We always went prepared for the essentials of course, Where the next party might be. We always dressed up back then. Mom and Dad never went out to eat as a family, except maybe on Sunday after Church. It was such a huge treat. The first restaurants that catered to families were like the Big Boy. This was a new concept. We had burgers, dinners, even steaks. A steak dinner, with potato and salad, rolls was $2.95. A twenty five cent tip was a big deal. Soda fountains were in existence, but just barely. They were different though. You had a small coke on very rare and special occasions. It was always a premix, meaning that water was not added.
Most family outings were to places like Dairy Queen. They were around before time, I think. But to eat out was just a strange affair. Living overseas in the 60’s, maybe I missed out on some of the changes.
But remember, McDonald’s, as a franchising concept didn’t come along until 1959. Before them were independent type burger joints. Occasionally, you might see a pizza place, but every where you went, you would see something unique. There just weren’t two or more of things. Only department stores. On the east coast, there was Macy’s and Wanamaker’s.
McDonald’s sort of spawned a new idea of duplication. (Actually, the first franchise type operation was A&W stores, circa 1921) But Mickey D’s was the main player. In the 60‘s, this concept began expanding and there were many serious contenders for the burger group. The only other ones that were big enough for my memory bank was Burger Chef. Anyone ever remember that one? Of course, in different parts of the country back then, you might have a local chain, like White Castle. Of course, no longer. Most are all national.