Wondering about the definition of à la carte? Keep reading to learn the meaning of à la carte, see some examples, and get a better understanding of this term!
What Does À La Carte Mean?
À la carte, when referring to food, such as in a room-service or restaurant menu, indicates that each single item is priced separately. Menu items that are à la carte are priced per item, not as part of a set meal.
English has adopted à la carte to mean something similar to an antonym for prix fixe or table d’hôte. It’s also essentially the opposite of a buffet meal, where you pay one price for as much food as you want.
More on À La Carte
The term à la carte comes as a loanword from French, but today it is commonly used in English. Thought it often is used in reference to food, it doesn’t necessarily have to. For example, in the airline industry, many cheap flight tickets may offer checked baggage, onboard meals, or in-flight entertainment à la carte, meaning you pay for those items only if you want to use/get them.
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