As the result I looked them up, the word "patron" means a regular customer. Sometimes, they are overlapped. For example, I can say

"The more 'customers' or 'patrons' in the restaurant will cause the slower serving the foods."

In this case, they are interchangeable. Is it correct?


3 Answers 3


The terms are not always interchangeable. Fast food restaurants may have customers, but upscale restaurants have patrons.

I worked at a university library once. On one of my first days I told a more experienced worker, there's a customer here with a question. They raised their eyebrows and told me, "you mean a patron. Libraries don't have customers."

And I think that applies to other places. The store Target does not refer to the people shopping there as customers but as 'guests'.


Yes, according to patron's definition in cambridge, both 'patron' and 'customer' are synonyms of each other and can be used interchangeably in this example:

The more 'customers' or 'patrons' in the restaurant will cause the slower serving the foods.

Mostly, for restaurants and shops, a 'patron' is considered as a 'regular customer' Check TFD entry.

Hope this will help.


I have worked in both restaurants and in cinemas and what I had explained to me was with Patrons as compared to Customers - Patrons don't take away anything from the business (except for a full stomach or imagination!) but customers physically take goods away from the business. I would be interested if this was correct or not.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .