Fast Food History
The American hamburger is a relatively recent creation. Hamburgers were not commonly made in America until the early 20th century. The first hamburger fast-food chain was White Castle, founded in 1916 by J. Walter Anderson of Wichita, Kansas. He sold five cent hamburgers along with french fries and colas. White Castle thrived along with other fast-food operations. However, fast-food did not become a significant part of the American landscape until after World War II.
Richard and Maurice McDonald chalked out a design for a new type of hamburger restaurant on a tennis court in 1948. Their goal was to make the operation as efficient as possible. Compared with previous fast-food chains they planned to reduce their expenses, thereby permitting them to sell hamburgers at a lower price. Richard and Maurice McDonald sped up the process of making hamburgers through a series of innovations permitting them to service more customers faster. These efforts to streamline and mass produce hamburgers paid off.
Other fast-food chains were developed to market main products such as chicken, pizza, tacos, sub-sandwiches, etc. By 1990 there were almost 11,803 McDonald's, 6,298 Burger King' s, and 3,721 Wendy' s fast-food establishments in the United States. Today, 160,000 fast-food restaurants serve more than 50 million Americans daily.
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