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A food timeline
History of food production
• Religious orders and royal households were among the earliest
practitioners of quantity food production, and although these
foodservices were far different from those we know today, each has
made a contribution to the way in which present- day foodservice is
• Abbeys that dotted the countryside, particularly in England, not only
served the numerous members of the order, but also thousands of
pilgrims who flocked there to worship. The space provided for food
preparation indicates the scope of their foodservice operations.
• At Canterbury Abbey, a favorited site of innumerable pilgrimages, the
kitchen measures 45 feet wide
• The cost record most often cited is the Northumberland Household Book.
• For this household of more than 140 persons, ten different daily breakfasts were
recorded, the best for the earl and his lady, the poorest for the lowest worker.
• There were often two kitchens. The cuisine de bouche provided food for the monarch,
the principal courtiers, officials and their immediate servants; the cuisine de commun
pre-pared food for everyone else.
• Unless an important banquet was being prepared, the two kitchens probably produced
similar food. In the castle kitchen, the cook and his staff turned the meat (pork, beef,
mutton, poultry, or game) on a spit and prepared stews and soups in great iron cauldrons
hung over the fire on a hook and chain that could be raised and lowered to regulate the
• The diet of the royal household was very largely dependent on meat and, during Lent, on
fish. Many castles had their own gardens that provided fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit.
The gardener often received no pay unless he was able to produce sufficient fruits and
The history of food service
• Historically, the evolution of public eating places was stimulated by
people’s desire to travel, for both spiritual enrichment and commercial
gain. Religious pilgrimages played an important role in establishing the inns
in France and England
• These early inns and taverns were perhaps the forerunners of our present
restaurants. Many of them, however, were primitive and poorly organized
• The literature of the time describes unsanitary conditions under which
food was prepared and served, monotonous menus, and poor service
French Cook Shops
• The origin of the restaurant concept, however, has been traced to the cook shops
of France. They were licensed to prepare ragoûts, or stews, to be eaten on the
premises or taken to inns or homes for consumption.
• The shops had menus, posted on the wall or by the door to whet the interest of
the passer-by. The story goes that one Boulanger, a bouillon maker, added a meat
dish with a sauce to his menu, contending that this was not a ragoût and,
therefore, did not violate the rights of the traiteurs, or restaurant-keepers. In the
legal battle that followed, the French lawmakers sustained his point, and his new
business was legalized as a restaurant.
• The word restaurant comes from the French verb restaurer, which means “to
restore” or “to refresh.” It is said that the earliest restaurants had this Latin
inscription over their doorway:
• Venite ad me qui stomacho laoratis et ego restaurabo vos
“Come to me all whose stomachs cry out in anguish, and I shall restore you”
• Cafeterias Born During the 1849 Gold Rush.
• The cafeteria was a further step in the simplification of restaurant
foodservices. This style of self-service came into being during the
Gold Rush days of 1849.
• Regarded as an American innovation, its popularity extended
• the United States. Today, commercial cafeterias still represent an
important part of the foodservice industry.
• Another innovative foodservice was the automat, first opened in
Philadelphia in 1902 by Horn and Hardart.
• Patterned after a “waiterless” restaurant in Berlin, it combined
features of a cafeteria with those of vending. Individual food items
were displayed in coin-operated window cases from which customers
made their selections. This“nickel-in-a-slot” eatery provided good
food and high standards of sanitation for nearly 50 years, drawing
customers from every walk of life. For many people, it became a
haven, especially during the Great Depression years, beginning with
the stock market crash in 1929, the years of the automat’s greatest
• Hamburgers are believed to have been served first at the St. Louis
World Fair in 1904.
• This “innovative” sandwich later became the main menu staple of the
fast food industry. In 1919, the first A & W root beer stand was
opened by Roy Allen and Frank Wright, pioneers of the franchise
concept in the foodservice industry. At one time, they had more than
2,500 units; most were franchised.
• The passage of the Volstead Act in 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment
to the Constitution, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, and
distribution of alcoholic beverages in the United States, had a major
and lasting impact on commercial foodservice.
