Tuesday, September 10, 2019

When Did Take Out Start?

Pizza, Food, Supper, Takeaway, Takeout We don't think anything of phoning in an order for something quick for dinner.  We call and its delivered or we can pick it up if we want but when did it start?

At this point in time, about six percent of the American population calls their favorite restaurant for a delivered meal each day.  Ordering can be via phone, an app, or the internet.  Take out is not exactly an American invention.  There are records of the butchers in 14th century Paris who sent freshly cut meat to the homes of the wealthy.  On the other hand, there are records of people in India back in the 19th century delivering freshly made hot meals to the hungry around town.

As far as America goes, there are advertisements dating back to colonial times in which hotels offer freshly made meals to families who send their servants over to pick it up.  Any families who took advantage of the offer, had to choose from whatever was cooked that day.  They didn't have standard menus like today.  Then after the Civil War, restaurants offered lunches put in cracker boxes for Sunday picnics.  This continued into the early 1920's with restaurants still offering boxed lunches with foods such as chicken sandwiches, roast chicken, club sandwiches or salads.  These lunches could include ice cream for dessert.

During the late 19th century up into the early  20th century, most take out foods were purchased at transportation hubs such as railway stations or major road intersections where a lot of people passed.  Even in the Far East, travelers could purchase boxed lunches to eat on trains.  In the South, one often purchased meals from African American women who offered home cooking rather than relying on restaurants because restaurant food was said to be horrid.

In addition, take out lunches became quite popular because many workers had to travel farther from home and this made it easier for them.  They didn't have to worry about cooking or having facilities to cook.  Now if you look at takeout with a more modern look, check out the Kin-Chu cafe in China Town in Los Angeles that offered delivered Chinese Food back in 1922.  They were the first to offer a real delivery service.

The idea of delivering prepared food didn't take off until after World War II when people purchased homes out in Suburbia and purchased their first televisions.  This lead to a decline in people going out to eat at restaurants so the eateries began offering to deliver food from the menu  in the 1950's.  This move lead to an increase of sales from 20 to 50 percent in just one year.

While this was happening, the demand for pizza also increased because many soldiers who'd been stationed overseas came back with a desire to eat Italian food.  They hunted for Italian restaurants, looking for pizza.  In response, they began offering piping hot pizza one could take home to enjoy.  Again in Los Angeles, the Casa D'Amore pizza play offered free delivery as long as they ordered at least $2.50.

As people bought automobiles and started traveling more, the fast food joint was born to service these people with takeout and eventually companies soon offered delivery of boxes filled with everything  needed to prepare meals including recipes.  Now its even easier to order takeout by calling one number which will then forward your order to the restaurant of choice and it is delivered to you.  These services still offer takeout to travelers who don't want to have to find a restaurant in town.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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