Restaurants range from inexpensive and informal lunching or dining places catering to people working nearby, with modest food served in simple settings at low prices, to expensive establishments serving refined food and fine wines in a formal setting.

The travelling public has long been catered for with ship’s messes and railway restaurant cars which are, in effect, travelling restaurants. Many railways, the world over, also cater for the needs of travellers by providing railway refreshment rooms, a form of restaurant, at railway stations. In the 2000s, a number of travelling restaurants, specifically designed for tourists, have been created.

Tourism is travel for pleasure; also the theory and practice of touring.
Tourism is travel for pleasure; also the theory and practice of touring.

Many restaurants are small businesses, and franchise restaurants are common. There is often a relatively large immigrant representation, reflecting both the relatively low start-up costs of the industry (thus making restaurant ownership an option for immigrants with relatively few resources) and the cultural importance of food. The main competitor to the Michelin guide in Europe is the guidebook series published by Gault Millau.

A chef’s table is a table located in the kitchen of a restaurant, reserved for VIPs and special guests. Patrons may be served a themed tasting menu prepared and served by the head chef. Restaurants can require a minimum party and charge a higher flat fee. Because of the demand on the kitchen’s facilities, chef’s tables are generally only available during off-peak times.

Planning combines forecasting with preparation of scenarios and how to react to them.
Planning combines forecasting with preparation of scenarios and how to react to them.

Restaurant guides review restaurants, often ranking them or providing information to guide consumers (type of food, handicap accessibility, facilities, etc.). One of the most famous contemporary guides is the Michelin series of guides which accord from 1 to 3 stars to restaurants they perceive to be of high culinary merit.

Nearly all major American newspapers employ food critics and publish online dining guides for the cities they serve. Some news sources provide customary reviews of restaurants, while others may provide more of a general listings service. More recently Internet sites have started up that publish both food critic reviews and popular reviews by the general public.

Many railways, the world over, also cater for the needs of travellers by providing railway refreshment rooms, a form of restaurant, at railway stations. In the 2000s, a number of travelling restaurants, specifically designed for tourists, have been created. The travelling public has long been catered for with ship’s messes and railway restaurant cars which are, in effect, travelling restaurants.

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