10 Different Types of Restaurants
Discover the types of restaurants and what makes each unique. There’s a restaurant for all budgets and occasions. What is your favorite type of restaurant?
There are many different types of restaurants out there, and each has its pros and cons. Knowing what makes every type of restaurant unique matters, especially if you enjoy going out for dinner.
Well, here’s all you need to know about the different types of restaurants and how to choose one for your next night out. Going out for lunch or dinner is fun, but not all restaurants offer the same service! Here’s what you need to know.
What Are The Different Types of Restaurants?
There are over one million restaurants in the United States, and they employ over 15 million workers. We all visit restaurants from time to time, and they’re part of our lifestyle.
Restaurants, though, come in all sizes and styles. No two restaurants are the same unless, of course, they’re part of a restaurant chain. Still, it’s safe to say every restaurant has its personality, and each appeals to certain people.
Knowing about the different types of restaurants is helpful, especially if you’re part of the industry. We can all benefit from some extra culinary knowledge.
10 Types of Restaurants
There are many ways of classifying restaurants. You can distinguish the different types of restaurants from the food they serve or their size, but it’s the type of service that ultimately defines them.
These are the ten most common types of restaurants, and each offers a unique food experience. What’s your favorite kind of restaurant?
1. Casual Dining Restaurants
Casual dining restaurants are the most common type of restaurant. These aren’t the cheapest or the most expensive options, and the food served can vary widely.
This is the type of place you visit with the family or your coworkers after work. Expect a full service with everything delivered to your table by a server. These restaurants can also have alcoholic beverages on sale. A relaxed environment and medium-quality food define casual dining restaurants; they’re just crowd-pleasing and inviting.
2. Fast Casual Restaurants
We’ll talk about fast-food restaurants in a second, but we’re pretty sure you’re familiar with them. Well, fast-casual restaurants borrow plays from the fast-food playbook but also from casual dining restaurants.
The food is often quick and easy to prepare, and the menu can be limited. Still, the restaurant invites you to dine in and spend some time at the table. Panera and Chipotle are famous examples of the category. The food in fast-casual restaurants is often a good value for what you get.
3. Family-Style Restaurants
Family-style restaurants follow one of the oldest service models, but they’re still prevalent. Think of old-fashioned Italian or Asian restaurants where food is served center table family-style. The food is wholesome and often hearty in family-style restaurants, and the portions are abundant, as they’re meant to be shared.
Buffet tables are not uncommon in family-style restaurants, and although the food quality is certainly not the best, this type of restaurant is popular and leaves everyone satisfied. No one leaves one of these establishments hungry.
4. Ghost Restaurants
Ghost restaurants are relatively new, and they’re a unique type of restaurant. You can’t eat here.
Ghost restaurants work behind closed doors, and they cater to delivery services. With the rise of food delivery apps and other speedy services, ghost restaurants are more prevalent than ever. And although you can’t visit one of these, we’re sure you eat food made in a ghost restaurant at least once a week. As you see, different types of restaurants serve distinct purposes.
5. Fast-Food Restaurants
Let’s now talk about a familiar type of restaurant. Fast-food chains follow a simple model — a limited menu of inexpensive, average-quality food, often a bit unhealthy as well.
These restaurants operate in large chains, and you can expect the same menu and a similar service at every venue. McDonald’s and every other fast-food chain capitalize on this uncomplicated business model. There’s no full service in fast-food restaurants, so you must stand in line and pick up your order at the counter.
Cafés are type of restaurant inspired by the old bistros in Europe, where coffee and a limited menu of sandwiches and pastries are the only items on the menu.
Not all coffee shops are restaurants, and not all cafés are just about the coffee. Some cafés offer attractive menus, often featuring comfort food and dishes that imitate home-cooked meals. Most cafes offer a full service, with servers and all, but others fall in the fast-casual category, and you must order your meal at the counter.
Dinners are an all-American type of restaurant born on the highways and in small towns across the country. These are family-oriented eateries offering classic meals and comforting food to locals and travelers alike.
Dinners are a dying breed, though, as few remain unchanged despite being immensely popular in the mid-20th century. Despite being casual and inexpensive, dinners offer a full service, although you can also sit at the counter. Don’t expect fancy dishes or alcoholic beverages from most diners — these are budget-friendly and family-oriented establishments.
8. Street Food Stands
Believe it or not, street food stands are a type of restaurant. After all, you can eat there for a price. There are many different street food stands, from well-established street corner venues to pushcarts in parks and zoos.
Street food is often inexpensive, and it’s made with cheap ingredients. Still, people swear by their favorite street food two-biters.
Not all street food stands are regulated, and some are real health threats, particularly in less developed countries. Still, as long as people look for a quick bite, street food stands will always exist.
9. Food Trucks
Food trucks are a more sophisticated type of street food stand. One with wheels. Food trucks go back to the wild west when food was sold from chuckwagons, but modern food trucks are incredibly sophisticated, with complete kitchens and refrigeration.
Food trucks might serve comfort food, fast food or refined food on par with the finest restaurants. Most food trucks move around and capitalize on festivals, sports events or concerts. However, the best food trucks have quite a large fan base, and people follow them around.
10. Fine Dining Restaurants
Fine dining restaurants are the pinnacle of the restaurant industry. These are the best of the best, and you pay a premium for eating in one of these establishments.
Expect more than a full service in this type of establishment. Chefs here are professional, and they use the finest ingredients in the most sophisticated and creative way. The chairs, tables and cutlery everything is top-notch. You don’t visit a fine dining restaurant for the food alone but for the experience.