Foodservice History

  • Period: 500 to Dec 21, 1300

    Middle Ages

    People in the Middle Ages had huge feasts with one purpose: to eat.
  • Dec 21, 1290

    Marco Polo

    Marco Polo brought spices all of the world to place where they could not be grown.
  • Period: Dec 21, 1400 to

    The Renaissance

    Haute cuisine was created.
  • Dec 21, 1533

    The Fork

    Catherine de Medici brought the fork to France.
  • Period: to

    Settling in North America

  • Cafe

    Boston and New York became major centers of trade. In 1634, an inn in Boston called Cole’s offered food and lodging to travelers.
  • Coffee House

    The first coffee house was opened in Oxford, England.
  • Period: to

    Industrial Revolution

  • The Restaurant

    Boulanger began serving hot soups called restaurers
    (meaning restoratives) for their health-restoring properties. He called his café a restorante, the origin of our modern word restaurant.
  • The Hotel

    The City Hotel in New York City opened, the first building in the United States designed specifically as a hotel.
  • The Railroad

    With the invention of the railroad in 1825, inns, taverns, and foodservice facilities located near railway stations began
    to grow.
  • The Cafeteria

    the cafeteria was invented
  • Period: to

    The 20th Century

  • White Castle

    The first White Castle restaurant opened in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, serving food that could be prepared and eaten quickly. This was the birth of the fast-food operation, or quick-service restaurant.
  • A&W

    Roy Allen and Frank Wright begin selling rights allowing people to sell their root beer (A&W), creating the fi rst franchise company.
  • Starbucks

    Zev Siegel, Jerry Baldwin, and Gordon Bowker open Starbucks
    in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks has grown to the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with more than 1 6,000 stores in 49 countries.
  • Fine-Dining

    Ruth Fretel opens a second Ruth’s Chris Steak House, starting one of the first national fine-dining chains.
  • Food on TV

    The Food Network was launched