Are you looking for some ideas to open a new restaurant? Here is a list of 15 different types of restaurant concepts from which you can draw inspiration.
Here we go. You thought about it over and over again, and now everything seems clear; you want to open a restaurant. Fine. But what type of restaurant? Potentially, I can list a great deal of different kinds of restaurant concepts, and maybe it would be an infinitive series.
Restaurants range from unpretentious family-run eateries for people working nearby with simple food at low cost, to high-priced places serving food and wine in a formal setting.
Below, I’ve written a list of 15 popular categories of restaurant to provide you with an outline of the main concepts that exist. Bear in mind that there is no winning typology, but rather a winning marketing plan.
This classification is based on the type of food they serve in addition to its service methodology.
15 popular categories of restaurant
Fast food is a type of restaurant in which customers have a quick meal. This consists mainly of burgers, hot dogs, steaks, French fries, fried onion, pizzas, sandwiches and the massive use of different sauces like mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup.
Fast food is typically characterized by a relatively modest cost and the wide distribution of outlets. The clientele features mainly the younger age groups, but also an increasing proportion of adults for reasons related to working rhythms.
Fast food is often considered synonymous of unhealthy food for the poor quality and variety of ingredients and for the abundance of fried, fatty, salty and sugary items.
For over 50 years, McDonald’s has been dominating the fast food market.
These are small restaurants within or close to a workplace patronized by employees. A cafeteria is also inside schools where it is referred to as a dining hall. They are different from coffeehouses, which serve hot beverages like coffee, espresso, tea, and cappuccino.
There is no table service; customers take the food they want and place it on a tray. They pay a flat rate (like for a buffet) or an amount for each item.
Cafeterias or staff canteens are mainly present in the Southern and Midwestern United States.
The tavern or inn is a kind of restaurant in which mainly wine is served along with food and snacks. They are usually located in the suburbs or along highways.
The term “inn” historically referred to a rural hotel which provided food, wine and accommodation for riding travelers. The wine was the inevitable element around which all other options revolved: food, bedrooms, and prostitution.
At the inn you eat typical local products and in some of them you can get a room for the night.
Usually they feature moderate prices and menus with numerous dishes.
A sandwich bar is an informal restaurant which mainly serves sandwiches, toasts, and drinks.
Some of them also offer other types of food such as salads and meat. Great examples of sandwich bars are Subway and Arby’s.
Usually, they are busy during working days for workers who look for a light meal at a convenient price. Sandwich bars are widespread in Italy where they are called “Panineria” or “Paninoteca.”
These characterize a breakfast, launch or dinner where guests serve themselves from various types of food displayed on counters or tables.
The buffet is offered in various places, especially in restaurants hotels. It typically features a menu according to the formula of “all you can eat” at a pre-fixed price.
In a buffet you’ll find both hot dishes and cold ones. Usually it requires the use of cutlery, but there is also the possibility of a “buffet finger” (finger food) where you can consume food one by one with your hands.
The pizzeria indicates a particular type of Italian restaurant where you can eat mainly pizzas and calzones (folded-over pizza). You often find other types of dishes such as fries and starters of mozzarella and meats.
As with any restaurant, the customers are served at the table by waiters and choose their orders from the menu.
Among all types of restaurant in existence, this is one of the most widespread.
If you don’t know you miss it. This is also the beauty of the pop-up restaurants springing up from day to night and often you don’t even realize their presence.
Moreover, the choice of odd locations is part of their charm: the roofs of historic buildings, courtyards, private houses and unusual spaces where a functional restaurant is set up that will disappear after a few days or months.
Pop-up restaurants are not a new phenomenon; they have been popular in the UK since the 2000s.
The trattoria is a very informal type of restaurant, typically Italian. Usually, there are no printed menus, they serve house wine, and the service is casual. They offer local-regional cuisine, aesthetically poor but with high-quality ingredients.
The cheapness of prices is an attraction of these premises as they feature greater simplicity in service and decor, but not in the quality and quantity of foods offered.
These are informal places where customers serve themselves. The owners of these restaurants aim at quickness rather than quality, having customers in a hurry as their target.
Self-service restaurants are almost everywhere: supermarkets, shopping centers, hotels, close to offices and schools, and so on.
Generally, a snack bar indicates a low-priced food counter which is part of another structure where snacks, soft drinks and light meals are sold.
Also, they might be found on the beaches where sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, salads and other foods are sold.
Cafés are small restaurants serving hot beverages such as coffee and tea. They also sell light meals such as sandwiches and cake.
They range from neighborhood cafes to big chains like Starbucks. They are popular in Italy where they serve hundreds of espressos every day and are called “Bar.”
A bistro is a small restaurant born in Paris, serving economical simple food in an informal setting. It is a very simple place with a reduced size, where the manager and chef converge in one person.
In the bistros, customers may enjoy French cuisine or sip a glass of wine or coffee.
The Osteria was in origin a place born in Italy where they served mainly wine and snacks.
Nowadays, they focus on the food, serving local dishes such as pasta and grilled at shared tables.
They are ideal places to have a great lunch without spending much money.
The food truck is a vehicle equipped with cooking appliances that offers food of any kind from ice-creams to hamburgers and pizzas.
They are particularly popular in the US, while in Europe they are starting to spread.
A steakhouse is a restaurant specializing in steaks and grilled meats.
This type of restaurant usually offers steaks of beef and pork as well as poultry and sheep.
The meat is usually served with vegetable side dishes or roasted potatoes.
Do you want to add some other types of restaurant to this list? Use the comment box below and share your ideas with us.