The first restaurants in the modern world were probably built after the French revolution, when the nobility was ousted, leaving their chefs unemployed. Many of these chefs moved on to other things, but the more passionate and persistent among them opened up dining places or 'restaurants'. Therefore, the modern term restaurant is actually French in origin.
The first restaurants that opened served what is more commonly known as 'haute cuisine'. As the chefs operating these restaurants were previously employed with the nobility, they dished out the food that they were familiar with. This food was generally of the rich variety and the service standard was also very formal.
After France, the concept of restaurants moved to the rest of Europe and later to America. Since France was where the restaurants originated, the cuisines in most of the restaurants throughout the world were also mainly French. The method of operation of these restaurants was also distinctly French in character in the sense that the target clientele of these restaurants were generally the aristocracy and the nobility.
However, this trend started to change in the 1950's in the United States, when people became fed up of the French fare that was dished out by most of the restaurants. They wanted something new. This led to the emergence of many restaurants that were distinctly American in nature, serving both French cuisine and local popular food. The service style in these restaurants was also relaxed as compared to French Restaurants, where silver service was done. In these American restaurants the food was plated in the kitchen itself. That is why preplated service is also known as American service.
The 1950's also saw the emergence of the McDonald's empire and a host of other fast food chains. The emergence of fast food outlets as a...