A History of Restaurant Tech (Infographic)

The things that changed the way we cooked and dined throughout history…

1782 Although the fact is contested, it is said that the first restaurant recorded in modern history was  founded in Beauvilliers. By creating a menu, including tables and chairs and allowing patrons to order from a list of options, the first modern restaurant set itself apart from public eateries that only served one dish as a quick stop for travelers passing through.

1795 – The first set of tools were created to design the first closed top cooking range by Benjamin Thompson. This tool made adjustable heating possible, which made it possible for cooks to cook their dishes more precisely and to create food for more people.

1810  Originally designed to feed soldiers in battle, the canning process was invented by Nicolas Appert, a chef in Paris. This meant that ingredients could be more easily preserved and transported, giving cooks a wider range of ingredients to work with to develop more complex dishes.

1834  Gas began to be used from cooking, replacing coal. This introduction into restaurants made cooking less laborious, cleaner and more consistent.

1844 – The first successful refrigeration machine in the United States was developed in 1844 by John Gorrie. His device did not use a volatile liquid but operated by the principle that air gets hot when compressed and cools when it expands. The air refrigerating principle was extensively used during the latter part of the 19th century and during the early years of the 20th century.

1879– The cash register  was invented by James Ritty allowing restaurant to track each transaction. Later, when the National Cash Register company was founded, the cash register was able to print paper receipts, which documented each transaction.

1914 – Electric range was invented by Thomas Ahearn.

1973 – The first computerized point of sales system was created by IBM and not long after, William Brobeck and Associates created the first POS system for restaurants in 1974. McDonalds was the first restaurant to use a POS system, which allowed them to place an order at the register and print the order in the kitchen. This invention was the first of many that streamlined restaurant operations.

1984 Verifone credit card authorization system was created which was a major step toward achieving industry dominance with the introduction of its ZON credit card authorization system. In 1990 restaurants began using the Verifone system, providing diners faster and more efficient payment methods.  

1992 –  POS software integration with Microsoft Windows was created which allowed POS software to be implemented in more restaurants . In later years, the idea of computers running internet-based software that could automate restaurant transactions went viral. With the Silicon Valley boom, more restaurant owners were demanding high functionality for their systems.

1995 – Back of house management technology was created, however were mostly available to chain restaurants.

1999 – OpenTable introduced the first online restaurant-reservation service which eventually set into motion a number of startups attempting to streamline and strengthen the online reservation process.

2004– User generated restaurant review sites began popping up, changing the way restaurants gained exposure and democratizing the restaurant review system.

2011 – By 2011 Back of House Management platforms went on the cloud, meaning that all data became stored and used to calculate important information for a restaurant. Data on purchases, sales, and inventory value are used to cost dishes  and streamline kitchen operations.

2013 – Customer facing display for POS systems were introduced to the market allowing guests to pay quickly at cafes and restaurants and eliminating the need for paper receipts.

2016  Momentum Machines invented a fully automated burger making robot.






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