14 Different Types of Restaurants: What's the Best Option for You?

Fine dining restaurants offer diners an exclusive dining experience that often includes several dishes. But before you make a final decision about the type of restaurant you want to open, it's important to understand all the exciting options available to you. From food trucks to haute cuisine, there are 14 different types of restaurants that you can choose from. Food truck, car or stall.

This type of restaurant originated in Paris and is similar to a coffee shop, but with more emphasis on breakfast and lunch dishes than specialty coffees.


. Bistros are limited-service restaurants where guests typically order and pay at the counter, and then sit down at a table where a waiter brings them their food. Bistro menus often include dishes at higher prices than those you would serve in a fast food restaurant, such as artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches and daily offerings of soups and salads.

Casual dining. Casual dining is one of the most popular trends for small businesses among all the different categories of restaurants. That's because casual restaurants are sure to please the crowd with their classic dishes, hearty portions, and prices in between. Examples of highly successful brands include Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, P.

F. Chang's, etc. All of these restaurants offer a friendly, fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Contemporary casual


Contemporary casual restaurants are characterized by their modern style, an energetic atmosphere and innovative dishes and beverages. Prices tend to range from elegant to informal dining. These restaurants often offer hot food trends, such as craft beer (or even kombucha) on tap. They also often use local ingredients and sustainable take-away packaging.

If you love creating menu dishes that combine a fusion of different cuisines, this could be a great business option for you.


. Family-style restaurants offer a casual atmosphere and an affordable selection of dishes with lots of favorite dishes for kids, such as chicken sticks, pizza, and ice cream (plus adult beverages for mom and dad). Among all types of restaurant categories, family-style restaurants are often the preferred choice for birthday parties, graduation dinners and other special occasions.

24-hour service

. Many restaurants offer 24-hour service, so consider how you might approach this logistical aspect of your operation.

A reliable staff and a well-thought-out scheduling system will be the key to your success as the proud new owner of your neighborhood's favorite restaurant.


. Cafes are similar to coffee shops but usually have more seating options and a wider selection of food items on their menus.

Fast casual

. Fast casual restaurants are similar to fast food restaurants but offer higher quality food at slightly higher prices.

These restaurants usually have counter service but provide a more comfortable atmosphere than fast food establishments.

Haute cuisine

. Haute cuisine restaurants are distinguished by their formal dining rooms and table service. Staff members such as hosts and waiters may be dressed in formal attire, while customers may also be expected to dress up for the occasion.

Pop-up. Pop-up restaurants are temporary experiences that usually have an informal dining atmosphere with outdoor seating in a unique setting.

Quick service

. Quick service restaurants are somewhere in between casual dining establishments and fast-food restaurants.

These restaurants generally have counter service, have lower fixed prices compared to casual restaurants, and are known as quick-service restaurants. For example, Chipotle could be considered a quick and casual dining experience.

Business district

. Business districts are often the best market for these types of restaurants since there are many people looking for quick and reasonable lunch options close to the office.

Family style

. Family-style restaurants differ from haute cuisine restaurants and casual restaurants because of the size of the portions served.

Table service is usually available in a family-style restaurant, but portions are larger and meant to be shared between the table rather than on individual plates.

Fast food

. Fast food chains tend to be the most cost-effective option since they already have an established brand that customers recognize. Fast food restaurants can generate profits comparatively at a faster rate.

Informal restaurant

. Many informal restaurants have become profitable depending on the culinary trends they offer and the quality of the food. Most of these establishments can be considered subtypes of fast and casual food restaurants or casual dining restaurants. Now that you know all about the different types of restaurant categories available to you, it's time to decide which one is right for your business!.