Most food blogs and restaurant reviews tend to describe restaurant styles using terms like casual dining, bistro, or cafe. These are not just fancy words used to make an article about the different restaurants in the Philippines sound catchy. They are supposed to give us an insight of what type of restaurant it is, and what we can expect when we come and dine here.
Factors Affecting Restaurant Styles
There are a lot of different factors that determine a restaurant’s overall dining style. Some of these factors are:
- Menu style – How the different food items offered in the restaurant are presented to the diners for them to choose.
- Food service – How the diners place their order, receive their food, and pay for them.
- Dinnerware – This is pretty self-explanatory. It looks into what kind of dinnerware and utensils are used when dining in a restaurant.
Popular Restaurant Styles in the Philippines
Fast Food Restaurants
Fast food restaurants is one of the most common restaurant styles found in the Philippines. In this particular type of restaurant, speed is the most important factor, making this an ideal choice for those diners that are pressed for time. These restaurants use static menus—menus that are either laminated and hung overhead or printed on the walls—to make it easier for diners to see and choose what they would like to have. Although there are a lot of staff here, they would rarely serve you your food (unless you will need to wait for few minutes to get your order).
Fast Casual Dining Restaurants
Fast casual dining restaurants comes in between a fast food and a casual dining restaurant. Fast casual dining restaurants offer limited food service for the diners, often the food is served by the waiting staff after the customer puts their order and pays for it at the counter. Many of these fast casual dining restaurants have an open kitchen where diners can watch as their meals are being prepared.
Casual Style Dining
Casual style dining restaurants provide full table service to their customers. As soon as they are seated, each customer is given an a la carte menu where they can choose their order. The waiting staff takes their order by their table, serves the meals to the customers, and send them the bill after they have finished eating right on their table so that they will not have to go to the counter.
Casual style dining restaurants have a lot of variations, depending on what the owners see as the most appealing to their customers. In addition to their a la carte menu, some casual dining restaurants also offer set menus and buffet-style dining options. Wine and alcoholic beverages are available here, but they are rather limited.
Cafeteria Restaurant Styles
Of all the different types of restaurant styles in the Philippines, this is the most common and most popular. They can be found literally everywhere, from hospitals and shopping mall food courts to makeshift stalls found along the streets of Metro Manila. Here, the customers choose from a selection of ready-cooked food that have been prepared and displayed in a row. Just like fast casual restaurants, cafeteria restaurants rarely provide any table service. Portions that are served here are good for one person.
Fine Dining Restaurants
Fine dining restaurants are usually equated with one word: expensive. While that may be true, that is not the only thing that you can expect from restaurants that use this dining style. For starters, the waiting staff here are dressed in formal attire, and do more than just take your order and serve your food. Waiters in fine dining restaurants have been trained to give diners suggestions and recommendations based on what they want. Diners also use fine dinnerware, silverware and crystal glasses. The menu in fine dining restaurants change every once in a while, depending on the chef creating the dishes. Among all the different restaurant styles, this is the only one where diners are expected to follow a strict dress code, and observe proper dining etiquette.