Everyone knows and loves French bistros as we all know them for the lifestyle and food culture of the great European nation. The small restaurants with their most picturesque outdoor gardens invite you to rest, eat, drink and linger. In France, they are part of the French art of living. They have long since achieved the same status as restaurants. These places of food have spread there rapidly since the 1950s. After that, their numbers reached a staggering 200,000 across the country. However, economic crises have significantly reduced their number. Most recently, there were around 30,000 restaurants in France. According to a well-known legend, the Russians are responsible for the designation of the restaurants as bistro.
History refers to the year 1814 when Russian troops pursued the army of Napoleon as far as France. When they arrived in Paris, the officers ate in the numerous cafes and restaurants. But they did not like the slowness of the French waiters at all. They appreciate the simple and inexpensive dishes and drinks, but they didn’t like the pace at all. Legend has it that the soldiers are said to have yelled at the waiters several times in Russian. They used the Russian word for fast. That sounds just like bistro. That is supposed to be the origin of the name for this type of restaurant. The word for it is said to have entered the French language in a row. Since then, we use the phrase bistro for a restaurant with fast service.
Officers All Spoke French
In 1964, the tourist information centre of the Old Montmartre in Paris even put up a notice to that effect. At house number 6 on the Place du Tertre, the Bort Bistro was used here for the first time in its current meaning. But what sounds so great is just a legend. After all, the facts speak against it. First of all, there is the language. Russian officers didn’t have to yell at waiters in Russian in 1814. They all spoke French, which was a must in Russia at the time. The officers were all aristocrats; they spoke French fluently.
The Russians cannot have called Bistro because this appeared at the end of the 19th century. Scientists believe that the term came to Europe after the end of the Franco-Prussian War. Even then, the word had another meaning. Therefore, the specialists of linguistics assume that the story of the Russian officers is just a legend. They are sure that the word of ‘bistro’ comes from everyday language. There are similar words in northern France from which people derived bistro ultimately. Bistraud originally meant servant and later wine merchant. The experts, therefore, believe that Bistro has its origins there. The Russian version sounds better, but it is not particular and consequently made up. However you evaluate this, the fact is that the Bistros created a cultural heritage.
A lot of people call all catering places just cafes or restaurants. After all, there is an obvious difference, defined by the price of food, atmosphere, interior, choice of dishes, eating culture, and even clothes. However, every educated person should be aware of certain differences and describe the catering places correctly. So, how to not get lost between terms of a restaurant, a café, and a bistro?
Daily Food: Fast, Faster, and Fastest
The places of fast casual or fast everyday food concept is an intermediate option between fast food places that can also be called fast food restaurants like McDonald’s or KFC, and between casual dining / casual eating places like cozy family restaurants. Confused, right? Actually, it is pretty easy. When you visit a few different places, the hierarchy of just a few steps makes everything very simple and clear.
Fast Food Restaurants
The goal of fast-food places is to prepare food easily and deliver it to customers quickly. At fast food places people are not served at tables, you need to order food yourself at the service box or bar, and the price of meals should not be expensive. There is no fancy interior in such places, most customers do not get any cutlery, and all plates and glasses are made of paper or plastic and used only once. Often, such places offer the possibility to order food while sitting in the car. Usually, food in such places is associated with the term junk food, as a result, it is unhealthy food. While this is not the rule, it is usually true. The menu includes all kinds of burgers, fried chicken, fries, chicken nuggets, tortillas, kebabs, or pizza. Usually, such places have no alcohol drinks or just light beer.
Fast Casual Food Restaurants/ Bistro
Such restaurants arose from the need to eat fast but healthier. While healthy food is not the rule of the fast casual concept, this type of places avoids unhealthy foods. Here you can expect the higher quality ingredients. So, the food will have better quality, it will be healthier and a little more expensive. This type of restaurant also usually does not offer table service. Another difference is the environment. Here, more attention is paid to the interior. The rule of giving food to the guest as soon as possible also applies. Fast casual food places include daily lunch restaurants, and they are popular in large shopping malls.
