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However, they have their roots in the habits and customs that characterize our civilization and predate the Middle Ages.
Certain phases of foodservice operations reach a well-organized from as early as feudal times...
They were highly regulated establishments that sold restaurants (meat based consommes intended to "restore" a person's strength) to people who were not feeling well.
Cook-caterers (traiteurs) also served hungry patrons. The history of these two professions is historically connected and often difficult to distinguish.
It was a coffee house, hence the word "cafe." Cafes were places educated people went to share ideas and new discoveries.
Patrons spent several hours in these establishments in one "sitting." This trend caught on in Europe on the 17th century.
When cafes opened in France they also sold brandy, sweetened wines and liqueurs in addition to coffee.
The first modern-type cafe was the Cafe Procope which opened in 1696.
Advances in transportation (most notably trains, automobiles, trucks) also created a huge demand for public dining venues.
Religious orders and royal households were among the earliest practitioners of quantity food production...
Records show that the food preparation carried out by the abbey brethren reached a much higher standard than food served in the inns at that time...
Beauvilliers, 1782 "However, the first Parisian restaurant worthy of the name was the one founded by Beauvilliers in 1782 in the Rue de Richelieu, called the Grande Taverne de Londres.
He introduced the novelty of listing the dishes available on a menu and serving them at small individual tables during fixed hours." ---Larousse Gastronomique, (p. France was the birthplace of what we now call the restaurant..happened toward the end of the eighteenth century.
5-6) While public eateries existed in Ancient Rome and Sung Dynasty China, restaurants (we know them today), are generally credited to 18th century France.