How To Open A Restaurant in 2023- All You Need To Know About Opening Various Restaurant Types

All You Need to Know to Open Various Restaurant Formats

The restaurant business is one of the fastest-growing sectors in India. According to a sector report on the food service industry released by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), the Indian restaurant industry will be contributing a share of 2.1% to the GDP by 2021. This is possible because the food business has various lucrative restaurant formats and different types of restaurants that cater to the vast customer demography.

Each restaurant format has its own set of target audiences and requires a different kind of investment, location, skills, and overall effort. This makes different types of restaurants unique in their own right. Because of this, it is crucial that you understand what the different types of restaurants that exist are, what differentiates two restaurant formats and most importantly, which restaurant format will work for you.

But before you go ahead and decide which type of restaurant concept to invest in, read the top 11 mistakes you should not make while running a restaurant.

Types Of Restaurants: Top Restaurant Formats To Consider Before Opening A Restaurant

Before entering the restaurant or food business, one should be careful about choosing from among the various restaurant formats, the investments required, the target audience, cuisine and the experience one wishes to create in the cluttered food service industry. The main types of restaurants:-

  1. Fine Dining Restaurants
  2. Casual Dining Restaurants
  3. Pubs and Bar
  4. Cafe or Bistro
  5. Quick Service Restaurants (QSR)
  6. Food Truck or Food Cart
  7. Bakery
  8. Sweet Shop
  9. Ice-cream Parlor

1. Fine Dining Restaurants

Types of restaurants: how to open a fine dining restaurant

This one particular format requires a high level of knowledge of gourmet food and service levels. It usually has the most elaborate menus with expensive tags on the items. Customers are expected to make a reservation for dining and may have to come in a certain dress code if required. Fine dining restaurant format provides a classy atmosphere and precise detailing of each item. It may also offer liquor to its customers.

2. Casual Dining Restaurants 

Types of restaurants: how to open a casual dining restaurant

Casual Dining restaurant format offers food which is similar to the QSR but is more presentable, freshly cooked, and with table service. The ambience of this format is a little modern and comfortable, giving a family-friendly experience. These type of restaurants typically serve 3-course meals and have an extensive menu with a slightly higher price but are cheaper than fine dining.

This article will serve as a go-to guide to opening a casual dining restaurant.

3. Pubs and Bars

Types of restaurants: how to start a Pub & Bar

The term Pub & Bar brings to mind the images of a comfortable sitting area, pleasant ambiance, and lively music. Out of all types of restaurants, this format has the most extensive menu of liquor and mocktails. This one particular format can promise you high sales but at the same time requires a lot of investments and overheads. Traditionally the windows of the pub and bar were of frosted glass to provide privacy, but they have moved to clear glass and bright ambiance.

Find out how to open a restro-bar and pub here.

4. Cafe or Bistro

Types of restaurants: how to start a Cafe or Bistro

The cafe or bistro restaurant format does not usually provide table service and has the self-service option. This type of restaurant does have a comfortable sitting area though and creates a relaxed mood for its customers. The menu of cafe or Bistro typically includes beverages, and finger foods such as pastries, pizza, and sandwiches. This type of format also gives an outdoor or casual sitting. However, a Bistro can also offer entire meals other than the regular items that a cafe serves.

5.  Quick Service Restaurants (QSR)

Types of restaurants: how to open a Quick Service Restaurant

One of the most popular types of restaurants, the QSR format is a hot favourite among aspiring restaurateurs. A Quick Service Restaurant typically serves fast food which takes less time for preparation and is prepared in a few minutes. The food served here is quick and cheap compared to other formats. The design and ambience are simple and offer basic services like few tables and chair for fast dining, delivery service or a pickup counter.  The menu is also limited to the maximum of 20 items to offer.

To understand the QSR format in depth, read The Inside Out of the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Business in India.

Further, learn how to open a QSR here.

6. Food Truck Or Food Cart

Types of restaurants: how to start a Food Truck or a Food Cart restaurant

The Food Truck or Food Cart format is the most viable among all the restaurant formats because it requires less investment and has fewer overheads. Food Trucks are essentially movable Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) because the basic character remains the same, that is, proving fast and cheap food. However, there are few food trucks which serve speciality cuisines as well as such as Mexican, Lebanese, etc. Since there is a space constraint, the menu of the food truck should be very crisp offering not more than 10 items including drinks.

Read how to open a Food Truck business here, and how to open a food cart business here.

7. Bakery

Types of restaurants: how to start a Bakery restaurant formats

Bakeries are a fascinating business format in the food segment because of the high margins they offer to the owner. This restaurant format is somewhat similar to the Sweets Shop format. Instead of sweets, it offers cakes, pastries, snacks and various types of bread. The menu has a wide variety and also gives an option of made to order to the consumer. It provides basic service like delivery, self-service and may have a sitting area.

Find out how to open a bakery business here.

8. Sweet Shop

Types of restaurants: how to start a Sweet shopIndia being a country of festivals, sweets shops are a very profitable type of restaurant. Sweets shops usually serve different sweets, snacks, beverages, and some bakery products. In this format, the menu is extensive and does not provide table service or delivery service. This format requires a shop to sell sweets and a base kitchen where the sweets can be prepared.

9. Ice-cream Parlor

Types of restaurants: how to start an ice cream parlor

The Ice-Cream parlor format usually serves the different types of ice-creams, shakes, and ice-cream cakes. Ice-cream parlors have come up to be the most innovative concepts in terms of process and service levels, unlike the traditional way of serving the regular flavors. Today concepts like cold stone ice cream, nitrogen-based ice-cream, and live ice-cream making are catching up the trend. Ice-cream parlor may offer a sitting and delivery service.  The menu of the ice cream parlor is usually limited to the maximum of 30 items.

Find out how to open an ice-cream parlor here.

The format and concept should be in sync with each other for you to be able to run a successful restaurant business. This article will help you choose the right concept for your restaurant. 

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Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


  1. There are several types of restaurants to choose from in my personal opinion food trucks are the way to go! they require less investment and are a great platform to start from.

  2. Restaurants range from unpretentious family-run eateries for people working nearby with simple food at low cost, to high-priced places serving food and wine in a formal setting. This article by Restaurant Times gives us detailed information about different types of restaurant setup. Good Read.

  3. This is one of the best articles I have read on opening a restaurant. It contains all the information, from investment, to location, to the licenses required.
    Thanks for sharing.


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