The hotel environment can be a quite confusing one. Not that customers are likely to get confused when they walk into a hotel. Actually, that would be a downright fail for any outlet in the hospitality service industry.
Instead, telling the different hotel concepts apart can be quite a task for many people. What, for instance, is the primary difference between a restaurant and a cafe? What are some of the factors that distinguish an eatery from a fast food joint? The details may not be of much essence to a person who just wants to grab a bite. Understanding these concepts may, however, come in handy when choosing a place to eat or looking for a specific type of food.
Pretty much every adult is to some degree familiar with the ‘where shall we eat’ argument. This is especially so when trying to take someone on a date, but neither of you can decide where they want to go. If you understand various hotel concepts, that choice should be easy for you.
This article explores two closely related concepts; cafes and bistros. The two are grouped together because they have a close relation in both the design and style of service.
A cafe is a sort of restaurant that does not have table service. No, it’s not that there are no tables in the cafe (that would make it a takeout joint). Instead, no employees are waiting on the patrons at the tables. People coming to the cafe collect their (mostly) drinks from the counter and proceed to sit at the table of their liking.
Does ‘cyber cafe’ make sense now? Probably yes; you might notice it is a place where people avail themselves of cyber services.
While here, people can read newspapers or talk about different current topics. A discussion about health may, for instance, take centre stage in a cafe. Such a debate may progress until the need for expert opinion rises. In such an event, diners can find answers here without having to postpone their discussion.
Cafes owe their origins to Europe, with the name itself coming from the French. The word ‘cafe’ means ‘coffee,’ hence the popular use of the word ‘coffeehouse’ in place of ‘cafe’ especially in the UK. They usually have a casual setting, where outdoor sitting is widespread but not mandatory.
You may have noticed from the above discussion that a cafe usually serves just drinks and snacks. A bistro tops this up by offering entire meals. All other aspects of a bistro are similar to those of a cafe, including casual seating and self-waiting.
It is thus familiar to find the names cafe and bistro used interchangeably, just as you will discover diner, eatery, and hotel used interchangeably. No harm is done, but you’re better placed if you know the distinction.