res·​tau·​ra·​teur | \ ˌre-stə-rə-ˈtər How to pronounce restaurateur (audio) \
variants: or less commonly restauranteur \ ˌre-​stə-​ˌrän-​ˈtər How to pronounce restaurateur (audio) \

Definition of restaurateur

: the operator or proprietor of a restaurant

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Restaurateur Has French Roots

Restaurateur and restaurant were borrowed directly from related French words, and both ultimately derive from the Latin word restaurare ("to restore"). Restaurateur is the older of the two; our earliest evidence dates it to 1793. Restaurant is only slightly newer; it dates to 1806. Of the two words, restaurant is of course significantly more common—a fact that may have influenced the development of the variant spelling restauranteur for restaurateur. Restauranteur first appeared a mere 44 years after restaurateur, but it is considered by many to be an error. It is, however, a standard variant, albeit one that continues to be used less frequently than restaurateur.

Examples of restaurateur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Over the course of his career, Tsai has earned widespread acclaim as a chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and host of the long-running cooking show Simply Ming on PBS. Cindy Brzostowski, Forbes, "James Beard & Emmy Award–Winning Chef Ming Tsai Ventures Into Consumer Packaged Goods," 12 Mar. 2021 Snider, an energetic and personable restaurateur, real estate investor and entrepreneur, owned a handful of properties in downtown New Braunfels and co-founded the New Braunfels Farmers Market. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "New Braunfels' Krause's Cafe founder Ron Snider has died; memorial toast planned for Tuesday at Krause's," 12 Apr. 2021 The restaurateur and wellness guru has already made a name for himself in the fast casual space with his Crisp & Green concept. Brad Japhe, Forbes, "Meet The Man Who Wants To Build The Plant-Based McDonald’s Of The Future," 2 Mar. 2021 Charleston restaurateur and entrepreneur Brooks Reitz is the mastermind behind Leon’s Oyster Shop (as well as Little Jack’s Tavern, Monza Pizza Bar, Melfi’s, and Jack Rudy Cocktail Company). Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, "Charleston Travel Guide," 1 Mar. 2021 Michael McCarty, a restaurateur and member of the Coconuts, an exclusive men’s social club that typically throws an annual New Year’s Eve bash at the Flagler Museum, has been coming to the area for 50 years. Marshall Heyman, Town & Country, "Why A Younger Generation is Suddenly Rushing to Palm Beach," 17 Feb. 2021 The Justice Department lists recent examples: On Dec. 1, 2020, a New York City restaurateur was sentenced to 24 months in prison for tax evasion. Robert W. Wood, Forbes, "Sober IRS Warnings On Tax Crimes Before Filing Your Taxes," 9 Apr. 2021 Being a restaurateur for most of his life, Toskov was a little nervous at first about entering the medical cannabis business, but those fears were quickly allayed. John Coffren,, "Baltimore Sun’s Best Readers’ Choice: Medical Marijuana Contest — Best Dispensary is Green Point Wellness," 1 Apr. 2021 Gina Champion-Cain, a once high-profile restaurateur who orchestrated a nearly $400 million Ponzi scheme involving hundreds of victims, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Judge orders Champion-Cain to spend 15 years in prison for $400M Ponzi scheme," 31 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'restaurateur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of restaurateur

1796, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for restaurateur

French restaurateur, from Late Latin restaurator restorer, from Latin restaurare

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Time Traveler for restaurateur

Time Traveler

The first known use of restaurateur was in 1796

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Statistics for restaurateur

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Restaurateur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of restaurateur

: a person who owns or manages a restaurant

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