What’s The Difference Between A Cafe And A Restaurant?

Cafes and restaurants are the most familiar terms you have ever heard of. Whether you’re having a bad day or want to eat something new and delicious, restaurants and cafes are always there for your redemption.

You can relish the taste of whatever you want. Nevertheless, most of you might still be unaware of the differences between cafes and restaurants. Let me clear it to you.

A cafe is a Coffee house mainly known for beverages with a minimal food list. At the same time, a restaurant is a place where you can see a vast range of food in a considerable area. A cafe and a restaurant can provide you with the best coffee and food at your table. You have to spare a few moments to learn more differences between a cafe and a restaurant.

What Makes A Cafe Different From A Restaurant?

Undoubtedly, there are still a lot of people who can’t figure out that a cafe is different from a restaurant. Nowadays, cafes have also introduced vast stuff that feels familiar to the restaurants. However, there are still a few significant differences that you might not know between diners and restaurants.

Hence, without squandering a nanosecond, let’s move forward to explore what the critical differences are?  


The most basic and crucial thing which makes a massive difference between a cafe and a restaurant is their origin. It is said that cafes are more ancient than restaurants.

Cafes come from the Turkish word “Kahve,” introduced in 1550 as coffee shops serving different kinds of coffee. When we go through the Ottoman Empire’s history, we know that the cafeterias were inaugurated as a place where people could gather to have meetings, for playing various games, artists came there for their work, and many more.

Meanwhile, restaurants were developed in 1765 by Boulanger. In France, the initial restaurant was the first place that provided a decent place to sit and have food together. Food is cooked inside the restaurants. That restaurant was a place where waiters used to serve the food at your table.

Gradually, people got more aware of cafes and restaurants, and the idea spread worldwide. As the origin of both terms differed, people carry the exact heritage regarding both diners and restaurants.    


The second factor that differentiates a cafe from a restaurant is its function. Whenever you visit a cafe or a restaurant, you’ll see an apparent variation in their services.

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You’ll have to fetch your order on your own when you go to a cafe. The cafeterias usually serve various kinds of coffees and teas with starters. You’ll see a considerably fewer number of waiters working in a cafe.

At the same time, when you visit a restaurant, the service will come in different ways. Waiters will bring your order to your table. You’ll find all kinds of food at restaurants, including beverages.

These minor differences lead to a significant impact on customers. If you want a few refreshments, you can see a cafe, but if you’re hungry and enjoy good food, you’ll undoubtedly have to go to a restaurant.    


Ambiance brings a substantial difference between a cafe and a restaurant. The ambiance is the most initial thing that might impress you or destroy your mood. People have also judged cafes and restaurants depending on their feelings.

Cafes are famous as calmer places. You’ll surely make a scenario of the deli with a glimpse of this write-up. A cafeteria is a place with soft music and less crowd. If you’re an intellectual, a writer, an artist, or anything who wants complete concentration, the cafe is made for you.

Restaurants are pretty crowded and rushed places. You’ll find loud music and television in a restaurant. People go to restaurants to hang out, celebrate birthday parties, enjoy essential occasions, and many more. When you go to the restaurant, you’ll see that the people are sharing their thoughts with other people too.

Hence, no matter what happens, the ambiance of a cafe and a restaurant will remain different as they are two opposite poles.   


Here is the most prevalent difference between cafes and restaurants, their Menu. A menu is a thing that decides whether you’ll go to a cafe or you’ll explore a restaurant.

You might think a cafe must have a minimal menu, but it’s not true. Starbucks is the most prominent example that coffee can be of various types. At the eatery, you’ll get the following items.

  • Coffee
  • Latte
  • Mocha
  • Cakes
  • Sandwiches
  • Tea
  • Iced Tea
  • Iced Coffee
  • Starters
  • Beverages
  • Cappuccino

While at restaurants, you’ll find an ocean of food items. Some restaurants only contain significant food items, while most include various foods. Restaurants also have coffee but the most popular one. Here are the meals that you can find in a restaurant.

