Cafeteria vs Canteen
Cafeteria and canteen are word used for eating places and people use the word interchangeably. Though there is little difference in the meaning of the two words, there are differences in the usage as well as British English and American English differences. For all those who do not find any difference between a canteen and a cafeteria, here is a short description of the words and the eateries they have come to imply.
MacDonald and KFC are examples of cafeteria, which is a restaurant type setting where people place an order and come back to collect their eatables. There is a special counter where people queue up to check on the menu and place order and pay at the same time in some places. They carry the eatables in a tray and enjoy sitting on chairs placed around tables that are kept in that place. The main criterion of a cafeteria is self service. Thus, it is different from a restaurant where you go, sit, and then place an order through a waiter who serves the food of your choice.
Canteen is a word used in British setting more often than in American society, where it is mainly military canteen to serve people from the armed forces. In commonwealth countries, canteen is a word that describes an eating place that is simpler than a cafeteria, and is found in places like colleges, factories and hospitals to serve a simple menu. The rates of food items in a canteen are also less than that in a cafeteria. In US, canteen is also used to refer to a water container that is used by hikers and soldiers. In canteens, the prices of food items are subsidized to benefit the employees or the work force in the organization. The concept of canteen evolved to discourage workers going out to eat as that would have meant wastage of time and money.
What is the difference between Cafeteria and Canteen?
• Both canteen and cafeteria are eating places though, canteen is more down market than a cafeteria.
• Cafeteria is like a restaurant but is a self serving place in the sense that people place their order at a counter and wait to receive the eatables. They take them on a tray to a sitting are where they sit on chairs with table placed alongside chairs.
• Canteen is a word used more in Britain and entire commonwealth while cafeteria is used more in US. In US, a canteen is a word used to describe a water container used by hikers and soldiers and a place used to serve armed forces.
• In India and the rest of the commonwealth, canteen is use to provide food items during lunch in hospitals, factories and schools to people at subsidized rates.
• There are differences in structuring and styling of the cafeteria and canteen.