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See also: Automat; Kentucky Fried Chicken; McDonald’s; etc.


Frank Hardart and Joe Horn open their first Automat on June 9, 1902 at 818 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. The beginnings of modern fast food.

"To the American, who is now so accustomed to mechanical contrivances that he no longer is astonished by them, the automatic restaurant is but the logical development of the vending machine. This establishment, in New York City, is fitted up elaborately. Its electric lights, its dazzling mirrors, and its resplendent marble outshine everything on Broadway. On the upper floor the patrons purchase what they desire; in the basement the food is cooked, and lifted to the floor above by means of small elevators."
Scientific American, July 1903

From 1970 to 2000 spending on fast food increased from about $6 billion to $110 billion.

Maximum calories permitted for restaurant meals that come with a free toy in San Francisco: 600 calories. (2010)

There are 600 Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in China (February, 2002). China is the second largest fast food market after the United States.

About 1/2 of the calories in the average fast food meal come from fat.

Fast food is not a new idea. In ancient Rome there were vendors who sold food ready to eat from street stalls.

rank Hardart and Joe Horn open the first Automat on June 9, 1902. The beginnings of modern fast food.

McDonald's fast food restaurant opened its training school, Hamburger University, in Oak Brook, Illinois in 1961.              
The first drive up McDonald's was opened in 1975           
McDonalds introduced Chicken McNuggets in 1983.

The gourmet food capital of the world, Paris, France, has McDonald's, Burger King, TGI Friday's, Pizza Hut, Chili's, and many other American fast food restaurants.



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