Fine Dining/ Real Restaurant
This level is the highest to this day. In this type of restaurant, you must get the complete satisfaction with the food and the environment or in other words, dinner here will be the new experiences. From the first greeting until the last moment, all the details make a unique atmosphere. Here you will find impeccable service, top quality food, a great and wide selection of drinks. The furniture and plates are high quality, artistic, and complement the interior. As a result, the price of such a dinner will be high, but you must understand, that it is not just food – it is an experience.
A brand is everything if you want to be able to sell a product
or service and make any money at all. The better the brand, the bigger the pay.
This is the reason why people and companies spend a fortune on branding and
marketing of their product. In the bistro business, the branding tells the
customer what they can expect from coming to the Bistro. The personality of the place is evident
in the brand. It gives the audience a sense of strong visual and emotional
ideas of what they can expect. There are several areas of the business where
the brand can extend to. The interiors of the Bistro, the marketing and sales material
and the overall projection of the brand can be used to project the Bistro.
The Influential Part
The brand can provide a cue into the overall experience that
the customer will have at the place. The dining experience and the kind of food
served at the location. The main idea becomes a promise through the brand’s
exposure to the public. The entire visual aspect of the brand promises the
audience and customer style, uniqueness and strengths. The image styling, the
colours, the logo design and fonts used play an overall part of the branding.
Application of the Brand
Being able to eat at a Bistro is a sensory experience. There is a range
of elements to be considered to influence the customer. Visual, sound, and
taste play an essential part in influencing the audience and in turn, speaks of
the brand. Yes, the choice of music that is performed in the Bistro is equally
crucial. What is played on television screens are also necessary and speak
about the brand. The take out-boxes, the website, the menu and other material
that is used in the Bistro will carry a long way in taking the brand out to
people and growing the business. In fact, even the way the food is plated is
vital to ensure brand growth.
Bistro Brand Development
As a bistro, it is crucial to ensure that the personality of
the place is taken into account while deciding on the brand. The brand is the
identity of the Bistro and is very important to be coined even before the business is opened up. It is not a
viable option to start up a bistro and then decide how you would brand it, as
the costs and implication of doing this can hurt the business substantially.
Attracting people to the Bistro by providing a sport on branding application
from the time you decide to launch a bistro, can aid in propelling it forward.
Customers will remember the brand and the business if everything is in line and
looked after in detail. It is said that the bistro industry has to make money
within its first three years before there is a need to change things up.
Therefore, being wise and nailing all brand aspects from the get-go before
planning a revamp and change-up after a few years will help take the business
to great heights.
as a small venue selling alcohol and rustic, home-cooked local foods is a
fairly wide concept, it’s almost impossible to say when the first bistro ever
opened. However, if we remember that the term was first defined in late 19th
century Paris, then we can get a little closer to finding the source of the
matter. Certainly, the first true bistro could have been no later than
1765. According to popular knowledge this was the year that the first
resteraunt in Paris was opened by a soup vendor called Monsieur Boulanger.
Before he opened up his shop, selling thick local broths and hearty bread, most
Parisians would buy various foods from street vendors and then eat at home – or
on the street.
A Modern Myth
Boulanger also hung a sign above his shop proclaiming the restorative
properties of his stacked soups “Boulanger débite des restaurants divins” it
said – or ‘Boulanger sells the restoratives of the Gods.” This fits with
the known etymology of the word resteraunt, which does in fact come from the
French for restore or refresh. As the story goes, the first Bistro may have
fallen foul of pre revolution French politics. Mr Boulanger added a whole
sheep’s foot to one of his meals, and authorities deemed that he had crossed
the line from a soup to a stew maker – and that, apparently, was a big deal. It
was enough to get the new bistro owner taken to court, where he demonstrated
that he did in fact cook the soup-like sauce entirely separately before adding
the joint of meat. Don’t ever say the French don’t take their food seriously!
though this is now disputed by most historians, the term bistro continues to be
used to designate a homely, cheap resteraunt in many parts of Russia too –
including dozens of such venues in Moscow. Whatever the truth, the concept
certainly has long historical associations and its great that people can
continue to enjoy traditional French bistros in Paris to this very day.