A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 01, 2009
Fast Food (Fast Food Restaurant)

"Fast food” is a quickly prepared meal at a “fast food restaurant”—such as a hamburger ("fast food") at McDonald’s (a “fast food restaurant"). The “fast food” term became popularized with the New York City-based publication Fountain & Fast Food Service in 1951, later titled Fountain & Fast Food and then simply Fast Food. The term “fast food” appears in newspapers from the mid-1950s, although a “fast food restaurant” such as White Castle, for example, has existed since the 1920s.

The earlier term of “quick lunch” existed since the 1880s, but is no longer used. In the 1990s, a “slow food” movement began.


Wikipedia: Fast food
Fast food It is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with low quality preparation and served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away. The term “fast food” was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam–Webster in 1951.

Outlets may be stands or kiosks, which may provide no shelter or seating, or fast food restaurants (also known as quick service restaurants). Franchise operations which are part of restaurant chains have standardized foodstuffs shipped to each restaurant from central locations.

The capital requirements involved in opening up a fast food restaurant are relatively low. Smaller, individually-owned fast food restaurants are becoming much more common throughout the world. Restaurants with much higher sit-in ratios, where customers tend to sit and have their orders brought to them in a seemingly more upscale atmosphere, may be known in some areas as fast casual restaurants.

Wikipedia: Fast food restaurant
A fast food restaurant, sometimes known as a quick service restaurant or QSR, is a specific type of restaurant characterized both by its fast food cuisine and by minimal table service. Food served in fast food restaurants typically caters to a “meat-sweet diet” and is offered from a limited menu; is cooked in bulk in advance and kept hot; is finished and packaged to order; and is usually available ready to take away, though seating may be provided. Fast food restaurants are usually part of a restaurant chain or franchise operation, which provisions standardized ingredients and/or partially prepared foods and supplies to each restaurant through controlled supply channels. The term “fast food” was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam-Webster in 1951.

Arguably the first fast food restaurants originated in the United States with White Castle in 1916. Today, American-founded fast food chains such as McDonald’s and Pizza Hut are multinational corporations with outlets across the globe.

Variations on the fast food restaurant concept include fast casual restaurants and catering trucks. Fast casual restaurants have higher sit-in ratios, and customers can sit and have their orders brought to them. Catering trucks often park just outside worksites and are popular with factory workers.

Word Spy
fast-food cluster
n. A collection of fast-food restaurants within a small geographical area.
Earliest Citation:
Yoshinoya, Japan’s fifth largest fast-food chain, has 270 Beef Bowl stores at home and is planning an even bigger U.S. chain. ... Most will be in suburban fast-food clusters, and some will have drive-through service.
—"A U.S. beachhead for Japanese fast food,” Business Week, July 2, 1979

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: fast–food
Pronunciation: \ˈfas(t)-ˌfüd\
Function: adjective
Date: 1951
1 : of, relating to, or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly “a fast–food restaurant”
2 : designed for ready availability, use, or consumption and with little consideration given to quality or significance
fast food noun

(Oxford English Dictionary)
fast food
orig. U.S.
[f. FAST a. + FOOD n.]
a. Used attrib. with reference to catering outlets where foods are kept hot and ready to serve, or partially prepared so that they can be served quickly.
1951 Fountain & Fast Food Service Oct. 39/1 The partners have become old hands at spotting the type of conventioneer that will patronize their fast food service.
1960 Fast Food July 17/2 Fast food type restaurants do the lion’s share of business for breakfast and noon meals eaten out.
1968 N.Y. Times 23 June III. 2/3 Another star performer in the fast-food field has been A-G Foods, which..operates a string of quick-service restaurants.
1975 New Yorker 14 Apr. 80/1 Supermarkets and fast-food shops are gaining great ground.
1978 Tucson Mag. Dec. 6/3 Nothing but a glorified, garlic-flavored fastfood operation with the poorest example of Italian cuisine.
b. The type of food served in these restaurants; convenience food which can be prepared quickly at home.
1954 (title) Fountain and fast food. 1960 Fast Food Feb. 48/1 Delicate scallops are really fast food..because they come ready to cook.
1977 Times 6 June 2/5 ‘Fast food’ requires no preparation by the customer. Traditional ‘fast food outlets’ like fish-and-chip shops are being superseded by Chinese, Indian, Kebab and fried chicken houses.

OCLC WorldCat record
Fountain & fast food service.
Type:  Journal, magazine : Periodical; English
Publisher: [New York : Service Pub. Corp.], 1951-1952.

OCLC WorldCat record
Fountain & fast food.
Type:  Journal, magazine : Periodical; English
Publisher: [New York : Service Pub. Corp.], 1952-1956.

OCLC WorldCat record
Fast food magazine.
Type:  Journal, magazine : Periodical; English
Publisher: New York : Service Pub. Corp., 1958-1967.

(Trademark)
Word Mark FAST FOOD
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 016. US 038. G & S: MAGAZINE. FIRST USE: 19560803. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19560803
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 72259237
Filing Date November 22, 1966
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0836327
Registration Date October 3, 1967
Owner (REGISTRANT) FAST FOOD SERVICE, INC. CORPORATION NEW YORK 630 3RD AVE. NEW YORK NEW YORK
Prior Registrations 0718030
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15.
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Sunday, March 01, 2009 • Permalink