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For other uses, see Restaurant (disambiguation).
Tom's Restaurant in Manhattan was made internationally famous by Seinfeld
Chefs working in a restaurant kitchen at Sugar Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong A restaurant (/ˈrɛstərənt/ or /ˈrɛstərɒnt/; French: [ʀɛs.to.ʁɑ̃] ( listen)) is a business establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money, either paid before the meal, after the meal, or with a running tab. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services. Restaurants vary greatly in appearance and offerings, including a wide variety of the main chef's cuisines and service models. Contents * 1 Types * 2 Restaurant staff * 3 History * 3.1 Greece and Rome * 3.2 China * 3.3 Western world * 3.4 United States * 4 Guides * 5 Economics * 5.1 Canada * 5.2 European Union * 5.3 United States * 6 Regulations * 7 See also * 8 Notes * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links
Salaama Hut restaurant at a Somali strip mall in Toronto.
Restaurants may be classified or distinguished in many different ways. The primary factors are usually the food itself (e.g. vegetarian, seafood, steak); the cuisine (e.g. Italian, Chinese, Indian, French, Thai) and/or the style of offering (e.g. tapas bar, a sushi train, a tastet restaurant, a buffet restaurant or a yum cha restaurant). Beyond this, restaurants may differentiate themselves on factors including speed (see fast food), formality, location, cost, service, or novelty themes, such as automated restaurants. Restaurants range from inexpensive and informal lunching or dining places catering to people working nearby, with simple food served in simple settings at low prices, to expensive establishments serving refined food and fine wines in a formal setting. In the former case, customers usually wear casual clothing. In the latter case, depending on culture and local traditions, customers might wear semi-casual, semi-formal or formal wear. Typically, customers sit at tables, their orders are taken by a waiter, who brings the food when it is ready. After eating, the customers then pay the bill. For some time the travelling public has been catered for with ship's messes and railway restaurant cars which are, in effect, travelling restaurants. (Many railways, the world over, also cater for the needs of travellers by providing Railway Refreshment Rooms [a form of restaurant] at railway stations.) In recent times there has been a trend to create a number of travelling restaurants, specifically designed for tourists. These can be found on such diverse places as trams, boats, buses, etc. Restaurant staff
A restaurant's proprietor is called a restaurateur /ˌrɛstərəˈtɜr/; like 'restaurant', this derives from the French verb restaurer, meaning "to restore". Professional cooks are called chefs, with there being various finer distinctions (e.g. sous-chef, chef de partie). Most restaurants (other than fast food restaurants) will have various waiting staff; in finer restaurants this may include a host or hostess or even a maître d'hôtel to welcome customers and to seat them, together with a busboy and sommelier. History
Greece and Rome
A Roman Thermopolium in Pompeii.
In Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, thermopolia (singular thermopolium) were small restaurant-bars that offered food and drinks to customers. A typical thermopolium had L-shaped counters into which large storage vessels were sunk, which would contain either hot or cold food. They are linked to the absence of kitchens in many dwellings and the ease with which people could purchase prepared foods. Furthermore, eating out was considered an important aspect of socialising. In Pompeii, 158 thermopolia with a service counter have been identified across the whole town area. They...
References: * Gernet, Jacques (1962). Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250–1276. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0720-0.
* Kiefer, Nicholas M. (August 2002). "Economics and the Origin of the Restaurant" (PDF). Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly,: pp 5–7. doi:10.1177/0010880402434006.
* Spang, Rebecca L. (2000), The Invention of the Restaurant. Harvard University Press
* West, Stephen H
* "Early Restaurants in America". UNLV Libraries Digital Collections. University of Nevada Las Vegas. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
* Fleury, Hélène (2007), "L 'Inde en miniature à Paris. Le décor des restaurants", Diasporas indiennes dans la ville. Hommes et migrations (Number 1268-1269, 2007): 168–73.
* Haley, Andrew P. Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880–1920. (University of North Carolina Press; 2011) 384 pp
* Lundberg, Donald E., The Hotel and Restaurant Business, Boston : Cahners Books, 1974
* Whitaker, Jan (2002), Tea at the Blue Lantern Inn: A Social History of the Tea Room Craze in America. St. Martin 's Press.
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