Fast food is not just the culinary preferences of some individual people, it’s not just the national American cuisine, it is the philosophy of life, the philosophy of the New World with its irrepressible desire for freedom, happiness and prosperity.
It all began on a Sunny July day in 1912 in new York, when Horn & Hardart company had opened the first fast food restaurant in Times Square under the capacious and non-binding name “Automat”. Dropping in the slot “nickel” (fivepence), a person could at the same moment get a glass of milk, coffee or beer, and opening the glass door, to take out from the cupboard a plate of hot beans, a piece of cake with blueberries or a bowl of beef stew.
Despite the fact that the first such snack had appeared in Philadelphia in 1901, it was in New York, a city that never sleeps and the traffic on the streets of which does not stop, automatic restaurants have become a revolutionary discovery in the field of catering.
They have become one of the main attractions of the city and every tourist regarded visiting a restaurant as a mandate. If you’ve been in New York and have not tasted hot apple pie from the Automat, at house the tourist would be shot down in flames. All that was left to do is to buy cards with views of the new eateries. These snack bars with their constantly changing assortment have become so popular that some of the most favorite dishes from the Automat have been begun to sell in takeaway stores.
But, despite the great popularity, soon the automats were replaced by fast food already “with a human face”, with the waiters.
The first such restaurant was opened by the company White Castle in Wichita, Kansas in 1921. It has become popular due to its square-shaped hamburgers, which are still named as “slyders”.
But of course, none of the above eateries, no matter how popular it was at the time, can boast of the glory of McDonald’s. Despite the fact that in 1948 it was difficult to surprise America in the food system, brothers Dick and Mac McDonald’s in San Bernardino, California have opened the fast food restaurant, and it became the progenitor of the modern fast food chain and a synonym for the word fast food.
The fact is that in this place the service was really fast. The brothers developed their own special system, which was called Speedy Service System. It meant, that pre-cooked, and packed hamburgers, French fries and milkshakes were offered to visitors.
The brothers took as a basis the conveyor system, invented a little earlier by Henry Ford for the design of cars. In their production, they used a special mixer invented by Raymond Albert Kroc for whipping milkshakes, which was called “Multimixer”. More precisely, they used 8 such Multimixers, and it could not but interest Ray Kroc, who in 1951, intrigued by such a large order (and usually restaurants ordered no more than 2 mixers) from the distant town of San Bernardino, decided to go and look at this mysterious place where peoples consume so many milkshakes.
When Kroc has seen the new conveyor system for customer service, his business sense told him that it was exactly what the American people needed. It was something that would revolutionize and become an object of worship for people who did not want to waste time even on food, in pursuit of the American dream.
Having mortgaged the house and insurance, the entrepreneur bought for $ 15,000 from the brothers a “McDonald’s” franchise and in 1955 opened his first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. On the first day, the revenue was $ 366.12 (more than $ 17,000 nowadays). This day is considered the date of birth of the global McDonald’s chain with its quick service system.
Nowadays McDonald’s restaurants, as we know, have been opened in 120 countries around the world, and they have not only become the hallmark of America for millions of people, but a symbol of the New World and globalization.