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 Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell!

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Route 11

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  • Location: Howardsville, VA
Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Fri, 01/11/13 12:55 PM (permalink)
I'm in my late thirties but do remember fast food as a treat as opposed to the norm.
 
That being said, my parents loved it, especially Wendy's. I do remember that tasting so much better in the late 70's- early 80's.
 
I stopped eating fast food but it doesn't sound like I'm missing much.
 
#91
    MacTAC

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    • Location: Long Island, NY
    Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Fri, 01/11/13 1:18 PM (permalink)
    seafarer john


    The only specifically fast food place I remember was the White Castle on Main Street. As I remember they only served those little square hamburgers and french fries - nothing else on the menu - and they were very fast.

    In the mid/late fifties, about once a week my grandmother would come by and pick up my brother, mother and I and take us to White Castle. They had car hops, no roller skates though. There was a car wash next door, Carzapoppin, with a fascinating neon sign that consecutively lit up little car shapes. Free entertainment as we ate in the car. Still get The Crave every few weeks and for $4.99 including tax, I get 2 White Castles, a double cheeseburger and a small coffee. Quite the bargain these days, with a little nostalgia, to boot..
     
    I think it was the early sixties when first Wetson's and then McDonald's appeared, eventually followed by others like Steer In and Burger & Shake. We would walk over from the High School for lunches of 15 cent burgers, 10 cent fries and 20 cent shakes.
     

     
    Pizza (apizza in those days) was not considered fast food.  

    Around fifth grade, we were allowed out at lunch time and a few times a week, we would "hop" the 6' chain link fence and go to a bare bones bakery about five minutes away. He sold pizza, 15 cents a slice. We would usually get a 30 cent slice but some of the wealthy big eaters might get the 60 cent slice (half a pie :-) I can still taste it when I close my eyes.
     
    Like Michael said, a flood of memories...
     
    #92
      kozel

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      Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Fri, 01/11/13 3:26 PM (permalink)
      MacTAC

      In the mid/late fifties, about once a week my grandmother would come by and pick up my brother, mother and I and take us to White Castle. They had car hops, no roller skates though. There was a car wash next door, Carzapoppin, with a fascinating neon sign that consecutively lit up little car shapes. Free entertainment as we ate in the car. Still get The Crave every few weeks and for $4.99 including tax, I get 2 White Castles, a double cheeseburger and a small coffee. Quite the bargain these days, with a little nostalgia, to boot..

      I think it was the early sixties when first Wetson's and then McDonald's appeared, eventually followed by others like Steer In and Burger & Shake. We would walk over from the High School for lunches of 15 cent burgers, 10 cent fries and 20 cent shakes.

      Around fifth grade, we were allowed out at lunch time and a few times a week, we would "hop" the 6' chain link fence and go to a bare bones bakery about five minutes away. He sold pizza, 15 cents a slice. We would usually get a 30 cent slice but some of the wealthy big eaters might get the 60 cent slice (half a pie :-) I can still taste it when I close my eyes.

      Like Michael said, a flood of memories...

      That too triggered a flood of memories.  Thee were several Carzapoppin around NY/LI, where was yours?  The Wetson's I frequented was on 25A in Roslyn; the building is still there as a car rental office.  http://goo.gl/HY7Hs
       
      In my youth I worked for a short time at 'Pizza Drive' delivering pizza on a bike. They had a store on 63rd Drive in Forest Hills and another on Woodhaven in Middle Village. And yes, pizza was 15 cents a slice way back then (almost 50 years ago). 
       
      #93
        MacTAC

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        Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Fri, 01/11/13 9:06 PM (permalink)
        kozel

        That too triggered a flood of memories.  Thee were several Carzapoppin around NY/LI, where was yours?  
        I didn't realize there were more than one. Did they all use that particular signage? I enjoy old neon signs.
         
        It was behind the still there White Castle on Hempstead Turnpike in West Hempstead, at the west end of Front Street. Between the lamented A&S to the east and the lamented Cooky's Steak Pub to the west.
         
        #94
          kozel

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          Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Mon, 01/14/13 10:39 AM (permalink)
          MacTAC

          I didn't realize there were more than one. Did they all use that particular signage? I enjoy old neon signs.

          It was behind the still there White Castle on Hempstead Turnpike in West Hempstead, at the west end of Front Street. Between the lamented A&S to the east and the lamented Cooky's Steak Pub to the west.

