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When I talk about Subway or Tim Horton's, should I say it is a store, a shop, a restaurant, or a branch? For example,

XXXX University has both shops on campus.

In the above, both means Subway and Tim Horton's.

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Shops really implies selling items rather than food, branches (at least in BE) implies banks or shops and it's pushing it call either of them restaurants - I would say outlets.

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+1 because outlets is the best word for OP's construction, but I don't think branches are that closely tied to banks in the UK. Assuming Subway and Tim Horton's have already been specified, I'd be quite happy with "Both have branches at XXXX University". –  FumbleFingers Oct 15 '11 at 23:36
    
@FumbleFingers - agreed –  mgb Oct 16 '11 at 0:25
    
Outlets implies items to me as well. Outlets are places where either traditionally catalog companies, or single brands sell their item at their own retail location, rather than a department store. A J.Crew outlet for instance. –  Sam Oct 16 '11 at 5:57
    
In the UK an outlet is sometimes a trading establishment that sells damaged or out of date goods. –  Barrie England Oct 16 '11 at 6:28
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Ordinarily I would happily refer to either or both of those as (fast-food) restaurants, but in this case the best word might actually be franchise.

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To be hairsplitting, franchise is a specific commercial arrangement. Both subway and Timmies are franchises but McDs aren't –  mgb Oct 16 '11 at 0:27
    
@MartinBeckett, not to be hairjoining? but only by one narrow definition is McDonald's not a franchise. In a more general definition, and I think this an appropriate place for semantic debate, the concept of a franchise very neatly covers McDonald's. Otherwise, why would they have a franchising website or be listed in Entrepreneur as one of the Top Ten Franchises for 2011? –  Sam Oct 16 '11 at 5:52
    
@sam - apparently some McDs in some regions are franchises but most are direct owned. Starbucks aren't franchises. Generally the more corporate image the chain the less they franchise –  mgb Oct 16 '11 at 15:55
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