Perhaps the biggest American contribution to restaurant trends is the franchise.  The French model persisted in America (and elsewhere) until the end of WWII, after which chains started popping up across the United States.  Some of the first – White Castle and McDonalds – are still around today, and their business model has inspired countless other restaurant franchises.

 

This McDonald’s opened in 1953 in Downey, California, was the third restaurant in the franchise. It is also the oldest McDonald’s in operation today.

 

Although these franchises are known for their take-out fast food, the latter part of the twentieth century in America gave way to casual, family oriented franchises such as Applebee’s and Olive Garden.

More recently, restaurants in the United States have been moving away from this model and focusing on using ingredients from the regions in which they are located, with a special emphasis on sustainability and health.  The movement is known as “Farm to table”, and it is gaining popularity at independent restaurants and franchises alike.  The movement has been coupled with an increased interest among Americans in all things food and dining, with original documentaries and series about famous chefs being some of Netflix’s most popular original programming.

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