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History

Almost every culture and country throughout the world have restaurants. Restaurants where people go to eat, drink and socialize, as we know them today, have been credited to the French Revolution. However, restaurants have gone through significant changes since the 20th century. This is due to changes in technology and the way food is now produced.   

The concept of selling food for profit goes back to ancient civilizations, including ancient Rome and China, where street vendors sold bread and wine to people in cities.The growth of the earliest restaurants coincided with the growth of cities. People would travel for days to bring their wares to the markets in the Roman Empire and Ancient China. Along the way, they would stop at countryside inns which served meals for travelers. During those days there were no menus. The proprietor cooked what he or she had.

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Europe, taverns and inns prepared meals as well. Specialties depended on the specific part of Europe in which the inns were located. Food during that time was generally not gourmet, but simple like soups, stews, tapas, shepherd’s pies, sausage, etc.

Christopher Columbus’s trip to America increased global trade and brought in new foods to Europe. Soon, coffee, tea and chocolates were served with beer, ale and wine at eateries.

In the 17th century wealthy people began to hire caterers to take their meals to private salons instead of serving them in the main house.

Fine dining restaurants started after the French Revolution when unemployed chefs opened up little restaurants in Paris complete with menus, china, linen tablecloths and cutlery. The trend continued and fine dining spread throughout Europe and the new world. Today, there are fine dining restaurants in almost every location.

Eventually, other types of restaurants began opening up and spreading as well. In the 1990’s many families had two working parents. With that came an increase in people eating out…not necessarily as an extravagance… but as a necessity and/or reward when neither parent was home to cook dinner or simply didn’t feel like it.  

Chains like Applebee's, the Outback, Cracker Barrel, the Olive Garden and more now offer moderately priced meals and cater to the middle-class and families. There is no question that American’s eat out more now, than ever before. The food and beverage industry is huge. No matter what type of restaurant, each offers job possibilities.