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Restaurant Business in London
London is a city with a large number of restaurants, with a wide variety of food available in them. The choice that is available is probably not available in many other countries, and the reason for that may be the development of the country and the city as a center of attraction for a variety of people from all over the world. The situation of restaurants is now changing and giving way to fast food restaurants.
During the last ten years or a similar period, there have been a lot of new restaurants that have come up in London, in terms of both quality and choice of food. The first point to note is the choice of the restaurants in terms of area. In the West end area there are a number of expensive restaurants like Mirabelle and Claridges in addition to the regular budget restaurants, vegetarian restaurants like Country Life, pizzeria and fast food restaurants. The East End is not normally visited by tourists, but there are number Indian restaurants, especially around Brick Lane. The food served here is good and cheap and thus not a strain on the budget. Soho also has a number of expensive restaurants like Mezzo and Quo Vadis, but also a number of cheap restaurants including Pizza Express which is the best source of Pizzas in London. (London Restaurants, Cafes, Pubs and Bars - Reviews and Online Restaurant Booking)
Here in spite of their efforts, the fast food restaurants are not settled in this region as this is not viewed as a family area. Still there are a number of eateries, pubs and cafes. Next comes Chinatown and that is the best place for eating for the budget tourist and the restaurants there offer very good dim sum, crispy duck and set menu meals. A very good restaurant in this are is Wong Kei and here the service is very fast, but the quality of Chinese food is very good at low prices. Then is the area near Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. This area has a lot of middle range priced restaurants and among them are the famous Planet Hollywood and the Rainforest Cafe. There are also a number of fast food restaurants in this area and pubs. (London Restaurants, Cafes, Pubs and Bars - Reviews and Online Restaurant Booking)
Next is Covent Garden which has a number of trendy eating areas and the best here are outdoor pizzas where one can sit outside and eat in traditional European style. Outside the market there are a number of cafes, bars and pubs where all types of food are served including roasts and vegetarian take-away. The area near Aldwych and the Strand or Embankment houses the fast food giants as also the famous restaurant of Simpson's. Other restaurants like Bank and Axis are also very famous for their food due to the quality. In the area of South Bank, the most famous restaurant is the OXO tower which has been recently rebuilt.
There are also cheaper restaurants near Gabriel's Wharf, South Bank complex and a number of pubs and brasseries. There are also restaurants in the City of London, but most of them cater to only office workers and they generally close around 6 pm, and sometimes do not open on weekends. The cost of food is high in these restaurants, but low priced meals are available in the pubs and bar-brasseries. There are a number of sandwich bars which cater to an up-market audience and this sport a lot of queues at midday. (London Restaurants, Cafes, Pubs and Bars - Reviews and Online Restaurant Booking)
There are many restaurants in London - 6,700 in number. A tourist may expect to spend roughly 25% of his expenses on the eateries. The new restaurants have led to a lot of new menus, food styles and chefs. The most renowned chefs in the old days were Anton Mosimann, Michel Bourdin, Nico Ladenis, and the Roux brothers. For the ordinary public, the first famous chef was Sir Terence Conran and he started the first really large restaurant with Quaglino's. The present trend is however not for large restaurants, but for small ones and the most famous chef, Jean-Christphe Novelli has now only one restaurant called Maison Novelli. There are now also a lot of cheap places to eat. The only trouble is that there is a choice of 80 different varieties of food that is available in London, and only a few have been selected for reference in this paper. (London - Restaurants)
The most popular ethnic cuisine in London is the Indian cuisine of which there are thousands of restaurants. The time for breakfast in London restaurants start from 7:30 but this is only at Workmen's Cafes and sandwich bars for office workers. The big restaurants serve breakfast only from 9:00 and continue up to 10:30. Serving of lunch takes place between noon and 2:30 and the restaurants serve it only during that period. Tea is served as a separate meal between 4:00 and 5:30 and supper is served between 7:30 and 9:30. Only some ethnic restaurants especially Indian, serve meals till midnight. The expected tip is between 10 and 20% of the food bill, but there is no tipping in the bars. The wise thing is to avoid eating beef in restaurants, or choose only items which have a low risk of contamination. Many restaurants are closed on Sundays. During Christmas period, the whole city shuts down and meals are available only in hotels. (London - Restaurants)
Starting off with American food, the best choices are at Christopher's, New York Joe's London branch, and Smollensky's on the Strand. The first restaurant will give the images of an American restaurant with pancakes, steak, eggs and fries to salmon cakes and Caesar salad. The feeling is like being in Manhattan. The restaurant sometimes gets quite crowded and the average lunch costs between £ 7 and £ 12. The second restaurant is probably the oldest and is now twenty years old. There are choices of soups like poblano peppers and black-bean. They are the only restaurant in London to have corn muffins and monkfish with sun-dried tomato salsa. Even in the desserts there are choices of typical American fare like grilled banana bread with ice cream and hot caramel sauce. The prices start at the same level, but reach higher levels of £ 18. The last is an American style bar cum restaurant and the restaurant also provides the service of clowns and magicians at lunch on weekends. The meals are mostly red meat with steaks of various types, along with fries and sauces. There are also choices of potato skins, salads and other vegetarian meals, and the menu is a reflection of all America. (London - American)
The most famous of all restaurants in London are the Indian restaurants and the reason for their success is probably that they give the customers some fantasy versions of the British Raj, and this is continued with giant palms and wicker armchairs. There are special dishes here like nalli gosht, meaning lamb on bone; Goan chicken curry with mint and coriander; masala lamb; and chicken tikka. The service in these restaurants are normally good and even the desserts are quite filling. The famous restaurants in this category are Chutney Mary and Veeraswamy. The menu is for brunch and the cost is about £ 15. The dishes of both fish and the main course are quite aromatic. (London - Anglo-Indian)
Looking at the business aspects f restaurants we see that most of them are owned in the main by private owners and are in the form of sole ownership, family ownership or in partnership with some others. There are also important differences between the small cafe type restaurants and the up-market restaurants. In the medium section of the market, there are a number of chains who are engaged in the provision for the workers, travelers, shoppers and tourists. In the entire country there are now specialized restaurants which provide food of European tastes, or Oriental, or American/Mexican styles and even other specialist types. The present tendency of these restaurants is now to provide food which is authentically of the style that they claim it represents. They are no longer modifying the food so that it becomes palatable to the ordinary Englishman. The widest range of food is provided in the French style as this was the style that first came to England. The French restaurants range from the small corner shop to the high class gourmet restaurants that are mentioned in the Michelin Guide. The only common factor among them is that they prepare food in the best tradition of French cookery. It is probably wrong to even classify the French restaurants as a national class as most of European cooking has come from the French style.
In the French style, the food is not prepared in the style of any particular French province, but the total…[continue]
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