In a nutshell, a restaurant is a commercial establishment which provides its customers with food and beverages in exchange for money. Given this very broad definition, one can just imagine the countless businesses across the world in six (or seven counting Antarctica) continents and hundreds of countries that offer the cuisine of the world from haute French restaurants, Spanish tapas bar, English pubs to all-American diners and Mexican cantinas to Japanese robatayaki grills, Chinese noodle houses and Filipino turo-turo (literally translated as “point-point” referring to the way a customer points to a dish displayed on a counter which the proprietor portions out and serves).
Restaurants can be simple 10-seater roadside eateries offering prepared foods at very affordable meals or ritzy Three-Star Michelin awarded fine dining restaurants serving very expensive food served by a multitude of service staff in impeccable uniforms. The largest restaurants in the world can be located in multi-storey establishments with thousands of seats that usually double as banquet venue serving either set menus (lauriats, multi-course meals in Chinese restaurants) or buffets. A restaurant need not be permanently situated in one location. There’s some that literally move on wheels or cross oceans on a luxury cruise ship.
Depending on the level of services provided, there may be a dress code imposed, prior reservations required, and credit cards accepted. The bill can range from a couple pesos to thousands of Euros or millions of lira.
Modernization and globalization have exponentially increased the variations and innovations in terms of food and services offered which gives diners a multitude of choices. Fusion restaurants merging the cuisines of two or more countries are fast becoming popular such as Tex-Mex and Pacific Rim cuisine (showcasing the food of the islands). Outsourced modern delivery services now go beyond pizza and fast food and now even service the occasional fine dining establishment.
Despite this, there are still traditional establishments which serve the authentic cuisine of a small town or village with little frills. This is patronized not only by local patrons but also tourists who want to sample and enjoy the food of the community. Seasoned travelers and gourmets consider several factors in selecting a restaurant to patronize. Some would refer to published guides, magazines and websites while others ask the local community or do simple keyword searches online or visit blogs especially if their looking for something specific like vegan cuisine.
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