Good Types Of Food To Serve Family-Style

5 May 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Do you run a family-style restaurant, or are you planning on opening a family-style restaurant? If so, you might be looking for dishes that work well in this format. You want dishes that can easily be presented to a table in a large bowl or on a large plate and ones that appeal to a wide audience. Here are a few suggestions to consider. 

Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is a classic American dish that works well in a family-style restaurant for a number of reasons. It can be made in large batches since it is often made from entire pork shoulders. It is easy to put in a large bowl, and it is easy for patrons to serve themselves with tongs or a large fork. Plus, each person eating the pulled pork can either enjoy it on its own, or they can put it on a bun to make their own sandwich. This introduces some variety to the meal.

Macaroni and Cheese

If you can develop a macaroni and cheese recipe that's a bit unique but still mild enough for most people to enjoy, put it on the menu. Adults and children alike love macaroni and cheese, so it will be very popular with families. It can also be enjoyed either as a side dish or as a main course—whichever the diners prefer. If you want, you can even give patrons their choice of toppings to add to the macaroni and cheese. Set them on the table in smaller bowls, and each guest can top their own pasta.


If your restaurant has a classic American theme, then add chili to your menu. You can serve it in a big, stone crockpot that you set in the center of the table. Guests can help themselves and can then add toppings to the tops of their bowls. Good toppings to provide include cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, fried onions, croutons, jalapeno peppers, and buttery crackers. You could even make a few different types of chili and let guests choose which one they'd like to order. Groups with kids will often prefer a milder chili while others may prefer something spicier.

The foods above are all easy to serve family-style. Talk about them with your chefs and staff, and see what they think. You may even want to add them to the menu for a time, see how things go, and re-adjust if needed. 

Contact a local dine-in family restaurant, such as National Coney Island, to learn more.