Difference between A La Carte and All-Inclusive
When you go out to dine at a restaurant, you may find yourself having to make a choice between a la carte and all-inclusive. These two have caused a fair bit of confusion among restaurant goers, although they are both really quite simple. In this comparison article, we take a look at what each menu plan is all about in the hopes of helping you decide which to go for on your next night out.
A la carte is a French phrase used in the restaurant industry. It literally means "according to the menu", and it commonly refers to a menu of food items that is priced and ordered separately, as opposed to a “table d'hôte”, which involves a menu with limited or no options served at a fixed price. The term may also be used to refer to an option to choose a side dish at no extra charge, which comes with the main course.
All-inclusive refers to the policy of including all meals, drinks, and even alcoholic drinks in a single price.
In most cases, a la carte would be a better option than all-inclusive, since it gives you the flexibility to make your own meals. With all-inclusive arrangements, there is no option but to take what the menu includes. With a la carte, you can basically custom tailor your meal including all the elements you want, giving you much greater flexibility with regard to trying out new dishes or including your favorites.
A large number of resorts and resort restaurants offer all-inclusive meals nowadays, and they have proven to be popular among those who simply want to eat without having to worry about the menu. However, for those who want a great deal more flexibility, this option tends to be somewhat restrictive. By opting for a la carte, diners are able to draw the benefits described above, and they may also be able to check out specific dishes in the local cuisine. And while all-inclusive menus usually tend to be a less expensive option than a la carte, you may be able to tailor your menu to be less expensive using the a la carte option. Even given the slightly higher cost involved in going for a la carte, the wider range of options and greater degree of flexibility often makes it worth the extra cost for many people.
Similarities and Differences:
A la carte
- A French phrase used in the restaurant industry
- Literally means "according to the menu"
- Commonly refers to a menu of food items that is priced and ordered separately
- Offers a wider range of options and greater degree of flexibility
- Refers to the policy of including all meals, drinks, and even alcoholic drinks in a single price
- Popular among those who simply want to eat without having to worry about the menu
- Tends to be somewhat restrictive
- Usually a less expensive option than a la carte