  • Pizza
  • Burger
  • Fries
  • Seafood
  • Chinese food
  • Italian food
  • Desi food
  • Russian food
  • Beverages
  • Cakes
  • Ice Cream
  • Brownies
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The menu is an apparent variation between a cafe and a restaurant. Now it’s up to you whether you want to take a single cup of coffee with some snacks or you want a table full of meals.    


While moving along, the next thing that will create a distinction between a cafe and a restaurant is price. No doubt, the cost of a place is mandatory to know before going to eat there.

The cafe is known as a pocket-friendly place. As we all know, the cafe has a minimal menu, so they can’t charge you much. You have to pay for a coffee or a few snacks at the cafe. The bill at a cafe will barely affect your pocket.

If we are talking about the cost, restaurants can go to the sky. Undoubtedly, restaurants will cost more as they have to manage more things. When you order any food, the food will charge the chef, meat, seasonings, and the time. Therefore, if you’re going to a restaurant, keep your cash in your hand.

Not all restaurants need to be expensive; you can still choose a cheap one. Yet the restaurant will cost more than a cafe as it gives you more.  

Service Speed

You must want to know the difference between restaurants and cafes is service speed. The speed of service is also different in cafes and restaurants.

The cafe always offers you faster service. No matter how many people are in their cafeteria, you’ll get your order within a few minutes. This is because, at the cafe, you’ll order a coffee or a snack that will take hardly 5 minutes to be prepared.

Restaurants are a bit slow, but they never disappoint you. Your order may take more time because, at restaurants, fresh food is prepared for customers to maintain excellent quality and reputation. That’s why a restaurant provides you with a loud music ambiance that doesn’t let you bore.

Therefore, you can say that both cafes and restaurants try their best to give you their 100%, but at a restaurant, cooking food takes more time than making a cappuccino.   


Here comes the apparent variation in cafes and restaurants: their size of space. A measure of the hut always decides whether the place is a cafe or a restaurant.

Delis always possess small yet decent areas. You’ll see that the space size at restaurants is considerably small, but the atmosphere must be managed accurately. Cafes are also small because people just come to have light snacks or a cup of coffee and leave the place.

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Restaurants can be of various sizes but are always more significant than cafeterias. Restaurants are made in vast places because people come with their family, colleagues, and friends to have lunch or enjoy the moment.

If you want to select whether the place is a cafe or a restaurant, see the entire site, and you’ll get to know your answers.

No. of Employees

No. of employees is also varied in cafes and restaurants. Employees are the primary need of any place running a business.

Cafes hire fewer waiters as there’s barely work for them. You have to fetch your order on your own from the reception. Hence, you’ll find only three to four waiters, a few chefs, and a sweeper at the restaurant.

Restaurants hire a wide range of waiters because their services are also additional. A restaurant is crowded, so you’ll need more assistance to handle all the people reasonably. In restaurants, the no. of chefs is also more.

So, a cafe always has fewer employees than a restaurant. 


Formality is a factor that provides you with the definition of both cafes and restaurants.

The cafe will possess considerably minimal formality. If you’re thinking of having a coffee, you don’t need to be dressed. You can go casual and have a coffee at a deli.

Meanwhile, restaurants are a proper place where you need to be dressed and act formally. At restaurants, you’ll see pretty appropriate behavior and formal dressing.

It depends on whether you want to go to a formal or informal place.   

Quieter or Noisier Place

The last and the most common difference between a cafe and a restaurant is the noise rate.

Making the difference between cafes and restaurants is quite simple; cafes are quiet places while restaurants are noisy. This is because the restaurants have considerably more crowds than those cafes.  

Final Verdict

Presently, you have a complete guide on restaurants and cafes. Hopefully, this write-up has cleared all your doubts no matter how confused you were before. Now, you can easily make a difference between a cafe and a restaurant without rushing out that both are the same things.