The History of Restaurants and 20 Fun Facts:
Today restaurants are an integral part of our everyday lives and our social interactions, but have you ever wondered where they started? Did you know that they first appeared in Rome and China and slowly spread throughout the world? The origins came from travelers on long trips when it was not possible to transport food on these longer journeys
Restaurants made their first appearance in ancient Roman and Chinese cities as a place for travels to get a quick meal in cities and in countryside inns. Countryside inns offered guest simple meals at regular times, there were no menus or options; it was simply based on what the chef had and wanted to serve for each meal.
In medieval times most inns and taverns continued offering meals to travelers, however they began to offer options of common foods found in most peasants’ homes at the time also. During this time specialty guilds began to come to light, made of commoners who would offer cooked meals for sale. At this time if you were not a member of the guild it was illegal to sell cooked meat, up until the end of the French Revolution.
During this time and up until the end of the French Revolution royals and aristocrats began having personal chefs in their homes as an added luxury. Once the French Revolution ended these personal chefs found themselves out of work. Chefs in Paris began to establish restaurants and the practice of fine dining became popular. They offered extensive menus with prix fixe and a la carte options, fine dining slowly became a fine art. Restaurants really began to take off with the invention of steamers, railroads and automobiles and the popularity of eating away from home.
- “Restaurant” is a French term that originally described rich bouillons, served at taverns to restore spirits and relieve aliments
- The restaurant industry is the largest employer in the USA, with almost all restaurant employees currently considered “part-time employees”
- Almost 40% of all Americans have worked in a restaurant at least once during their life
- The world’s largest restaurant is Bamwabet Dimashq Restaurant in Syria with 6,014 available seats
- The world’s oldest restaurant is Botin Restaurant located in Madrid, Spain which was established in 1725
- The oldest restaurant in the United States, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is The Oyster House in Boston, established in 1826
- The most expensive hamburger is currently served at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas; it is the Fleur de Lys and costs $5,000
- Currently Americans spend more than $2,500 eating away from home
- On average Americans eat out an average of 3 times a week
- Houston has the highest number of people who eat out 4 or more times a week
- Russia has the lowest number of people worldwide that eat in at restaurants
- On Valentine’s Day Americans spend almost $8 Million in restaurants
- Daily Americans eat more than 100 acres of pizza
- In Japan there is no custom of tipping servers
- The cities for the worst tippers in the United States are San Francisco and Seattle. New Orleans has the best tippers in the United States
- Most restaurants offer perks and rewards to customers who will sit in the most undesirable seats in the house, such as by the kitchen
- The slowest day for most restaurants: Monday
- The busiest day for most restaurants: Saturday
- Friday is the second busiest day for restaurants
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