Who doesn’t love going out to eat? Restaurant dining is a common experience of everyday life, but that wasn’t always the case. A brief history of the restaurant industry we provide shows how things evolved from the early days in the 18th century to today.
The Early Days
The first restaurant, believed to be in France in the late 18th century, served mostly soups and other “restoratives”. The establishment was not necessarily the first place where people could order food, but it was the first to offer a menu with multiple choices. Prior to this, people could buy food at roadside inns, but it was usually just whatever the cook had made, whenever it was ready, as nothing was made to order.
Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Restaurants
The 19th century saw an enormous period of growth in America, particularly in terms of transportation. Railroads made it easier for people to travel further distances, and this increased the need for restaurants. American restaurants tried to emulate French ones at first, but they used ingredients local to America. When the 20th century came around, the restaurant industry began to reflect Americans’ lifestyles. People had less and less time to sit down for a meal, and this led to the rise of fast food restaurants, such as McDonalds, in the mid-20th century.
The focus of modern restaurants is more on the aesthetic and experience of dining; individual style reflected in food and décor is more important than it once was. People have more options now than ever before, and this even applies to clothing worn by those in the restaurant industry. Now, restaurant workers and owners can choose what image they want to present to restaurant goers. The choices range from personalized aprons to stylish jumpsuits.
Restaurants have not always been what they are today. In fact, the history of the restaurant industry shows many changes. Try to remember what restaurants were once like the next time you go out to eat—you’ll appreciate your options even more!