Historically, restaurant referred only to places which provide tables where one sits down to eat the meal, typically served by wait-staff. Following the rise of fast food and take-out restaurants, a retronym for the older "standard" restaurant was created, sit-down restaurant. Most commonly, "sit-down restaurant" refers to a casual dining restaurant with table service rather than a fast-food restaurant where one orders food at a counter. Sit-down restaurants are often further categorized as "family-style" or "formal".
--Fast food restaurants : A common feature of fast food restaurants is a lack of cutlery or crockery
-- Family style: restaurants that have a fixed menu and fixed price, usually with diners seated at a communal table such as on bench seats. More common in the 19th and early 20th century, they can still be found in rural communities, or as theme restaurants, or in vacation lodges. There is no menu to choose from, rather food is brought out in courses, usually with communal serving dishes, like at a family meal.
-- Casual dining: a restaurant that serves moderately-priced food in a casual atmosphere. Except for buffet-style restaurants, casual dining restaurants typically provide table service. Casual dining comprises a market segment between fast food establishments and fine dining restaurants
--Fine dining: is a phrase used to describe restaurants that create a serious dining experience. The experience can start with the location and the view. The interior of such restaurants is often purported to be quite elegant and designed in accordance with the restaurant's concept. Service attempts to be impeccable, with chefs and service crew typically hailing from the best culinary schools.
Restaurants fitting the fine dining label are normally highly rated; in the four star range and will provide more nuanced service and more expensive food than a standard sit-down restaurant
--fast casual restaurant: is a type of restaurant which is similar to a fast-food restaurant in that it does not offer full table service, but promises a somewhat higher quality of food and atmosphere. It is a growing concept to fill the space between fast-food and casual dining.
--Brasserie, bistro, pub: In France, a brasserie is a café doubling as a restaurant and serving single dishes and other meals in a relaxed setting. A bistro is a familiar name for a café serving moderately priced simple meals in an unpretentious setting, especially in Paris; bistros have become increasingly popular with tourists. Mainly in the UK and other countries influenced by British culture, the pub (short for public house) today serves a similar dual menu, offering beer and other alcohol along with basic food fare. Traditionally, pubs were primarily drinking establishments, whereas the modern pub business relies on food as well, to the point where gastropubs are known for their high-quality "pub food".
--Dining car:is a railroad passenger car that serves meals on a train in the manner of a full-service, sit-down restaurant.While dining cars are less common today than they were in the past, they still play a significant role in passenger railroading, especially on medium- and long-distance trains.
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