By making speed of service the priority, this ensured that customers with strictly limited time (a commuter stopping to procure dinner to bring home to their family, for example, or an hourly laborer on a short lunch break) were not inconvenienced by waiting for their food to be cooked on-the-spot (as is expected from a traditional "sit down" restaurant).For those with no time to spare, fast food became a multibillion-dollar industry.
The American company White Castle, founded by Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson in Wichita, Kansas in 1921, is generally credited with opening the second fast food outlet and first hamburger chain, selling hamburgers for five cents each.
Among its innovations, the company allowed customers to see the food being prepared.
It was during post-WWII American economic boom that Americans began to spend more and buy more as the economy boomed and a culture of consumerism bloomed.
As a result of this new desire to have it all, coupled with the strides made by women while the men were away, both members of the household began to work outside the home.
Eating out, which had previously been considered a luxury, became a common occurrence, and then a necessity.
Workers, and working families, needed quick service and inexpensive food for both lunch and dinner.
Thus, urbanites were encouraged to purchase pre-prepared meats or starches, such as bread or noodles, whenever possible.
In Ancient Rome, cities had street stands – a large counter with a receptacle in the middle from which food or drink would have been served.
Additionally, procuring cooking fuel could cost as much as purchased produce.
Frying foods in vats of searing oil proved as dangerous as it was expensive, and homeowners feared that a rogue cooking fire "might easily conflagrate an entire neighborhood".