How we got here

How we got here

The history of the American restaurant industry over the past 100 years is anything but brief. Throughout, though, the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Show have been a part of the fabric of the industry, working with and for operators to support the business. For this special package, Restaurant Business, as the official magazine of the National Restaurant Association, takes a deep dive into the happenings and factors that have shaped the industry in order to shed some light on what will happen next.

Follow the timeline

A Restaurant Business Report sponsored by the National Restaurant Association

Through the years

The restaurant industry of today is in many respects the outcome of currents that can be traced back for decades—through hippies and beatniks, GIs and flappers, disco and the Charleston. When the business' first cross-industry meeting was convened in the wake of what was known then as the First World War, a major topic was how to hold down payroll costs. That concern would be addressed in every decade after that. Kick off the dive into the past with a timeline that looks at events that directly and indirectly helped shape the restaurant business of today.

Looking forward

Industry veterans share what they think the future of the industry holds.

Hear from the experts

Game Changers

The industry's evolution

Kitchen innovations that altered the industryAds through the years