Types of Restaurants and Business Formats.

There are many types of restaurants to choose from. Broadly, the choice falls into restaurant category, cuisine range and business format. The restaurant industry consists of a wide variety of categories: full service restaurants, fine dining, casual dining, fast casual restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, snack bars, quick service restaurants, food courts, take-out stands, street stalls, kiosks and other eating joint formats. These formats are further divided based on the food they serve. Either they are specialty restaurants specialising in one cuisine, or multi-cuisine restaurants, which means serving a variety of dishes from around the world. Furthermore, the prospective restaurateurs have three main business formats to choose from: the start-up model, acquiring a running restaurant and buying a franchise. Let us examine restaurant categories, cuisine range and business formats in some detail.

Restaurant Categories

As discussed above, there are many categories of restaurants. This book will deal with four basic types of restaurants: Fine dining, Casual dining, Cafe and Quick Service Restaurant (QSR). These are marked by the level and nature of the service. As the name suggests, QSR category offers quick service and the level of service keeps increasing and is at the ultimate in the fine dining restaurant. The other categories of restaurants can be seen as variations of these four categories. Thus, kiosks and street stalls are a more basic variation of the QSR category. Coffee shops and snack bars are a variation of the cafe. Fast casual restaurants may not give full service at the table but offer a better quality of cuisine.

Let us deal with these four categories in some more detail.

Quick Service Restaurant (QSR)

Quick service is a restaurant that focuses on speed of service at a price that is light on pocket. These restaurants offer minimum table services. Fast food restaurants or QSR cater to ‘meat-sweet diet’ and are known for their short food preparation time. They offer limited menu, which is readily available in take away, though seating is also an option. These are different from the traditional restaurants in the sense that they serve food in a disposable container/plate and do not use any cutlery.


The traditional interior design of QSR includes hard surface, bright lighting and primary colours as they facilitate easy maintenance, fast turnover and upbeat energy. Provision is made for children as very often QSR serve the entire family. Play areas for children are also found in some of the restaurants. However, they need to be positioned well so that parents can eat while they can keep an eye on their kids.


In a QSR format, speed of delivery and low cost are key considerations. Customers can be expected to eat the food served to them from the disposable containers in the interests of speed. Rarely is there any table service, customers are most often expected to pick up their food at the counter.

We will cover the remaining three categories in our subsequent posts. Write in to us for any queries, information on the categories of restaurants and the latest QSR trends in India.


Clip to Evernote

Quitter Twitter


I am a Quitter. I am the Change!

Add New Comment