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Can I represent restaurants by the noun retailer?

I also want to group the entities hotels, museums, restaurants/cafes/bars and retailers. How do we group these cleverly? I am going to refer to them in a title of a paper so it shouldn't be too long. I don't want to write in hotels, museums, restaurants and retailers.

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Wouldn't industry experts know best what they call these things? Like an MBA or accountant or investor? – Mitch Mar 9 '12 at 14:12
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Hotels and restaurants are considered part of the hospitality industry.

I think that restaurants could generally be considered retailers. If you look at retailer associations, some say they include restaurants or have a restaurant division. Others mention them separately (e.g. the Alaska Restaurant and Retailer Association). A retailer is defined as the seller of goods or commodities in small quantities directly to consumers, so it sounds like technically a restaurant fits the definition. That being said, I think the average reader thinks of a store or online business (that sells groceries, clothing, books, etc.) and not a restaurant when they read "retailer."

I'm not sure how I'd group the words you mention. Is this for a travel/tourism article? Who is the audience? If it is for visitors to an area, maybe local attractions would work.

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It's for a conference and I am going to write about Tablet PC usage in these retailers, hotels etc. +1 for the hospitality industry – C.d. Mar 9 '12 at 14:01
In that context, I would certainly add an extra qualification, if only to avoid the confusion with "retailers who sell Tablet PCs". – MSalters Mar 9 '12 at 16:16
So you're looking for a title something like: "Tablet PC usage in public, lodging, and retail spaces" ...right? – JLG Mar 10 '12 at 2:07
Yes that would be a nice one JLG – C.d. Mar 11 '12 at 1:50

My impression is that a retailer sells goods that others have improved upon or made. According to a few dictionaries it seems related to tailler (Anglo-Norman) meaning to cut. It seems that tailor is a related word. I agree with JLG-- I think has the idea of "re-cutting" material for sale. I think a better choice might be something emphasizing hospitality. How about the "hospitality community?"

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To ditto JLG: Restaurants, etc, fit the technical definition of "retailer" and are routinely categorized under "retailers", but they're not what comes to the mind of the average person when you say "retailer".

For a title, if it's important that anyone seeing your title understands that this applies to restaurants et al, I'd include it in the title even if it may make it long. Like you say this is for a paper at a conference. If there will be representatives of many types of businesses, including department stores, hardware stores, etc etc, and restaurants and hotels, and you are concerned that if your title just says "retailers" that the resturant and hotel people will see the title and say, "Oh, that one's not for me" and not attend, then I'd put it in the title. If it's a convention that's only for hotel and restaurant people and they'd take it for granted that every paper presented is for hotels and restaurants, then putting it in the title would be superfluous. If it's a conference for computer people, then it may not be necessary to put it in the title, just clarify in the first paragraph who you're addressing.

All that said, yes, "hospitality industry" is the phrase commonly used for hotels and restaurants. But that doesn't really help you much here. Instead of "Blah blah for hotels, restaurants, museums, and retailers" you can say "Blah blah for the hospitality industry, museums, and retailers". That doesn't really shorten it any.

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Can I represent restaurants by the noun 'retailer'?

What about eateries?

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I think choosing a more generic word would be better since the audience will not be native English talkers =) – C.d. Mar 9 '12 at 23:12
That's fairly pertinent information. Would you mind editing your question to include this? – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 10 '12 at 0:30

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