Fun Facts For National Fast Food Day

November 16, 2018

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Fast food was originally created as a way to accommodate the larger numbers of busy commuters, travelers and wage workers who often did not have the time to sit down at a public house or diner and wait for their meal, and still make a profit.

The modern history of fast food in the United States dates to July 7, 1912, when The Automat opened in New York. The Automat was a cafeteria style restaurant that had prepared foods behind small glass windows and could be purchased via coin-operated slots that would then dispense the food, similar to today's vending machines.

Some believe White Castle, which first opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1916, and had various food stands through 1921 to be the first fast food restaurant. While not yet franchised, they were the first to operate with a standardized food production and standard look of their food and packaging. Others consider A&W, which opened in 1923 and began franchising in 1926 as the first fast food restaurant due to their beginnings as a root beer stand in 1919 in Lodi, California.

  • Every month, approximately 90% of American children will visit a McDonald's.
  • By 2020, Americans are expected to spend over $223 billion on fast food.
  • There are more than 300,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S.