Difference Between Casual Dining and Fine Dining

Key Difference – Casual Dining vs Fine Dining

Restaurants can be categorized into several classifications based on menu style, preparation methods, serving, and pricing. Casual dining and fine dining are two such categories. The key difference between casual dining and fine dining is their atmosphere; casual dining restaurants have a friendly, informal atmosphere whereas fine dining restaurants have a formal and elegant atmosphere. There are also differnces in the food they serve, their prices and other conditions.

What is Casual Dining?

Casual dining restaurant, as its name implies, is a restaurant that serves moderately-priced food in a casual atmosphere. They are between fast food establishments and fine dining restaurants. They can provide a laid-back, informal and friendly environment. More importantly, they provide popular dishes at economical prices. They may provide buffet style meals or table service.

The décor may range from airy and bright to dim and moody. The tables in such a restaurant may or may not be covered with a table cloth, but they will come with silverware. Casual dining restaurants usually do not have a dress code. However, finer casual establishments may have some policies regarding clothes. Another difference between casual dining and fine dining is their staff; casual dining establishments may not have certified chefs or well-trained waiter as in fine dining establishments. However, the food and service often have good quality.

Casual dining restaurants may also be a part of a wider chain of restaurants, especially in the United States. Harvester in the United Kingdom and TGI Friday’s in the United States are examples of such establishments. In Italy, casual dining restaurants like this are called “trattoria”; they are usually independently owned and operated.

What is Fine Dining?

Fine dining a style of eating that usually takes place in expensive restaurants, where especially good food is served to people, often in a formal way. A fine dining restaurant has an elegant, formal and calm atmosphere. Ambience is one of the major factors in creating such an alluring atmosphere. The table settings, lighting, the staff, architecture of the building all contribute to the ambience of the restaurant.

A fine dining menu will offer luxurious and unique food that are not often found in other restaurants. The food is prepared by certified chefs with many years of experience. Therefore, food will also be expensive. The servers will also be well-trained than those in ordinary restaurants.

The customers of a fine dining restaurant should also follow some rules, typically following a dress code. Most fine dining restaurants require the customers to wear at least business casual attire. Slippers, shorts, and denim are not usually allowed in fine dining.

Given below are some fine dining restaurants in famous cities:

London: The Ritz Restaurant, Tamarind, 1 Lombard Street – Restaurant, Homage at The Waldorf, Cellar Gascon

New York: Eleven Madison Park, Per Se, Jean Georges, Daniel, Bouley, Del Posto, Betony, Gramercy Tavern

Paris: Le Jules Verne in Eiffel Tower, MiniPalais in Champs-Elysées, Laurent in Champs-Elysées and Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse

Berlin: Reinstoff, Facil, Fishers Fritz, Ganymed Brasserie, Hartmanns, Lorenz Adlon, Lutter and Wegner, Die Quadriga

Amsterdam: Ciel Bleu, Bord’Eau, Blue Spoon, Tunes, Ricardo’s in Odean, Serre, Envy

What is the difference between Casual Dining and Fine Dining?


Casual Dining offers popular food at an affordable price.

Fine Dining offers unique, luxurious and expensive food.


Casual Dining restaurants have a casual, laidback, friendly atmosphere.

Fine Dining restaurants have a formal, elegant atmosphere.


Casual Dining restaurants may not have certified chefs or experienced and well-trained servers.

Fine Dining restaurants have certified chefs and well-trained servers.

Dress Code:

Casual Dining restaurants do not have a dress code.

Fine Dining restaurants have a dress code.

“Fine Dining (8416389858) (2)” By Chris Phutully from Australia – Fine Dining (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.