Food service operations include all companies, organizations and individuals who prepare, supply and serve food outside of the home environment. This includes restaurants, catering operations, institutional catering, hotels and quick service operations.
Food service operations can run the gamut from a one-person catering service or food truck, to a large hotel chain that employs hundreds or even thousands of workers. Food service operations in the form of restaurants and hotels may also provide entertainment or accommodations. Institutional food service operations can include hospitals, educational institutions or workplace cafeterias.
Food service operations can be traced back to the days of ancient Rome where inns and dining halls served food to travelers. These grew with the development of roads and the growth of travel.