Why is The Word ‘Restaurant’ Spelled That Way?

Have you ever wondered why the word restaurant is spelled that way? It might seem a bit unconventional, particularly due to its French origins and varying pronunciations. This guide will shed some light on the correct spelling of this commonly mispronounced and misspelled word.

Understanding the Spelling

The spelling restaurant has emerged from a French word. Stemming from the French verb “restaurer” which translates to provide food for, the term made its way into the English language in the early 19th century.

It’s worthwhile to remember the original French pronunciation and then to memorize its unique spelling. Focus especially on the positioning of the letters ‘a’, ‘u’, and ‘r’, as they tend to trip people up. The straightforward way to remember this tricky word is by picturing yourself in a restaurant where the waiter displays a beautiful aura.


Evolution of “Restaurant”

Interestingly, the notion of a restaurant sprouted as a health-food initiative in Paris during the 18th century. The term “restaurant” originated from the French notion of “bouillon restaurant” or restorative broth. Over time, establishments serving these broths evolved and spread across continents, cultivating the modern concept of a restaurant we hold today.

Avoid Mispronunciations and Misspellings

Divergent pronunciations of the word “restaurant” contribute to its misspelling. On one hand, in Standard British English, it is pronounced as /ˈrestrɒnt/, with no syllable between “t” and “r,” and short “o” afterwards. On the other hand, many American speakers pronounce it as /ˈrest(ə)rɑːnt/ with or without an additional syllable, and a long “ah” afterwards.

Additionally, some other languages have similar words for restaurant – such as the Italian word “ristorante,”, which often leads to further confusion.


How to Remember?

Aside from the aura-related trick, associating restaurants to take-out options, catering services, or live music entertainment services can also aid in imprinting the correct spelling in your memory. Associating the term with its various features and services creates a mental map that makes ascribing the spelling to the term easier.


The term “restaurant” has an intriguing history and guarantees an enriching linguistic journey. Its varied pronunciations and misspellings stem from its international usage and diverse connotations in several languages. By remembering the term’s origins and associating it with its broad features and services, we can confidently use the word restaurant, neither missing its spelling nor mispronouncing it. Writing and speaking it right will certainly add to your language proficiency and unveil the fascinating world of words to you.

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