Restaurants are commercial kitchens and dining facilities where food is prepared for individuals who pay for what they consume. Food in restaurants is prepared by chefs and cooks and served by waiters. Additional waiters may serve wine or other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and a host, or maître d’, may oversee dining operations.
Restaurants may specialise in a characteristic national, regional or cultural style of cooking and food preparation, also known as a cuisine. The more popular international cuisines include Chinese, French, Italian, while cultural specialties can include vegetarian food, halal dishes and barbeque. Other restaurants will specialise more in a level of cuisine, with an award winning restaurant offering very high levels of food quality, preparation, ambience and service; whereas a fast food restaurant will offer good prices, fast service and consistency of product. Restaurants also offer many different dining styles, from casual to formal, with various seating and table arrangement styles. Restaurants may offer formal meal times, for breakfast, lunch and dinner; or may offer a wide range of food available at any time.
Alcohol may or may not be available at a restaurant, depending on the type of liquor licence held by the proprietor. Thus some restaurants may not serve any alcohol, some may allow BYO or bring your own alcohol and some may provide a fully licensed service. All restaurants are subject to food safety and quality regulations and must keep to a minimum standard of cleanliness in their operations.