In a restaurant, a menu is the list of dishes to be served or available for a diner to select from. The items that are available for the diner to choose from are broken down into various categories,
depending on the time of day or the event. The compilation of a menu is the most important part of a
caterer's work. It is regarded as an art, acquired only through experience and study. The menu is a link between the guest and the establishment, hence it should be carefully planned by the
establishment's professionals, namely the executive chef, the food and beverage manager and the food and beverage controller. The word menu dates back to 1718, but the custom of
making such a list is much older. In earlier times, the escriteau (bill of fare) or menu of ceremonial meals was displayed on the wall loadable with the kitchen staff to follow the order in which the dishes were to be served. It is said that in olden times, menus were like a large dictionary with sections covering a variety of dishes. As time progressed the lengthy single copy menu became smaller but increased in number allowing a number of copies placed in table increased. Depending on the establishment and the occasion, the menu may be plain or artistic in its presentation.