The study deals with an investigation of the introduction and evolution of the fast food industry in Sweden. After the turn of the 19th century, 121 small firms – all jointstock companies – originating from the same fast food business concept were founded. The companies studied, so-called “automated restaurants” (Automatrestauranger) were all established between 1899 and 1931. “Automat” was the Swedish name for a fast food restaurant in which the guests served themselves from purposely designed mechanical vending machines. Called “automatic” or “waiterless”, they first appeared in the 1890s and, though concentrated in Germany and Scandinavia, establishments of this sort spread some years later to the United States. Enormously popular at the beginning of the twentieth century, these restaurants featured bank upon bank of glass-fronted, coin-operated cells, each containing a single serving of dishes.
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- Agents of change: inventors, entrepreneurs, financiers, and small business owners in the beginning of the Swedish fast food industry
Dr. Karl Gratzer
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