          I swear the one on Woodhaven & Yellowstone in Queens was one and I believe I saw that there was one in Manhattan and another in Yonkers as well. Don't remember if it was neon but it was pretty garish. Google "carzapoppin" and it comes back with a few hits. These links may interest you especially the last one.
          http://www.bbb.org/new-yo...-forest-hill-ny-38294/
          http://www.trademarkia.co...car-wash-72438133.html
          http://westhempsteadnowan...-shoppers-village.html
           
          #95
            MacTAC

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            Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Mon, 01/14/13 3:39 PM (permalink)
            kozel


            MacTAC

            I didn't realize there were more than one. Did they all use that particular signage? I enjoy old neon signs.

            I swear the one on Woodhaven & Yellowstone in Queens was one and I believe I saw that there was one in Manhattan and another in Yonkers as well. Don't remember if it was neon but it was pretty garish.
            Thanks for those links kozel. The neon I was referring to wasn't their main sign, but a separate additional feature, a series of very crude car silhouettes that would light sequentially to represent a car moving through the car wash.

             
            #96
              MilwFoodlovers

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              Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Mon, 01/14/13 8:56 PM (permalink)
              MetroplexJim



              .........Back then McD's weren't even the biggest bargain in town; that was the Red Barn about a mile south that sold a 3 piece chicken dinner w/fries for $0.59!

              (Of course all that was at a time when I was earning $0.85/hr. as an after-school stock-boy/soda jerk at our local small town drug store)....................


              Just for fun let's say make $20 an hour these days. Your 3 piece chicken dinner with fries should cost you $15 these days going on you roughly spending 3/4 of your hourly pay for a chicken dinner back in the day.
               
              #97
                mjambro

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                Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Tue, 01/15/13 10:32 AM (permalink)
                MilwFoodlovers


                MetroplexJim



                .........Back then McD's weren't even the biggest bargain in town; that was the Red Barn about a mile south that sold a 3 piece chicken dinner w/fries for $0.59!

                (Of course all that was at a time when I was earning $0.85/hr. as an after-school stock-boy/soda jerk at our local small town drug store)....................


                Just for fun let's say make $20 an hour these days. Your 3 piece chicken dinner with fries should cost you $15 these days going on you roughly spending 3/4 of your hourly pay for a chicken dinner back in the day.

                 
                Except that $0.85/hr was likely minimum (not average) pay.   Today, minimum wage ranges between $5-$9  (average wage is about $25/ hr) with an average minimum wage of about $7/hr, so that chicken dinner should be about $5 - not easy to find today.  
                 
                #98
                  felix4067

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                  Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Tue, 01/15/13 11:42 AM (permalink)
                  mjambro

                  Except that $0.85/hr was likely minimum (not average) pay.   Today, minimum wage ranges between $5-$9  (average wage is about $25/ hr) with an average minimum wage of about $7/hr, so that chicken dinner should be about $5 - not easy to find today.   

                  Some states may have a lower minimum wage, but federal, which trumps state, is $7.25. There are exceptions, of course...most notably for tipped employees (e.g. servers), whose minimum wage is $2.13 per hour. Average hourly wage in the US as of December was just under $20.00.
                   
                  #99
                    mjambro

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                    Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Tue, 01/15/13 6:14 PM (permalink)
                    felix4067


                    mjambro

                    Except that $0.85/hr was likely minimum (not average) pay.   Today, minimum wage ranges between $5-$9  (average wage is about $25/ hr) with an average minimum wage of about $7/hr, so that chicken dinner should be about $5 - not easy to find today.   

                    Some states may have a lower minimum wage, but federal, which trumps state, is $7.25. There are exceptions, of course...most notably for tipped employees (e.g. servers), whose minimum wage is $2.13 per hour. Average hourly wage in the US as of December was just under $20.00.

                     
                    Actual average US wage is about half way between - $23.73 (as of 12/31/12).
                     
                    http://ycharts.com/indica...verage_hourly_earnings
                     
                    Typical US minimum wage does tend to be about $7.25 (along lines of the Federal guidelines, as you pointed out), but there are a number of states with lower minimum wage levels.
                     
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/w...e_in_the_United_States
                     
                    Still, to be consistent between minimum wages, that 3-piece chicken dinner would need to be about $5.03 - not easily found today.  
                     
                     
                     
                      ann peeples

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                      Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Tue, 01/15/13 6:37 PM (permalink)
                      Average wage? 23.73? Where? And what am I doing wrong in the work force?
                       
                        felix4067

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                        Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Tue, 01/15/13 7:22 PM (permalink)
                        Sorry...I chose to get my statistics from the US Department of Labor. Seemed like a reliable source. 
                         
