View Poll Results: Does the notional meaning of the English word 'catering' include the business activities of restaura

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Thread: An interesting question.

  1. #1
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    An interesting question.

    My partner received an interesting query.

    It's a rather long story but the question is:
    Включает ли смысловое значение английского слова «catering» деятельность ресторанов, кафе?

    Does the notional meaning of the English word 'catering' include the business activities of restaurants and caf
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  2. #2
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    If a restaurant just serves meals and drinks to individual clients or small groups, this is not catering in the usual sense of this word.

    When a restaurant provides food and drinks for some social event, party, banquet etc, whether it is held on or off its premises, this would be catering.

    Not all restaurants and cafes engage in the latter activity.

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    Edited for typos

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by translations.nm.ru
    If a restaurant just serves means and drinks individual clients or small groups, this is not catering in the usual sense of this word.

    When a restaurant provides food and drinks for some social event, party, banquet etc, whether it is held on or off its premises, this would be catering.

    Not all restaurants and cafes engage in the latter activity.
    Great but how should he answer the question? It's an exact formula. The answer can be yes or no.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with translations.nm.ru. While a restaurant or cafe may also cater food, catering is recognized as a separate business activity:
    Catering definition

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing single event-based food services. These establishments generally have equipment and vehicles to transport meals and snacks to events and/or prepare food at an off-premise site. Banquet halls with catering staff are included in this industry. Examples of events catered by establishments in this industry are graduation parties, wedding receptions, business or retirement luncheons, and trade shows.
    http://business.library.emory.edu/info/ ... index.html
    Caterers
    Applies to establishments engaged in catering operations.
    This classification includes the preparation and serving of food and beverages for customers who have arranged for their services for social and business events such as weddings, parties, bar mitzvahs, meetings or banquets. Foods prepared and served range from deli trays, sandwiches, box lunches, and buffets, to full meals. The food may be prepared at the caterer's own facility and delivered to the customer's location or may be prepared at the customer's location. Catering services include, but are not limited to, event planning, arranging tables, decorations, supplying utensils and dishes, bartending, waiting and busing tables, and taking care of leftover food and related clean-up after the event. This classification also includes catering to airlines which involves preparing various foods and direct delivery to the airline with special trucks that maintain hot or cold foods. This classification also applies to food services provided by communities or civic/social organizations to local residents who, because of physical disability or age, are unable to prepare their own food. The food is prepared and delivered to the client's home.
    http://search.leg.wa.gov/pub/textsearch ... 101332&p=1

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    So, the answer is no?
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  6. #6
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    Correct, imho the answer is no. A restaurant that also caters food is engaged in two separate business activities. Catering is not necessarily something that is done by a restaurant or cafe.

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    Catering: not a yes or no question

    The problem is that the question has a false premise, the premise being that the question can be legitimately answered by a yes/no response. Only when you carefully define them in mathematical or scientific context do words have clear boundaries. Normal usage has gray areas.

    So catering:

    A> If a restaurant serves a meal to a customer who walks in as part of its daily business of menu service at tables, then that is not catering. Most native speakers of English would agree with that.

    B> If a restaurant supplies food for a social event outside of its own walls, then that is catering. All native speakers who know the word would agree with that.

    C> If a restaurant supplies food for an event (wedding, rehearsal dinner, graduation party) at its own location, and that food is served on buffet tables in a large room at the restaurant, but waiters/waitresses do not come to the tables to take food orders (although they might take orders for drinks), then many many native speakers would call that catering, but not all would.

    D> If a restaurant supplies food for a social event at its own location (wedding, rehearsal dinner, graduation party), but waiters and waitresses come to the individual tables to take food and drink orders, then I think most native speakers would not call that catering, but some would.

    In normal human use, words do not bear scientifically precise meanings. The field of "category theory," if I remember correctly, explores the fuzzy areas of those meanings. To demand a yes/no response is to demand an incomplete answer.

  8. #8
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    Don is correct. The answer is "sometimes". Or, more precisely, cafes and restaurants CAN engage in catering. When simply serving food at their own location, then "no." Some restaurants in the US will have "CATERING" on their sign or in their advertisements. Most restaurants, I think, don't do catering.

  9. #9
    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Quote Originally Posted by translations.nm.ru
    If a restaurant just serves means and drinks individual clients or small groups, this is not catering in the usual sense of this word.

    When a restaurant provides food and drinks for some social event, party, banquet etc, whether it is held on or off its premises, this would be catering.

    Not all restaurants and cafes engage in the latter activity.
    Great but how should he answer the question? It's an exact formula. The answer can be yes or no.
    It's YES
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

  10. #10
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    It really, really depends on the legal context.

    Let's suppose that in some jurisdiction both restaurant and catering business require licensing, and licenses are different. And let's further suppose that a company hold a license for catering only. If this company opens a restaurant to serve walk-in customers on its premises, this would be illegal, since the restaurant activity would be not covered by the license. And vice versa.

    On the other hand, in some other jurisdictions, restaurant license may cover catering too, so by being granted a restaurant license, the company automatically has the right to cater for off-premises events.

    So, in most cases, the answer to your original question generally would be NO. However, in some specific cases/some jurisdictions or for the purpose of some specific legal agreement, the answer may be YES.

    And doninphxaz is totally correct. It is unreasonable to expect that this question could be fully answered with a simple yes or no type of response.

  11. #11
    DDT
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    The question is, does the "notional meaning" of "catering" "include" , not the legal meaning. Restaurants can do catering as part of their business, therefore the answer is YES.

    Does your restaurant do catering?
    Yes, my restaurant does do catering.
    I include catering in my restaurant business.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDT
    The question is, does the "notional meaning" of "catering" "include" , not the legal meaning. Restaurants can do catering as part of their business, therefore the answer is YES.

    Does your restaurant do catering?
    Yes, my restaurant does do catering.
    I include catering in my restaurant business.
    You example demostrates that the concept of restaurant business can include catering, not the other way around.

    Anyway, this question is not a quiz or test of someone's ability to answer a question literally. This question comes from a court of law, and the answer may affect a decision on some real-life case involving real people. And the yes/no answer just doesn't cut it. If the answer it yes, then the judge may (and most likely, will) think that any restaurant or cafe business comes under the definition of catering. Which is WRONG. That is what I was trying to say in my previous post. The answer would depend on the context, on the situation.

  13. #13
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    Well I see that my "no" answer is in the minority, but I will offer a bit more to defend it. We don't know the legal context for this question, but this context does not really matter because the court wants to know about the "notional" meaning. I think this means the basic meaning of the word as it is normally used.
    notional . . . adjective . . . 3. linguistics used with definite meaning: used in a specific concrete sense as opposed to expressing a grammatical relationship.
    Encarta(R) World English Dictionary [North American Edition] (2003) http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/notional.html
    Notional meaning (basic meaning . . . )
    www.public.iastate.edu/~lavinia/learner ... tation.ppt (slide 13)

    While "catering", "restaurant" and "caf

  14. #14
    DDT
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    Quote Originally Posted by translations.nm.ru

    You example demonstrates that the concept of restaurant business can include catering, not the other way around.
    Hmm... so a caterer can cater but he can't restaurant unless he opens a restaurant. I see.

    But there is a fine line because some hotels have huge kitchens and offer catered banquets on their premises.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

  15. #15
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    Q: Does the notional meaning of the English word 'catering' include the business activities of restaurants and caf
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