Fred Harvey: Founder of the Chain Restaurant

| Total Words: 1439

In 1850, a 15 year old boy from London arrived in New York City with $10 in his pocket. He found a position as pot walloper or dishwasher at an upscale restaurant and began a lifelong passion with fine dining. From this inauspicious beginning, Fred Harvey would change the way people West of the Mississippi dined, create a marketing tool that helped create the worlds largest railroad, champion women in the work force, and build an empire.

As Fred Harvey worked his way west, stopping in New Orleans, St. Louis, and Kansas City, he acquired knowledge of the restaurant industry. When he wasnt on the floor waiting tables, he was asking questions of chefs and learning everything he possibly could about every aspect of the industry. His goal was to own his own restaurant, and in that endeavor, he accepted a lucrative position as a traveling freight agent on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. Traveling conditions were frightful in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Trains were dusty and full of mice and flies. Experienced travelers packed their own picnic of fried chicken, hard boiled eggs, cheese and maybe a piece of cake. When that ran out, you were forced to disembark...

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