The History of Fast Food: From Popinas to Fine Casual

Fast food is a type of mass-produced food designed for commercial resale and with a strong priority on speed of service over other relevant factors involved in culinary science.

Fast food

is also known as junk food; examples include pizza, hamburger, chips, candy, soda, etc. It also depends on the method of preparation. Excess junk food considered harmful to health, research shows.

Even so, it is fashionable among young people.


food is a name for food that is prepared and presented to customers in a short time. It is usually made from pre-heated or pre-cooked ingredients, prepared in bulk and sold in take-out packages. As a term, “fast food” first appeared in the Merriam—Webster dictionary in 1951, but its roots are much, much older.

Fast food is food that is prepared and served quickly in establishments called fast food restaurants. In 1958, the company sold its 100 millionth hamburger. In 1961, Kroc bought the McDonald brothers and opened a training center called Hamburger University in Illinois. The rest, as they say, is history.

What's in a name? For fast-food chains, apparently many and some of them are desperately trying to get away from the term fast food and its greasy connotations, reports the Associated Press. More and more traditional food companies have launched plant-based meat brands, more and more fast-food and casual restaurants have added menu options, and major players in the field have raised big money. The first French fries were fried in England around the 1860s, where the origin of the “fish and chips shop” and the fast food industry emerged. Although the literal meaning of the idiom can be understood as fast food, it is a commercial term limited to foods that are sold in restaurants in processed and frozen form and served to customers and that later emerged as fast food chains. Because fast food has historically been unhealthy, it sparked a backlash movement in the late 1970s that advocated slow food.

Today, fast food companies have taken steps to make their offerings healthier by offering options such as salads. The fast-food industry continues to grow, although there are signs that it is losing its market share to fast-food and casual restaurants. As big fast-food players lose valuable market share to fancier chains serving higher-quality food, they seek to reorganize their images by abandoning the fast-food descriptor following in the footsteps of the hit chain Shake Shack, which last year coined the term fine casual to describe their highest quality burgers. Also keep in mind that soft drinks, often featured in fast food restaurants, have a lot of added sugar that is usually not needed in the diet. They have done an incredible job creating not only propaganda but also marketing efforts with the American flag, fast food and movies which have shaped the image of the United States around the world.

They bought bread soaked in wine and ate stews and vegetables cooked in so-called popinas which were simple restaurants. The term fast food dates back to at least 1951 an industry term that describes the new and now ubiquitous trend of restaurants offering fast food. The first McDonald's with fast food was opened by the McDonald brothers in 1948 (they used to have a restaurant but it wasn't a “fast food” type). The history of fast food goes back centuries before McDonald's was even an idea. People have been eating fast, convenient meals since ancient times when Romans would buy bread soaked in wine from street vendors or eat stews cooked in popinas - simple restaurants found throughout Rome. Today's fast-food industry has come a long way since then - from popinas to fine casual - but one thing remains true: convenience will always be king when it comes to feeding hungry people quickly. So next time you're grabbing a quick bite at your favorite fast-food joint or fancy restaurant remember that you're part of a long history of people who have sought out convenient meals.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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