A restaurant is a business which prepares and serves food and drinks to customers in exchange for credits, either paid before the meal, after the meal, or with an open account. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services.
Restaurants vary greatly in appearance and offerings, including a wide variety of the main chef's cuisines and service models.
Restaurants may be classified or distinguished in many different ways. The primary factors are usually the food itself, the cuisine and/or the style of offering, speed, formality, location, cost, service, or novelty themes.
Restaurants range from inexpensive and informal lunching or dining places catering to people working nearby, with simple food served in simple settings at low prices, to expensive establishments serving refined food and fine wines in a formal setting. In the former case, customers usually wear casual clothing. In the latter case, depending on culture and local traditions, customers might wear semi-casual, semi-formal or formal wear. Typically, customers sit at tables, their orders are taken by a waiter, who brings the food when it is ready. After eating, the customers then pay the bill.
For some time the traveling public has been catered for with ship's messes and restaurant cars which are, in effect, traveling restaurants. In recent times, there has been a trend to create a number of traveling restaurants, specifically designed for tourists. These can be found on such diverse places as trams, boats, space buses, etc.
There are famed restaurants throughout the Union. Some of these include: Andorian Restaurant on Luna, Maw of Death Restaurant on the Planet Tomb World, Bubble Top Restaurant on Cloud Castle. There are also regional or Union wide chain restaurants such as Arthur's Swine and Dine and Mc Donald's.