[Tagging] Distinction between amenity=restaurant and fast_food

Marc Gemis marc.gemis at gmail.com
Thu Dec 11 06:18:39 UTC 2014

I struggle with this issue as well.
In Belgium we have a lot of "tavernes"  (taverns) or "brasseries" (similar,
but the word is translated from French in this case). The are very
restaurant like, seated-service, quality food.
Taverns also serve ice creams, sweet pancakes etc outside lunch hours.
Furthermore, they also only serve drinks, unlike restaurants. They are
really places where families goes on a Sunday afternoon, since they often
have a playground for children as well (at least in the countryside).
Restaurants only serve meals, it is not possible to go there and only have
a drink.
Should we tag the taverns with amenity=pub, food=yes or restaurant ?

Then you also have "caf├ęs", as in french meaning of the word. They have to
be tagged as  pubs. (confusing for a non-English mapper:-) ) They only
serve drinks and no food. (typically)

On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 1:32 AM, Greg Troxel <gdt at ir.bbn.com> wrote:

> Richard Welty <rwelty at averillpark.net> writes:
> > the common rule of thumb is counter service vs. table service. even
> > so, there are occasional grey areas (e.g., at Hardees you order at
> > the counter but they deliver to your table, still fast food in my book.)
> >
> > and it produces slightly quirky results, for example the most excellent
> > deli Gershon's in Schenectady has table service but the most excellent
> > deli Maurice's in Albany has counter service. they are otherwise very
> > similar restaurants. it kind of makes you wish we didn't have fast_food
> > and instead had detailed tags, as another suggested.
> (am way behind on my mail, and picked a semi-random note to reply to)
> As I see it, there are a few issues brought out by this discussion. My
> $0.02:
>   what people think "restaurant" means in English is not really relevant
>   to fast_food vs restaurant.  Just because McDonald's meets wikipedia's
>   definition of restaurant does not make amenity=restaurant appropriate
>   - OSM has specific guidelines to split places that sell food into
>   multiple tags.
>   Fundamentally, fast_food is a quality/value judgement.  It implies a
>   degree of industrialization in the process.  Ordering at a counter and
>   having it handed to you **more quickly than it should have taken to
>   prepare it** is a huge clue.
>   amenity=restaurant implies that you sit at a table, order from
>   waitstaff, and have food delivered, always.  This is fairly easy.
>   amenity=cafe is a place where it isn't as formal as restaurant, but it
>   has actual food, and typically one will order at a counter and either
>   you get called to pick it up later, or it will be delivered, often to
>   your table identified by some number that you were handed when you
>   ordered.  "actual food" is key here, and yes that's a value judgement
>   at the boundary.
> In Richard's example, I would put a nice deli with counter service as
> cafe.  That's not a dig, it's saying that it doesn't have seated
> service.  I expect high-quality food from something tagged amenity=cafe.
> Note that amenity=restaurant does not imply high-end food.  It only
> implies more or less that there is seated service and almost but not
> quite implies that food is prepared (final steps anyway) to order, not
> ahead of time on speculation that someone will appear.
> The really hard line is cafe vs fast_food.  The true test is whether
> people who appreciate food quality are willing to go (cafe) other than
> under circumstances when they feel they really have to save time
> (fast_food).  There is no exact objective test for this difference.  But
> if it's a chain, or if foodie types look down on it, it's likely
> fast_food.  If it's a one-off and people think the food is good, it's
> cafe.  I realize that doesn't fit the OSM objectively-verifiable notion,
> but that's how the world really is.
> The real issue is that what people who use maps want to know is whether
> a place has decent food or factory food.  That's IMHO why the cafe vs
> fast_food distinction exists.
> Another way to look at the issue is that local mappers should decide.
> I've been tagging places as fast_food, cafe and restaurant.  I'm not
> aware of anyone changing my tags or messaging me about the choice.  So I
> don't see much actual dispute.
> <us-centric-content>
> For me, the only difficult call has been Starbucks, which I couldn't
> remember but I looked and I did call it cafe, vs an indie coffeeshop,
> which I definitely would put as cafe.  Dunkin Donuts is fast_food, as is
> Chipotle, Qdoba and Subway.  A one-off breakfast place that isn't super
> nice (typical 0530 opening omelette shop) I still put as restaurant
> because you are seated and have waitstaff.
> Aside from Starbucks this has been easy.  If someone challenged me that
> Starbuck's should be fast food because it's really hard to objectively
> tell from Dunkin Donuts I would probably concede quickly.  Maybe I'll
> change the one I tagged after this note anyway :-) Other things I would
> need to hear a persuasive argument why I was wrong.
> </>
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