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What do you mean by a LA CARTE MENU

Definition Of La Carte Menu

After hearing this word LA CARTE, everyone will surely assume that it is a French word. so, I must tell you that you are absolutely right… LA CARTE is a French word which means “ACCORDING TO THE”. Accordingly, A LA CARTE MENU means “according to the menu”. La carte menu is the style of serving food to the guests in hotels and restaurants.

This menu composes all the items available in the restaurant. Either the drinks, desserts, appetizers, etc. are listed in this menu with their prices and a short description of the ingredients that are used in the making of that dish.

A la carte menu usually consists of separate dishes with prices of each item written separately. One can easily order only the things that they want to order in as little or as much amount they want. They don’t need to order the food in bulk amount or of different variety if they don’t want to.

Let’s make it easy to understand with an example. Suppose you went to a restaurant and saw the menu, but that doesn’t fit your choice. There were several items from the platter that you didn’t like or were not supposed to eat. So, you asked the waiter to bring you only those dishes from the platter that you wanted to eat. He took your order and offered you separate prices for those items. Such a type of menu can be called a la carte menu.

La carte menu came into existence when people realized that there was a lot of food wastage in the buffet system or platter system. Foodies used to leave a lot of food from the platter in the hotels and restaurants which completely got wasted. So the system of la carte menu started so that people can order separate dishes, or side dishes from the menu and of as much amount as they want. This thing was very relaxing, as the hotels and restaurants started to see the plates of the customers completely empty after they finished their meal.

Nowadays, many restaurants are following this system and coming up with unique items for their la carte menu. A la carte menu includes items of separate side dishes i.e., beverages, drinks, starter, main course dessert, etc. so people of all age groups have something or the other thing to eat. Even kids also enjoy a variety of sweets and soups from this menu.

Some restaurants offer the customers a full menu, but if you ask them for the la carte menu they provide that as an additional option.

In some restaurants, the la carte menu is also called a side menu or extra menu. Which may be given to you along with the main menu.

This menu also helps the restaurant in planning the amount of food that needs to cook. And they also get to know the most liked or ordered item by the customer, and then accordingly customize the platters or main menu.

A La Carte Menu is very popular these days


The menu is easily understandable to the customers, they don’t need to call the waiter or staff for understanding the menu or the different items that come under that menu. It is time-saving for the customers as well for the restaurant staff.

Customers can straightforwardly go through the menu and also the price listed against them and order their desired dishes according to the taste or the price listed against them. This menu surely fits into everyone’s budget and appetite.

It is cost effective as well because the money used to order food from the la carte menu is lesser than the money used in the traditional menu. Because they are only providing you with one separate side dish of your choice, rather than giving you the whole platter.

Food wastage is also reduced to some extent. Because the customer’s are only ordering the amount of food that they want to eat or according to their desired choices. so, for sure they are going to fill their stomach with delicious food of their choice rather than wasting them.

Here you have the privilege of selecting your dishes and composing your own meal of your choice. In this case, you also have the advantage of customizing your dish according to your taste. You can choose to add some add ons like cheese, sugar, spices, vegetable, etc. You can also remove anything from the food that you don’t like or you may be allergic to some food items.

This is also advantageous for the guests who are diet conscious, as they can eat only the desired amount of food that they want to eat.

You can skip ordering the main meal. But can choose to order two starters or desserts instead.


A la carte menu is suitable for only one or two people. When you are going for a meal with a number of people that you can’t choose to order from a la carte menu because each item here is ordered separately and priced singly which adds to a lot of money when ordering many dishes.

Many restaurants and hotels have still not come up with a la carte menu as it doesn’t generate much revenue for them. so, they only provide the customers with the main menu which consists of dishes from the platter, which may cost a little more when one or two persons are there to eat.

So, next time whenever you go out for eating… Do ask the restaurant or hotel staff about a de carte menu, if they haven’t given you in advance. If you have already been provided with a de carte menu go through it and order your favorite dishes from the menu and enjoy it. Ask them for the customized service if they have and fill your platter with the dishes of your choice. After all, food is what we all live for…

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