A casual dining restaurant is a full-service restaurant with a fun, comfortable, laid-back atmosphere and affordably priced menu.
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TYPICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A CASUAL DINING RESTAURANT
Guests are waited on by a server or bartender
Comfortable, laid-back dining atmosphere
Moderately priced menu; often serve alcohol
Typically have televisions in either the dining or bar area
Popular with families and the younger demographic, sizable repeat customer base
Casual Dining Industry Analysis1
Average Ticket Size
U.S. Casual Dining Sales2
Casual Dining Units2
US Market Share
Use Facebook the most to market their restaurant
Of owners, operators, and managers cite high operating and food costs as their biggest operational hurdle
Popular Casual Dining Chains
These are fast casual restaurants with 1,000+ units. Read More
These are fast casual restaurants that are redefining the industry
How Casual Dining Restaurant Concepts Compare
Casual Dining vs. Fast Casual
The main difference between a casual dining restaurant and a fast casual restaurant is that the former is full-service while the latter is not. Though they share the same ambiance, the average check size in a casual dining restaurant is typically double that of a fast casual concept. Casual dining restaurants often serve alcohol and appetizers; fast casual restaurants do not.
Casual Dining Vs. Quick Service
What separates casual dining restaurants from quick service restaurants is that casual dining restaurants are full service, whereas quick service restaurants are not. Quick service check sizes and table turn time are drastically smaller than casual dining restaurants.
Casual Dining vs. Fine Dining
A casual dining restaurant is a full-service concept with a laid-back, comfortable, family-friendly ambiance and an affordable menu; a fine dining restaurant has an upscale ambiance, a dress code, a chef-curated highly-priced menu, and service held to the "white tablecloth" standard.
Casual Dining Customer Experience
The customer experience in a casual restaurant shares similarities with other other concepts; the biggest differentiator is that a casual dining concept is typically full service.
Greeted by a host/hostess
Host/hostess will bring guest to their table or direct them to seats at the bar (if applicable)
Atmosphere and decor are laid-back and comfortable
Attire is casual
All orders made through a server
Casual Dining Restaurant Staff
Here are the typical roles within a casual dining restaurant's front of house staff and back of house staff.
FRONT OF HOUSE
BACK OF HOUSE
Casual Dining Menu Contents
The menu in a casual dining restaurant is typically populated with familiar fare. Guests come to casual dining restaurants because of their propensity to serve dishes and drinks the general public recognizes; they can rely on a casual restaurant to make quality meals without any surprises.
To the right are some examples of dishes served at popular casual dining restaurants.