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The History of Fast Food Industry Essay

Fast food stores are one of the most common and most popular restaurants in the world. In almost any part of the globe, one can find various branches of McDonalds, Wendy’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Burger King. Meaning to say, fast food chains have become part of pop culture and everyday life. But the how exactly did the fast food industry begin? First of all, fast food, as its name implies, are relatively cheap food that are cooked and served quickly (Answers. com, 2009). The food being served usually includes burgers, pizzas, and fried chicken, among others.

In general, the exact origins of fast food are very hard to pinpoint as people from various parts of the served food in different ways. However, one of the earliest ideas similar to the concept of fast food can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome where places such as taverns and inns served food mainly to travelers. Although these were famous places to dine in the 17th century, the actual idea of fast food and eating out began roughly in the 18th century (HowStuffWorks. com, 2009).

Although McDonald’s was the first fast food chain to use the assembly-line system to serve its products, it was actually White Castle that was the first restaurant to serve fast food in America. In 1916, Walter Anderson started selling hamburger sandwiches in an outdoor stand in Wichita, Kansas. Subsequently, in 1921, at the same state, he founded the White Castle hamburger chain, which was the very first fast food store in the United States. The restaurant served cheap fries, hamburgers, and cola, which was well-received by most people, especially those who wanted to grab a quick bite (Fast-FoodFranchises.

com, 2008). Moreover, in 1948, brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald established the first McDonald’s fast food restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Their restaurant basically revolutionized the fast food industry as it had a relatively simple menu in a modest building without any tables (Fast-FoodFranchises. com, 2008). People who bought food from the store ate at their cars. Although it was the McDonald brothers who were usually credited for revolutionized fast food restaurants, it was actually Anderson’s White Castle that first started the modern concept of fast food.

As a result of the creation of White Castle and McDonald’s, the fast food craze swept the nation and in a very short span of time, dozens of entrepreneurs and businessmen began their own fast food chains. Among these people, two of the well-known innovator’s of the fast food industry are David Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s restaurant, and Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Thomas was basically not to keen on the taste of fast food hamburgers and came up with the idea of making a better-tasting hamburger.

In 1969, he ventured into this new idea and established the first Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant in Columbus, Ohio (Tollcorp Restaurants. com, 2009). The restaurant, which was named after Thomas’s daughter, Melinda “Wendy” Thomas, offered old-fashioned and made to order burgers that used fresh meat, which was unlike the regular fast food chains that served prepared meat. Col. Sanders, on the other hand, first began with a small restaurant in a gas station in Corbin, Kentucky in 1930.

There, he worked concurrently as a cook, station operator, and cashier, in the gas station and renamed his store as Saunders Court & Cafe, which grew popular due to his delicious cooking (KFC. com, 2009). He was named an honorary Kentucky Colonel in 1936 and in 1952 he began actively marketing his chicken by cooking for multiple restaurants in various towns. In 1955, Sanders sold his secret recipe to restaurants and soon, in 1957, the first Kentucky Fried Chicken sold hundreds of chicken (KFC. com, 2009).

Thomas and Sanders are only two of the dozens of innovators and geniuses behind successful fast food franchises. Today, there are thousands of fast food stores all over the globe and these include Carl’s Jr. , Jollibee, Dairy Queen, and Domino’s, among many others. Evidently, these stores will only continue to grow as the demand for them increases. References Answers. com. (2008). Fast Food. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://www. answers. com/topic/fast-food. Fast-Food Franchises. com. (2008).

Fast Food History in America. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://fast-foodfranchises. com/fast-food-history-in-america/. How Stuff Works. com. (2009). How Fast Food Works. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://recipes. howstuffworks. com/fast-food3. htm. KFC. com. (2009). KFC History. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://www. kfc. com/about/history. asp. Tollcorp Restaurants. com. (2009). The History of Wendy’s Restaurants. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://www. tollcorp. com/history/history_2. asp? ID=1.

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