These establishments offer limited menus of items that are prepared quickly and sold for a relatively low price.
In addition to very casual dining areas, they typically offer drive-thru windows and take-out service.
While there are many commonalities among the various types of food-service businesses, there are also many differences.
And while there is much overlap in the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful, your own personality and preferences will dictate whether you choose to open a commercial bakery, a coffee cart, a fine-dining restaurant or another type of operation.
Restaurant patrons want to be delighted with their dining experience, but they don't necessarily want to be surprised.
If you're anticipating a family-style steakhouse (based on the name or the décor of the establishment), but you find yourself in a more formal environment with a bewildering--and pricey--gourmet menu, the surprise may keep you from enjoying the restaurant.
In a full-service restaurant, patrons place and receive their orders at their tables; in a limited-service operation, patrons order their food at a counter and then receive their meals at their tables.
Many limited-service restaurants offer salad bars and buffets.
As increasing numbers of consumers want to dine out or take prepared food home, the number of food-service operations has skyrocketed from 155,000 about 40 years ago to nearly 960,000 today.
But there's still room in the market for your food-service business.