"keeper of a restaurant," 1796, from French restaurateur, agent noun from restaurer "to restore" (see restaurant). Medieval Latin restaurator meant "restorer, one who re-establishes." The nativized restauranter is recorded by 1880 in American English; OED calls restauranteur (1878, also American English) "An erroneous form." Cognate with Spanish restaurador, Italian ristoratore.
updated on July 21, 2021