How fast food got its start in Southern California — and why it’s still the fast food capital of the world

Taco Bell’s original menu, with its first franchisee, Kermit Becky.

Some of the biggest fast food brands in the world started in Southern California in the 20th century.
Car-centered growth of communities around highways and suburbs made fast food and drive-thrus a perfect business model.
Drive-ins gave way to drive-thrus, which are dominant across fast food today.

Fast food has been deeply intertwined with Southern California since its inception.The logo of McDonalds is seen outside a shop in Vienna

McDonald’s, Taco Bell, In-N-Out, Del Taco, Jack in the Box, and many other chains all have their roots in the area.

Taco Bell, Chipotle, and others are still headquartered there.

Bob Wian opened the first Bob’s Big Boy in Glendale, California in 1936.

Source: Orange County Register

Wian was also credited with creating the double burger, now a fast food staple.

Wian had some experience with serving customers in their cars from his time at Kirby’s Pig Stand, which had carhops, in Texas.

Source: Houston Historic Retail

Bob’s Big Boy had drive-ins for customers in cars, a precursors to drive-thrus.

In 1940, the McDonald’s brother first opened McDonald’s Bar-B-Q drive-in in San Bernardino in 1940.Chicken on a barbecue grill.

Source: LA Times

Later that decade, the first In-N-Out opened in Baldwin Park.

Source: Orange County Register

That same year, McDonald’s became up a walk-up burger restaurant.

By 1955, Ray Kroc was involved as the franchising agent, and he started the McDonald’s System, the predecessor to the McDonald’s Corporation.

Source: McDonald’s

Del Taco and Taco Bell, still competitors today, opened within a year of each other in 1960 and 1961.

The two restaurants broke from the hamburgers and french fries mold of fast food at …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

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