Fast food is a type of mass-produced food designed for commercial resale and with a strong priority placed on "speed of service" versus other relevant factors involved in culinary science.
Fast food was originally created as a commercial strategy to accommodate the larger numbers of busy commuters, travelers and wage workers who often did not have the time to sit down at a public house or diner and wait for their meal.
It was during post-WWII American economic boom that Americans began to spend more and buy more as the economy boomed and a culture of consumerism bloomed.
As a result of this new desire to have it all, coupled with the strides made by women while the men were away, both members of the household began to work outside the home.
Fast food restaurants are traditionally distinguished by their ability to serve food via a drive-through.
Outlets may be stands or kiosks, which may provide no shelter or seating, Fast food began with the first fish and chip shops in Britain in the 1860s.In the cities of Roman antiquity, much of the urban population living in insulae, multi-story apartment blocks, depended on food vendors for much of their meal; the Forum itself served as a marketplace where Romans could purchase baked goods and cured meats.During the Middle Ages, large towns and major urban areas such as London and Paris supported numerous vendors that sold dishes such as pies, pasties, flans, waffles, wafers, pancakes and cooked meats.Travelers such as pilgrims en route to a holy site, were among the customers.In areas with access to coastal or tidal waters, 'fast food' frequently included local shellfish or seafood, such as oysters or, as in London, eels.Other fast food outlets, primarily the hamburger outlets (Mc Donald's, Burger King, etc.) use mass-produced pre-prepared ingredients (bagged buns & condiments, frozen beef patties, prewashed/sliced vegetables, etc.) but take great pains to point out to the customer that the "meat and potatoes" (hamburgers and french fries) are always cooked fresh (or at least relatively recently) and assembled "to order" (like at a diner).Although a vast variety of food can be "cooked fast", "fast food" is a commercial term limited to food sold in a restaurant or store with frozen, preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away.The concept of ready-cooked food for sale is closely connected with urban developments.Homes in emerging cities often lacked adequate space or proper food preparation accouterments.Often this seafood was cooked directly on the quay or close by.Harry Ramsden's fast food restaurant chain opened its first fish and chip shop in Guiseley, West Yorkshire in 1928.