The reason why the restaurateur “misses” a letter

So why isn’t there an “n” in “restorer” anyway? Is this meant to be some kind of simplification? Well no. It seems that the term “restaurateur” actually predates the concept of restaurant as we know it today. According to Michael Quinion of World Wide Words, the etymologically correct reason for omitting the “n” is that the word “restaurateur” (as well as the word “restaurant”) derives from the French “restaur”, which itself comes from the Latin ” catering ”. To restore is a verb and, as its English equivalent implies, has the meaning of “to restore”.

In the Middle Ages, the word “restaurant” was used as an adjective in the sense of “restorative” and applied to various types of food or drink intended to cheer you up or cure your ailments. It then evolved into a name and was at one point specifically applied to one type of meat broth. Eventually the word came to mean a place where one could get said broth. “Restaurateur”, on the other hand, meant “one who mends”, and while a restaurateur might originally have been someone who mended clocks or broke arms, the title later referred to a supplier of the soup. the aforementioned restorative. Over time, “restaurants” have become establishments selling all types of food, restaurateur or otherwise, while “restaurateur” has broadened its scope to include the owners of all these restaurants.

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