Why is Red Lobster expensive
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Fast food society?
Certainly not, but a significant part of society. The term fast food society is fed more by prejudices, because there are enough alternatives: Restaurants with every imaginable cuisine, coffee shops of the European style or with specialties from one of the many ethnic groups living in America. Visitors often find restaurants to be expensive because of the dollar exchange rate and therefore do not go in, so they get stuck on the fast food offer. Others do not dare because of the language or the look of the restaurant. Many restaurants offer food in the $ 10-20 price range, then there are those above and below. Big cities are always significantly more expensive. Family restaurants are simple and mostly inexpensive restaurant chains that, as the name suggests, are designed for families and are therefore not that expensive. These include e.g. Applebee's, Perkins, Chili's and dozens of others. It is sometimes not easy to say where the definition boundary to other restaurants runs - both upwards and downwards. The quality of the restaurant chains is very different.
There are probably hundreds of restaurant chains. In addition to the family restaurants mentioned, there are very good ones such as the Outback Steakhouse (one of the most popular steakhouse chains in the USA) or, for example, the Red Lobster Seafood Restaurants. These and many other chains can be found across the country.
In American restaurants you are greeted at the entrance - a kind of reception desk - and you are asked how many people you need a table for and whether you want to sit smokers or non-smokers. 'Wait to be seated' means that you can be assigned a seat at this reception and then shown to the seat. In no case do you go to any table and sit down yourself. You also don't sit down at the table with other guests. This has less to do with the possible inhospitability of the Americans, and more to do with the much higher valued protection of privacy in the USA. Many business meetings take place over lunch or dinner and are meant to be private. The family is also rated very highly and you want to chat undisturbed.
Doesn't exist here - waitresses have names in the USA. After you have taken a seat at the table, your waitress will come by for the evening and greet you by wishing you a nice day or evening and introducing yourself by name. 'Good evening (hello), my name is ... Tony ...., I'm your waiter tonight' ... or something like that. This gives you the option of addressing your waitress by name or asking for her.
Sitting time- In the USA it is not customary to sit comfortably (for hours) at the table after eating. After you've eaten, the waitress asks for dessert and coffee and then comes the bill.
Payment in the restaurant
Either you pay at the table, which is the custom in most restaurants, or you have to go to the checkout to pay. In the former case they bring you the bill and you either put the credit card or the cash (plus tip) in it. If you've chosen cash and don't want any change back, you're done and ready to go. With the credit card, wait until the bill and card are picked up and the mostly electronic printout is returned, on which you enter the amount (i.e. plus tip) and sign - then you can leave without waiting for the service again. In the second case, the bill will be put on the table and you can use it to go to the checkout, where you pay as normal. Again plus tip.
- Don't rush to a square when you walk into a restaurant! Usually you will be received and placed at the entrance
- In many restaurants - especially the upscale ones - a reservation is required. Often no 'pompousness', but necessary, as the restaurants are often well booked.
- Some restaurants have a salad buffet that you can catch up on for just a few dollars.
- You only have to pay for coffee once - you can get the "extra" as often as you like!
- Doggie Bag- Taking leftovers with you is a very normal affair in the USA. You don't need to pretend a dog either - it's customary to have them packed up for home. In many cases, the waitress will even ask you if you want that.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
In the case of breakfast, a basic distinction is made between "continental" and "american" breakfast. Continental breakfast essentially corresponds to a Central European breakfast (jam, butter, toast), the American breakfast includes egg dishes, sausages, pancakes, Ahron syrup, cereal, etc. Often there are also breakfast buffets in hotels / motels with both types of breakfast merge. If breakfast is not included in the room rate, it is usually not worth ordering breakfast separately
Instead, it is cheaper to have breakfast in a coffee shop. Coffee Shops - this is what breakfast bars are called in the USA. Other options are bagel shops, Starbucks, or a variety of cafes or bistros. Bagel shops are popular with Americans and tourists alike. They open very early and have dozens of bagels (round, hole in the middle, firm, light-colored batter) with Cream Cheese (Philadelphia - similar, dozens of flavors e.g. chives, peppers, neutral) on them.
Individual system restaurants such as Sizzler offer breakfast buffets that are so rich that you can generally do without lunch.
The Lunch is more of a quick side meal. Some restaurants offer "all you can eat" offers over lunchtime.
The Dinner is the main meal of the day. It is more likely to be taken later than in Germany. American cuisine is better than it is reputed to be. In addition to the typical steak dishes, the excellent Louisiana cuisine, the so-called Cajun cuisine, which produces far more than gumbos, has spread throughout the USA. The restaurants specializing in fish and seafood are interesting and cheaper in Europe. In addition, there are often Mexican, Chinese, Italian and French restaurants, whereby, in contrast to Germany, the Italian restaurants also count as pizzerias among the high-priced restaurants. There are also numerous restaurants of other ethnic groups, especially in cities. As a rule, there are no menus outside of American restaurants, so you only find out in the restaurant what is available for what price.
Drinks & alcohol
You don't get alcohol in the fast food chains, but you can get all kinds of soft drinks (also sometimes impossible to taste) that are diluted with plenty of ice. If you don't want that, just say "no ice, please". Nevertheless, it can still happen to you that there is ice inside, as it is not common in the USA to consume Cola, Sprite and other soft drinks without ice.
In the so-called "Zwidder" restaurants, which are a mixture between restaurant and fast food (e.g. Pizza Hut, Bennigans or Perkins), alcohol is served at some locations. As a rule you will only be able to be offered the American brands. But general rules for this simply cannot be given, as these alcohol serving rules are different even within a chain (i.e. that there is alcohol at some locations in one chain and not at another location in the same chain).
Heavy drinkers, watch out! In some states (e.g. in Florida) you get the other "refills" for free after paying for a drink! So buy a little cola and get a refill!
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