Fine Dining is Different
from Casual Dining
Fine-dining operators turn to organic foods
As nutritional concerns and a heightened sensitivity to the environment emerge as two of the most emotionally charged issues of the 1990s, a growing number of fine-dining operators are responding by turning to produce grown organically and meats from animals that were fed chemical-free diets.
Most proponents cite superior flavor and a concern for food safety as reasons for switching away from foods grown with synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
Restaurants range from unpretentious lunching or dining places catering to people working nearby, with simple food served in simple settings at low prices, to expensive establishments serving refined food and wines in a formal setting. In the former case, customers usually wear casual clothing. In the latter case, depending on culture and local traditions, customers might wear semi-casual, semi-formal, or even in rare cases formal wear.
Standardly customers sit at tables, their orders are taken by a waiter, who brings the food when it is ready, and the customers pay the bill before leaving. In finer restaurants there will be a host or hostess or even a maître d'hôtel to welcome customers and to seat them. Other staff waiting on customers include busboys and sommeliers.
Depending on local custom, a tip of varying proportions of the bill (often 10-20%) may be added, which (usually) goes to the staff rather than the restaurant. This gratuity might be added directly to the bill or it may be given voluntarily.
Restaurants often specialise in certain types of food or present a certain unifying, and often entertaining, theme. For example, there are seafood restaurants, vegetarian restaurants or ethnic restaurants. Generally speaking, restaurants selling "local" food are simply called restaurants, while restaurants selling food of foreign origin are called accordingly, for example, a Chinese restaurant and a French restaurant.