Takeout and delivery are the greatest restaurant innovation of the modern age, hands down.
Wait, sorry—that’s not a verifiable fact. Just an educated opinion, especially in the winter, but nothing we can prove scientifically. Yet.
But, as we head into the cold-weather season when everyone just wants food to show magically up on their doorstep, here are some interesting and legit factoids about delivery. (Along with its slightly less convenient cousin, takeout.)
So put on your most comfortable stretchy, waistband eating pants, and let’s learn stuff:
1. Takeout Dates Back To Ancient Rome
The concept of takeout dates as far back as the food stalls and taverns of ancient Rome. Back then, prepared food takeaway was for the working class and lower-ranking soldiers.
Possibly the earliest recorded reference to takeout pizza was Virgil’s poem Moretum—an ode to a flatbread lunch. (Moretum was a Roman herbed cheese.)
2. The First Pizza Delivery Took Place In 1889
In 1889, Italy’s King Umberto and Queen Margherita had pizza delivered to them by famous pizza chef Raffaele Esposito.
Legend has it that he topped the pizza with red tomatoes, green basil, and mozzarella cheese – the colors of the Italian flag. It was such a hit with the Queen; it’s known today as the Margherita pizza.
3. Domino’s Popularized Delivery In The United States
The idea of delivery took off as soldiers returned home after World War II. And while the earliest recorded proof of delivery is from a menu for Casa d’Amore, it was Dominos that popularized the concept.
Brothers Tom and James Monaghan bought a pizza shop called DomiNick’s in 1960, which changed its name to Domino’s Pizza in 1965. At the time, not many restaurants were delivering, so Domino’s focused on that and created an empire in the process.
4. Papa John’s Once Delivered 13,500 Pizzas In One Order
In 2006, Papa John’s broke the world record for most pizzas delivered when they dropped off 13,500 pizzas to 6,000 employees of General Dynamics NASSCO at a shipyard in San Diego.
Delivered promptly at 11 a.m., they used 15 area Papa John’s restaurants making approximately 56 six-inch personal pizzas per minute.
5. Takeout Craft Beer Is Now Available
For the 21-and-over crowd, most states allow beer takeout service from microbrewers or specialty retailers, You can purchase large containers of takeout beer, called “growlers.”
Growler laws differ state-by-state and are so confusing; there are multiple websites dedicated to tracking and explaining them. However, the growler concept is gaining ground every month. You just can’t argue with an idea that smart.
6. Around 15% Of All Restaurant Meals Eaten In The U.S. Are Delivered
Beyond delivery services like Seamless and Postmates, many fast food restaurants have recently started offering delivery, often for a small fee.
Restaurants like McDonalds, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Dunkin Donuts and even Starbucks are beginning to offer delivery services along with a few higher-end restaurants. Why throw on pants when you can get your food fix without leaving the couch?