• With the loss of alcohol in the menu mix, everyone began to get
serious about the food served. Concerned restaurateurs gathered in
Kansas City, Missouri, and founded the National Restaurant
• Many landmark establishments went bankrupt while, at the same
time, a new breed of operation was spawned—the speakeasy. Two of
the most famous “speaks,” the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles and
New York’s “21” club, became known not only for the bootleg liquor
served, but for the quality of food as well.
• The legendary Musso-Franks Grill was founded during this time and is
shown in a 1928 picture and, since it is still in operation, as it appears
The impact of automobiles
• As mass quantities of automobiles hit the roads, what is considered to be
one of America’s first drive-in restaurants, the Pig Stand, was opened on
the Dallas–Fort Worth Highway in 1921 by J. G. Kirby, a candy and tobacco
• Service at the barbecue-themed Pig Stand was provided by waitresses who
jumped up on the protruding running boards of the automobiles—hence
they became known as carhops.
• The same year, Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson started their White Castle
operation with a $700 investment. They sold bitesize hamburgers for 5¢
each. Ingram was a pioneer of many fast-food concepts still in use today,
such as strict product consistency, unit cleanliness, coupons, etc
J W Marriott
• A 26-year-old from Utah was watching pedestrian traffic in
Washington, D.C., on a hot July day 1920.
• J. Willard Marriott saw that the thirsty masses had no place to go for
a cold drink. With a $3,000 investment he and his future wife, Alice,
opened a nine-seat A & W root beer stand that grossed $16,000 the
first year. This was the beginning of the Marriott Corporation,
currently a multi-billion dollar foodservice and lodging empire
First fast food
• Meanwhile at the other end of the dining spectrum, in July 1941 a former
bakery delivery man in Los Angeles secured a hot-dog cart with $15 cash
and a $311 loan against his Plymouth automobile.
• Carl N. Karcher made $14.75 on his first day in business. The hot-dog cart
evolved into a drive-in barbecue joint and then a quick-service operation
featuring hamburgers and chicken
• Some 50 years later, the Carl’s Jr. chain would ring up $640 million in sales
and number 640 units. Carl Karcher contributed air conditioning, carpeting,
piped-in music, salad bars, nutritional guides, and all-you-can-drink
beverage bars to the fast-food concept
The arrival of McDonald
• 50 miles east of Los Angeles in the then-sleepy little town of San Bernardino,
brothers Mo and Dick McDonald had opened a 600-square-foot facility that
violated a basic rule of restaurant design by exposing the entire kitchen to the
• The 25-item menu generated $200,000 in annual sales.
• Twenty carhops were needed to service the 125-car parking lot. But, faced with
increasing competition and the constant turnover of carhops, the brothers made
the dramatic decision to eliminate the carhops, close the restaurant, convert to
walk-up windows, and lower the hamburger price from 30¢ to 15¢.
• After a few months of adjustment, annual sales jumped to $300,000. By 1961, the
McDonalds had sold 500 million hamburgers, and they sold the company to Ray
Kroc for $2.7 million. Today, McDonald’s is the largest fast food chain
The 1950 coffee shops
• In the 1950s, coffee shops began to proliferate, particularly in Southern
• Tiny Nayler’s, Ships, Denny’s, and the International House of Pancakes
• (now IHOP) had their beginnings during this time.
• The Good Humor Man was a favorite in every neighbourhood starting in
1949. Ice cream was peddled from bicycles and then vans playing a well
• In New England in 1950, an industrial caterer named William Rosenburg
opened a doughnut shop featuring 52 varieties of doughnuts and Dunkin’
Donuts was born. In the late 1950s pizza moved from being served in momand-pop, family-run eateries to the fast- food arena. Pizza Hut opened in
The scale and size of the UK industry
• The food and drink industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector,
contributing £28.2bn to the economy annually and employing
400,000 people. We are a key part of the nation’s £110 billion ‘farm
to fork’ food chain.
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