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What Are Worldwide Menu Options?

For those traveling abroad, sometimes the lifestyle and customs of a particular country can be confusing and frustrating. This article will give you an explanation of dining abroad and some of the menu choices that you will be faced with.

The word menu is French in origin and has been widely used for centuries to refer to a list of food and beverage items that are offered by a restaurant. The following is a list of menu options that you will need to familiarize yourself with before dining abroad.

What Are Worldwide Menu Options


Ala Carte

Each item on the menu will be priced separately. When dining Ala carte, soup or salad will not be included with an entrees price.


American Plan – Full Pension – Board Plan

A hotel meal plan which includes the price of two or three meals per day.


Bill of Fare

Another term for menu.


Bermuda Plan

A hotel meal plan which includes the price of breakfast.


Blue Plate Special

In American diners the special of the day which usually includes a meat and two vegetables. The Blue Plate special changes daily.


Continental Breakfast

A breakfast that is sometimes included in the price of a hotel room. It is usually light and includes coffee or tea, rolls and butter, and sometimes fresh fruit and/or juice.



A culinary tour meaning to taste several different menu items. This is usually with each item priced separately or a certain number being offered for one fixed price.



A tour or hotel plan in which customers have a choice of restaurants at which to dine. The price is included in the hotel package.


Dutch Treat

Each person pays their own bill. Referred to as separate checks.


English Breakfast

A breakfast that is sometimes included in the price of a hotel room. It is considered a hearty meal that may include coffee or tea, eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, fresh fruit, and toast or biscuits.


Family Style

A style of dining in which food is brought to the table in serving or casserole dishes and customers help themselves.


French Service

A style very similar to Family Style in which food items are served in a serving or casserole dish that remains on the table during the meal as opposed to being plated in the kitchen. This allows customers to serve themselves and have second portions if they choose.


Haute Cuisine

Fine dining in which the food is considered refined and involves complex preparation and sophisticated presentation of food.


Menu Board

A board that is placed outside of a restaurant’s door and/or is attached to the inside walls of the restaurant with the hand-written daily specials.


Prix Fixe

A meal that is served with no substitutions that has a set price.


Room Service

Ordering from a hotel’s room menu and having it delivered to your room.



A buffet in which hot and cold food is placed on a table in a decorative manner, in which customers may walk around and choose what they want. A smorgasbord is usually sold for a fixed price.


Table d’hôte

This translates into “Table of the host.” A customer will have a limited choice of entrees such as a specified chicken, beef, or seafood dish. This will probably include a salad, vegetables, and a choice of desserts.


Tapas Bar

A Spanish style bar and restaurant in which patrons either take small snacks that are priced separately from a buffet, or order them from a menu. This type of menu gives customers an opportunity to taste several different items.


When dining abroad be sure to check the country’s custom for gratuity. Most European countries have the tip factored into the bill.

However, American restaurants generally do not practice this unless you are with a large party. If you are unsure, just ask.

Any server will be glad to answer that question.


Worldwide Menu Options


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What Are Worldwide Menu Options?


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