of these restaurants also specialise in a cuisine or fusion cuisines, and that’s where they base their décor on.

  1. Fine Dining

Think cocktail dresses and coats eating Wagyu steak and drinking champagne in  a sophisticated space with fine silver and China dinnerware. Fine dining restaurants are the epitome of luxurious dining, and they’re usually visited by customers for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays or important milestone.

When you visit a fine dining restaurant, you are expected to follow a formal dress code and fine dining etiquette, and you can also expect the restaurant’s staff to follow strict rules for taking and serving meals to ensure that you only get the best experience possible.  Some of these high-end restaurants even take the experience further by offering you a sommelier who can give you advice on the best food and wine pairings.  When it comes to ambiance, fine dining restaurants spare no expense in every detail that you can find—from the hospitality equipment, furniture to the napkins. Of course, you also expect more for this kind of experience.

  1. Family Style

A family style restaurant is just like any typical restaurant except for the menu offerings. Instead of individual dishes, family style restaurants offer shareable platters that guests can enjoy as a group. Other restaurants also serve both individual and family style menus to give customers more diverse options. In most cases, you’d want to dine at a family style restaurant when you’re eating as a group on special occasions such as birthdays, and while you can still expect table service, you’ll be eating communal style where guests pass around the dishes.

Most family style restaurants offer a more laidback atmosphere to make customers feel like they’re just at home, although some restaurants now offer a more upscale look and feel to cater to a more upscale look and feel to cater to a more high-end clientele who still want to enjoy family style dining.

  1. Contemporary Casual

Contemporary casual restaurants are the newest of the bunch, but they’re gaining a huge following because of their ability to combine a laidback atmosphere with sophisticated food that follow  eco-friendly protocols. Most contemporary casual restaurants these days are all about offering healthy fusion cuisines with some even serving farm to table dishes that are very attractive to a growing number of health-conscious diners. When you walk into one of these restaurants,  you’ll notice that they feature a modern yet trendy ambiance that emphasizes on spaces that offer the perfect backdrop for an Instagram photo. They’re also all about food presentation that’s one of the reasons they gain so much hype on social media.

  1. Fast Food

We all have a favourite fast food joint, and we always go back to it when we need comfort food. From Subway to McDonald’s, fast food restaurants are named so because they offer fast meals through counter or drive-thru service. They also come in chains of restaurants that serve the same exact menu in disposable plates, trays, bowls and cups, and they usually offer a very casual, relaxing ambiance that anyone can enjoy, although some fast food restaurants are now reinventing their interior design to look more modern and trendy.

  1. Fast Casual

With more people looking for a quick but healthier bite, there are now a growing number of fast casual restaurants that operate similarly to fast food but offer healthier menu options for those who want to enjoy a good meal at an affordable price. The quality of food in these restaurants are usually higher than fast food but more affordable than casual dining, and they offer counter service. In terms of décor, you can expect a casual but contemporary vibe that’s more upscale than fast food restaurants but still very relaxing and comfortable.

  1. Buffet

Of course, who hasn’t been to a buffet? Also called “all you can eat” restaurants, they allow guests to create their own dining experience by laying out pre-cooked dishes for them to choose from. Most of these restaurants usually follow a theme or cuisine such as Indian, Chinese or Japanese food while others fuse different cuisines to give guests more options.

Depending on the price per person, a buffet can offer moderate to upscale food, and it usually includes everything from salads, soups, appetizers, main courses and dessert. In terms of décor, most of these buffet restaurants follow the theme they have to give customers the complete dining experience.

  1. Food Trucks

Food trucks are gaining a lot of popularity today because of their relaxed vibe that offer a sense of community. Food trucks offer quick meals following different cuisines, and they are easy to grab because they’re usually parked on the streets or at a park, although some may only be available on certain days of the week. Food trucks also serve simple comfort food and bite-sized snacks that are easy to eat while on the go or at the park.

While food trucks have been around for many years, a lot of newcomers now feature more upscale offerings that give you the experience of being in a restaurant but in a more laidback vibe.



So if you’re planning to start your own restaurant, choose what type of establishment you want to own first depending on the market that you’re trying to reach, your skillset and of course, your budget.

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