A La Carte Definition And Meaning: What Is A La Carte?

Definition of A LA CARTE

A LA CARTE (noun)
  The noun A LA CARTE has 1 sense:

  • a menu having individual dishes listed with separate prices

  Familiarity information: A LA CARTE used as a noun is very rare.

A LA CARTE (adjective)
  The adjective A LA CARTE has 1 sense:

  • (of a restaurant meal) having unlimited choices with a separate price for each item

  Familiarity information: A LA CARTE used as an adjective is very rare.

  • A LA CARTE (adverb)
      The adverb
    A LA CARTE has 1 sense:

  • by ordering items listed individually on a menu

  Familiarity information: A LA CARTE used as an adverb is very rare.

Meaning of A LA CARTE

When a restaurant offers separately priced items, you can describe its menu as a la carte. Ordering this way is also a la carte, like choosing individual pieces of sushi instead of an entire platter or meal. The literal meaning of the French phrase is "by the card," although it's used in both languages to mean "according to the menu." The opposite of a la carte is a table d'hôte, or "meal served at a fixed price."

À la carte, pronounced ælæ?k?rt, is a French language loan phrase meaning "according to the menu", generally used in restaurant terminology. A la carte in noun form is a menu having individual dishes listed with separate prices. Adverb form indicates ordering items listed individually on a menu. An example sentence: At this Italian restaurant, pasta dishes are a la carte.

A menu having individual dishes listed with separate prices

Examples of A LA CARTE

If you request just a piece of fried fish at a restaurant, rather than the fish platter that includes French fries and coleslaw, you can say you ordered a la carte, or a single item from the menu.

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Hypernyms ("a la carte" is a kind of...):

bill of fare; card; carte; carte du jour; menu (a list of dishes available at a restaurant)

What are the benefits of A LA CARTE from a customers view

When you create a business plan, one of the primary concerns is creating revenue. An a la carte pricing system is one where the customer puts together a product package and develops a buying price based on product options. When a la carte pricing is used with the right guidelines, it can help to create a more efficient way of generating revenue.

  • Customer Satisfaction

An a la carte pricing system allows the customer to purchase only what he wants and thus increases customer satisfaction. For example, an a la carte pricing system for purchasing a new car would allow the customer to choose individual options such as a stereo upgrade or a sunroof without forcing the customer to purchase an entire upgrade package. The customer is able to order the vehicle he wants, and the price he pays reflects only those options he has requested and not a long series of required options that are part of a package.

  • Stock Costs

It costs money to stock products. Costs include initial purchase price of the product and any money lost in restocking costs when unsold product is returned to the supplier. When you use an a la carte system, your stocking patterns reflect the options that customers are actually buying. You are not spending money on products that do not sell, and you can use your bulk purchasing of popular products to negotiate a lower price with the supplier. For example, if you manufacture custom computers, you may find that customers regularly request certain video cards. Rather than trying to stock a large variety of cards, you only need to stock the ones you are selling. Since your purchasing habits create a rise in the number of the particular cards you buy, you can negotiate a bulk price. You can still special order any other products the customers want, but you do not need to spend the extra money to stock a variety of options.

  • Marketing Insight

When you use an a la carte pricing system, you begin to see the buying patterns of your clients. You understand what your target market is interested in purchasing, and you can adjust your marketing to capitalize on consumer trends. For example, airline customers may consistently choose the option of selecting their assigned seat over the Internet before they reach the check-in counter. Since that option is popular, and you can charge a small fee for it, you can feature it prominently in your marketing to drive business and attract new customers.

  • Competitive Edge

An a la carte pricing system allows you to experiment with options and upgrades to stay ahead of the competition. When you find something that is popular with consumers that the competition is not offering, this discovery helps you become an industry leader. For example, experimenting with a wide range of warranty upgrade options for your computer manufacturing business may lead you to discover that clients prefer a three-year on-site upgrade option as opposed to the standard two-year upgrade that your competition offers. It can seem insignificant, but small a la carte options such as this can help you stand apart in the marketplace.

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