The first modern restaurant in the world opened in 1765 in Paris, France. Historical documentation refers to a man by the name of A. Boulanger, a soup vendor, as the owner of an establishment in the Rue du Louvre district of Paris. Boulanger is credited with being the first businessman to use the word restaurant on his establishment. Restaurant originally was a French word that referred to bouillon-based soups that were said to restore health and strength. The sign outside of the restaurant is documented to have been translated to “Boulanger provides divine sustenance," making it the first establishment that offered the service of paying for a prepared meal.
More about culinary history:
- Ancient Romans didn’t generally have cooking equipment at home and often frequented thermopolia, which sold conveniently already prepared dishes.
- The first American restaurant is thought to have opened in Boston, Massachusetts in 1793 by French chef Jean-Baptiste Julien, with a specialty of turtle soup.
- The practice of leaving tips is thought to date back to the 1600s, when English taverns displayed jars with the label stating “T.I.P.: To Insure Promptness.”