Regardless of whether you are reading articles online about saving money or talking to a nutritionist about healthy meal plans, you may come across many comparisons between home cooking and restaurant foods. These are the two most common ways for people to get their meals and snacks, so it seemingly makes sense to compare them against each other at first glance. A closer look reveals just how different these two options are and why they should not be compared against each other.

Small Batch Vs Large Batch Cooking

When you cook at home, you may prepare meals and snacks only for yourself and possibly for a few close family members. Most restaurants, on the other hand, use industrial mixers, huge ranges and other commercial-grade equipment to prepare meals for up to dozens of people at one time. These foods may be kept warm with heating lamps or other devices, which means that large batch cooking may not be as fresh as small batch cooking.

The Source of Ingredients

If you are like most people, you obtain most of your cooking ingredients from a local grocery store. In some cases, you may get items from an organic and natural foods grocer, a farmers market or even your own backyard garden. Most restaurants obtain ingredients from restaurant suppliers or other large supply sources. In many cases, the ingredients have already been loaded with extra sodium, sugar, fat and more in order to give them more flavor and to preserve the ingredients for a longer period of time. Meats are almost never fresh and may have been frozen many weeks ago.


Another important difference between home cooking and restaurants is personalization. At home, you can customize your meals as desired, such as by adding extra ingredients or removing undesired ingredients. You can flavor the dishes based on your preferences, such as by cooking with more onions or less garlic. Some customization is available at a restaurant, such as by ordering your steak cooked well-done or asking them to place onions on the side of your burger. However, the level of customization is dramatically reduced when you order foods at a restaurant.

While restaurant-prepared meals and home-prepared meals are similar in some regards, you can see that they differ in important ways. Restaurants may be a wonderful place to celebrate special occasions and may provide you with a convenient food source as needed, but preparing your meals at home may be a preferred option on a daily basis.