                        Federal minimum wage is not a "guideline", by the way. It's a law. Which means states can put their minimum wage at whatever they want, but under federal law they have to  pay a minimum of $7.25 per hour or face consequences.
                        <message edited by felix4067 on Tue, 01/15/13 7:23 PM>
                         
                          Davydd

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                          Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Tue, 01/15/13 9:26 PM (permalink)
                          MetroplexJim must be a really old fart because the minimum wage in 1962 was $1.00 per hour.
                           
                            ChrisOC

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                            Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Tue, 01/15/13 10:06 PM (permalink)
                            When I became a union carpenter back in the 60's my wage was $5.85 per hour.  And my mortgage was $98.30 per month.
                             
                              mjambro

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                              Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Wed, 01/16/13 8:53 AM (permalink)
                              felix4067


                              Sorry...I chose to get my statistics from the US Department of Labor. Seemed like a reliable source. 

                              Federal minimum wage is not a "guideline", by the way. It's a law. Which means states can put their minimum wage at whatever they want, but under federal law they have to  pay a minimum of $7.25 per hour or face consequences.


                              Not exactly true - "The Act applies to enterprises with employees who engage in interstate commerce, produce goods for interstate commerce, or handle, sell, or work on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for interstate commerce."
                               
                              There are exceptions.   Example - small (particularly local) businesses that only sell intrastate can pay less than the federal level as long as it meets the state minimum.
                               
                                mjambro

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                                Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Wed, 01/16/13 9:49 AM (permalink)
                                MetroplexJim


                                Back then McD's weren't even the biggest bargain in town; that was the Red Barn about a mile south that sold a 3 piece chicken dinner w/fries for $0.59!

                                (Of course all that was at a time when I was earning $0.85/hr. as an after-school stock-boy/soda jerk at our local small town drug store).



                                 
                                Apparently that three piece chicken will cost about $6-7 today (vs. typical $7.25 US minimum wage).
                                 
                                 $5.79 at Bojangles - http://www.bojanglesflori...u-chicken-biscuits.htm
                                 
                                $6.25 (two sides) at Lees - http://www.leeschicken.net/lees-chicken-menu/
                                 
                                $6.99 at Popeyes - http://www.allmenus.com/i...-popeyes-chicken/menu/
                                 
                                $6.99 at KFC (two sides) - http://www.kfcplainfield.com/menu.html
                                 
                                  Adjudicator

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                                  Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Wed, 01/16/13 10:39 AM (permalink)
                                  The original Hardee's Big Twin (early 70's charco-broiled) burger was the ultimate.  I had a friend who always freshly prepared them for me.
                                   
                                    Adjudicator

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                                    Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Wed, 01/16/13 11:30 AM (permalink)
                                     
                                      ann peeples

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                                      Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Wed, 01/16/13 11:49 AM (permalink)
                                      Felix-tongue in cheek comment on my part. In the food industry, seeing that type of money is unheard of unless you are a chef, manager, etc.....dont doubt your statistics at all!
                                       
                                        ann peeples

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                                        Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Wed, 01/16/13 11:55 AM (permalink)
                                        There was a chain steakhouse in the 70's, here in Milwaukee called Nino's. Its the only one( besides KFC) that Dad would take us to. I always, as a young kid-no matter where we went, ordered fried shrimp. But the steaks were pretty decent, they offered a 3 compartment metal container of dressings for your salad( I believe French, 1000 island and blue cheese-way before the ranch craze)and the waitresses wore leather half aprons. Always loved going there. Bob and I moved to Sheboygan in the late 90's, and there was the last Nino's up there. Still the 3 compartment salad dressing thing-waitresses wearing the leather half apron, but the food just wasnt the same.....
                                         
                                          rneiner

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                                          Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Wed, 01/16/13 5:48 PM (permalink)
                                          White Castle---Order 20---.12each 
                                          <message edited by rneiner on Wed, 01/16/13 5:50 PM>
                                           
                                            MacTAC

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                                            Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Wed, 01/16/13 5:53 PM (permalink)
                                            rneiner


                                            White Castle---Order 20  
                                            And a Diet Coke?  

                                             
                                              CCinNJ

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                                              Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Wed, 01/16/13 5:55 PM (permalink)
                                              No ice.
                                               
                                                BackRhodes

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                                                Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Sat, 01/19/13 9:23 PM (permalink)
                                                We didn't have "fast food" back then, but we did have drive-ins and burger joints...and Doggie Diner...along with a variety of sit down restaurants...
                                                 
                                                ALL food places cooked to order as the orders came in...Karls in Hayweird, Mels in San Francisco, 1/4lb in San Leandro, Zim's in San Francisco, The Patio in Oroville, PDQ in Petaluma, Prings in San Leandro, Howies in Union City, Banchero's in Hayweird...
                                                 
