Restaurant Dining in 2017: What Isn't a Restaurant Anymore, and What Does that Mean for the Future?
By Chris Muller, Professor of the Practice, Hospitality at Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts -- "When someone wants to eat, it might be better to ask what isn't a restaurant?"
According to Muller, a Professor of the Practice and former Dean of Boston University's School of Hospitality Administration, "Ultimately the question comes down to determining the two main components of a restaurant, food and service. For the food the questions are: how fresh is it; what form is it in; and how close to immediately edible is the preparation of each meal? For the service the main question is: how much supplier labor intensity is required versus how much consumer labor intensity is necessary?"
Restaurant dining used to be categorized as only either limited service or full service. The 1950's, however, saw the beginning of fast food service, which revolutionized restaurant dining experiences. "In a disruption of tradition, both the composition and order of the meal and the concept of self-service were controlled by the consumer, not the supplier," Muller writes. This led to the rise of casual and fast casual restaurants as we see today, and even still there is constant innovation within food service. As Muller states, "Today we see a marketplace of narrow segments and other fine grained niches that defy simple categorization." He provides his suggested taxonomy for restaurants in 2017.
To read Dr. Muller's article in its entirety and discover what truly defines, or does not define, a restaurant meal, please visit the BHR.
Boston University, Boston Hospitality Review