Why fast food restaurants succeeded in America
And that's why fast food was invented. To serve the now-mobile population of The United States after World War II, starting in 1945. And as exciting and romantic the notion might seem of "taking your chances" with a local restaurant while traveling through a small town, it was pretty miserable. Before fast food restaurants, well, you were on your own. If the food was no good, or the place was closed on alternate Tuesdays, you went hungry. And so the idea of good, consistent, clean food caught on very quickly, and these fast food restaurants were common by the 1950s. Heck, you could even drive up to some of them, eat in your car, and were served by waitresses on roller-skates.
And the idea of food like that went beyond the exit-ramps of America and succeeded in its cities. For the inventors of this idea, like Ray Croc of McDonalds, this must have been amazing. They had only counted on people visiting their restaurants while traveling, but now people were visiting them in their own home towns. And the reputation of places like McDonalds was spectacular. No one had to ask a town local if McDonalds hamburgers and french fries were good, they were. And that consistency meant that all you had to do was to look for the familiar logo of your favorite fast food place.
And if you can't imagine a time before fast food, well, maybe it's just as well.
Photo - McDonalds in the 1950s at Indian School Road and Central, Phoenix, Arizona
Posted by Brad Hall