Types Of Menu

What are the six main types of restaurant menus? One of them is the table d'hote. What are the other five?

Five other types of restaurant menus are à la carte menus, which price each food item separately; wine/beverage menus; static menus, which do not change seasonally and are popular with fast-food chains; du jour menus, which offer specific specials of the day; and dessert menus.

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A menu is a list of the foods and beverages available for purchase at a restaurant or eatery. At fast food eateries, the menu is often posted near the ordering counter or drive-thru line, whereas diners and restaurants usually give each customer a menu at the table.

There are several different types of menus:

A la carte is French for "by the card." An a la carte menu lists items that are available for individual purchase (in other words, standalone items that are not part of meals or courses). A la carte offerings tend to be more expensive than they would be if purchased as part of a meal or combination.

Du jour is French for "of the day." A du jour menu changes every day and lists the offerings available on that particular day. Soups are often part of du jour menus. For example, a restaurant might offer chicken noodle soup one day, lentil soup the next day, vegetable soup the day after that, and so on. Du jour items are sometimes referred to as "daily specials."

A cycle menu is similar to a du jour menu; however, cycle menu items are tied to specific days and are repeated weekly.

A static menu does not change often and is the main type of menu at most restaurants. Static menu items are divided into categories, such as "appetizers," "salads," and so on.

A fixed menu offers a limited number of items at fixed prices. Table d'hote and prix fixe are two types of fixed menus. The former usually offers options for appetizers, meals, and dessert for a set price. This type of menu allows the customer to mix and match items. The latter is similar and often includes an appetizer, entree and dessert for a fixed price, but it does not offer choices for each category.

A beverage menu lists the alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks offered by a restaurant.

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The other five types of restaurant menus are:

1) A la Carte menu

The A la Carte menu prices each food item separately; it often contains greater choices for the customer. There are any number of combinations a customer can choose for his/her meal from an A la Carte menu. Although the price of A la Carte items are more expensive than those from a Table d'Hote menu, a customer is allowed greater flexibility and is offered greater value in terms of food quality.

Some high-end restaurants may allow their customers to order breakfast items A la Carte. So, technically, a customer can order varied combinations of breakfast breads, specialty egg dishes, juices, waffles, pancakes, and meat items from an A la Carte breakfast menu. Meanwhile, A la Carte lunch and dinner menus can include varied entrees, appetizers, and ethnic dishes. A unique A la Carte menu is the California menu, where customers can order any food item regardless of the time of day.

2) Wine/Beverage Menu

Many restaurants offer a beverage and wine menu for their customers. These menus often include specialty wines, teas, coffees, and cocktails. There may even be suggestions on which wine best accompanies a particular meal.

3) Static Menu

Static menus are offered all-year long. This type of menu is most prevalent in fast-food restaurants like Macdonalds, Pizza Hut, and Burger King. For example, Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, McChicken, and Quarter-Pounder burgers are standard Macdonalds fare. At Pizza Hut, specialty pizzas like the Meat Lovers, Vege Lovers, and Pepperoni Lovers are standard fare. The Create-Your-Own pizza section comes with standard vegetable and meat toppings. Over the course of time, however, fast-food chains have added new options to their standard menus during special promotion periods and holidays. However, the static menu is still the prime reason many customers frequent these fast-food restaurants.

4) Du Jour Menu

This type of menu references a special dish for the day. The Du Jour menu can change daily and often depends on the availability of seasonal items. Often, the du jour dish is offered at a discount to customers. Some restaurants also like to offer a soup du jour or soup of the day.

5) Dessert Menu

Dessert menus offer desserts that are specific to particular restaurants. Included in these dessert menus may be specialty desserts the restaurants are famous for. Many steakhouses include separate dessert menus for their guests. For example, Longhorn Steakhouse boasts a gourmet key lime pie and molten lava cake on its dessert menu.

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Here a few more types of restaurant menus:

  1. Static Menu-A static menu is a menu that is often laminated for easy cleanup. It is usually separated into groups such as appetizers, soups and salads, entrees, desserts, etc. Fast food restaurants often have these types of menus. They are the most common.
  2. A'la Carte Menu-These types of menus feature items sold individually. For example, if a steak is ordered it will not come with a salad or potato. Those would need to be ordered separately. Higher class restaurants often use these types of menus.
  3. Du Jour Menu-This kind of menu features an item of the day and changes every day. They are usually focused on seasonal items. Another name for these menus are "chalkboard menus" because they are often written on chalkboards.
  4. Cycle Menu-These menus offer specific items for each day. For example, fish may be served every Friday, Italian every Saturday, etc. The cycles do not have to run weekly but may run bi-weekly, monthly, etc.
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