Do you realize that every time you visit a McDonald's or a Houlihan's Restaurant & Bar or an Applebee's, you're seeing the ideas first generated by one man, Fred Harvey, who died over a century ago?
Harvey, one of Kansas City's first millionaires (his corporate offices were, after his death, in Union Station for many years, but he resided in Leavenworth), was the first restaurateur to incorporate high standards of service, cleanliness, and consistency of food served in his eating establishments. Harvey was also one of the first restaurateurs to use waitresses instead of male servers.
I will participate in a panel discussion tonight - with Steve Noll, the executive director of the Jackson County Historical Society, and cookbook author and former restaurateur Lou Jane Temple - at 6:30 p.m. at the National Archives, 400 West Pershing Road, in the Crossroads. The event is free.