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We eat some forms of fast food since the ancient times. But the real boom happened with the industrial revolution, popularity of cars and idea that food can be prepared in five minutes or less.
Fast food restaurants, as we know them today, appeared in 20th century and most of them first in the United States. They improved the speed with which the food was prepared and standardized it so that every outlet would sell the food of the same quality.
During the history lower classes had the most trouble trying to prepare food for themselves because they didn’t have conditions for that. Street food appeared for that reason and is still important because of that. Read more street food history and facts.
McDonald’s started as a family hamburger stand only to expand into company that has its presence on 6 continents and caters for fast food needs of millions of people daily. Read more about history of McDonald’s fast food and restaurants.