                                                The very first "fast food" place I ever saw was Jerk In a Box in Huntington Beach (CA) and it was a shock with all their paperware & cups garishly festooned with their name...WTF is a "Jack-Cola" ?  (I said to myself)... this was about 1967 or so, maybe 1968...
                                                 
                                                A couple of years later a McDonalds was opened in the East Bay near us, and we'd grab a few burgers before feeding our horses every afternoon, and yes, they were pathetic...which is where the "Where's The Beef" Tv ad got it's inspiration from...
                                                
                                                Our local drugstore still had a soda fountain & lunch counter...life in the SF East Bay was good in the 1950's...
                                                 
                                                And remember: Tuesday is Red's Tamale day...!!!
                                                 
                                                <message edited by BackRhodes on Sat, 01/19/13 9:30 PM>
                                                 
                                                  CCinNJ

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                                                  Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Sat, 01/19/13 9:48 PM (permalink)
                                                  The first Roadfood fast food I remember is Bun n' Cone in the Catskills...

                                                  http://countryweekend.blo...011/08/floods.html?m=1

                                                  Hopefully they are doing well. I remember so vividly because spending summers of my early youth being acquainted with nature (snakes bats trees quiet no people up on the mountain darkness at night ) meant the trip into town was the only reassurance that other people still actually existed.

                                                  It was a great place to have a vanilla ice cream and stay far enough away from my sinister sister so she would not try to tap her chocolate ice cream on my vanilla and upset me.

                                                  I guess it was what is called a " stand" by folks who say stand. When I think of stands...I think of the carnival.
                                                  <message edited by CCinNJ on Sat, 01/19/13 9:52 PM>
                                                   
                                                    Phil from Philly

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                                                    Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Mon, 02/4/13 8:56 PM (permalink)
                                                    When I was a kid we used to go out for pizza instead of having it delivered, and as an earlier poster mentioned, Pizza Hut used to be a sit-down restaurant with waitress service.  Domino's showed up in the Philly area in the late 80's, and even though there are far better pizza options around here, being able to call and have a pizza delivered was a great thing for kids too young to drive and stranded in an unwalkable suburb.  I have to give Domino's credit for forcing mom & pop pizzerias to offer fast delivery - I recall some mom & pop places did deliver before Domino's, but the 30 minute guarantee forced them to up their game!
                                                    <message edited by Phil from Philly on Mon, 02/4/13 8:58 PM>
                                                     
                                                      BackRhodes

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                                                      Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Tue, 02/5/13 2:48 AM (permalink)
                                                      I've always wondered what those meat flavcored lumps on a Domino's pizza really were...
                                                       
                                                      EWe didn't do that many pizza's a s a kid, and in my later (teen) years Pinky's in Hayweird was one of the best...another good one was in San Lorenzo on Hesperian Blvd...
                                                       
                                                       
                                                        boyardee65

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                                                        Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Thu, 02/7/13 2:51 PM (permalink)
                                                        When I was a kid in Dodge City we had a Sonic and an A&W. Both were very good. I used to be able to buy bag of fries for 50 cents from Sonic. They packed in about a pound of fries in there. A&W was the first fast food burger I ever had. I loved it.
                                                         
                                                        JMHO
                                                         
                                                        David O.
                                                         
                                                          MacTAC

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                                                          Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Thu, 02/7/13 3:37 PM (permalink)
                                                          boyardee65


                                                          When I was a kid in Dodge City we had a Sonic and an A&W.
                                                          If you really were an old timer, you'd remember Delmonico's, Long Branch and Lady Gay were the only RoadFood spots in town 
                                                           
                                                          Sonic reminds me of a place by us in the early/mid fifties called Fiesta. They had telephone handsets at the immediate parking spots for your order which was brought to your car by a carhop, though not on roller skates. Great when coming back from Jones Beach. They had booths inside with handsets also. The usual fast food burger menu but I remember loving their flagship Fiesta Burger similar to, but much better than a Big Mac. Really miss that place...
                                                           
                                                            MetroplexJim

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                                                            Re:Oldtimers: What was fast food once like? Do tell! Thu, 02/7/13 6:54 PM (permalink)
                                                            Davydd


                                                            MetroplexJim must be a really old fart because the minimum wage in 1962 was $1.00 per hour.


                                                            I just turned 65 ( the "new 45" ); the year of my $0.85/hour was 1962 and I do recall quickly receiving a raise to $1.00, then to $1.25 after I got my driver's licence in 1964. 
                                                             
                                                            I hit the big time in 1966-68 when, as a member of the U.S.W., I made $2.46/hour working summers in a steel mill.  At that point it became Arby's (back then they were wonderful) for FF lunches.
                                                             
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