“Merry-Go-Round Cafe” Serves Food on Rotating Counter (May, 1931)

“Merry-Go-Round Cafe” Serves Food on Rotating Counter

ALL you can eat for fifty cents” is the slogan of the new Merry-Go-Round Cafe counter, recently patented by a Los Angeles inventor, which conveys the food around before the customer in a series of rotating glass enclosed compartments. These compartments are filled with various kinds of food, such as pies, salads, fruits, etc., which customers help themselves to as the case passes before them. On top of these compartments, which form an inner counter, are sugar bowls, napkins and silverware, and salt and pepper.

The compartments are mounted on an endless chain, moving over a series of rollers, and are operated by an electric motor which keeps the inner mechanism always in motion at a proper speed.

  1. Hirudinea says: September 28, 20112:00 pm

    Cool, futuristic and people can spit on your food!

  2. qyooqy says: September 28, 20114:18 pm

    There is a place just like this near my home. http://www.sushistation…

  3. Mike says: September 28, 20114:51 pm

    I was thinking if the belt doesn’t stop do you have enough time to decide if you want it and get your selection off? If you miss do you have to wait five minutes for the selection to pass by again or is it in multiple places?

  4. Mike says: September 28, 20114:56 pm

    qyooqy, The server cashier gets $18.75 an hour weekdays or $25 an hour weekends but if you are just a cashier it is $10 an hour? (Based on an eight hour day) (I am tired, maybe I am reading it wrong)

  5. qyooqy says: September 28, 20115:14 pm

    Look at the part of the website that shows the hours they are open. Somebody is working more than eight hours. There is prep time and clean-up time, but the cashier is probably only paid during open hours. The servers are also quickly washing dishes and doing other things in the back. It’s probably based on time spent and how labor intensive the job is.

  6. Rick Auricchio says: September 28, 20115:23 pm

    In Japan they have “rotaries,” which serve sushi this way. I ate at one in 1994. They even had hot tea spigots at each seat!

  7. qyooqy says: September 28, 20115:32 pm

    I don’t know if it’s in multiple places. I’ve never been inside. I get my sushi down the street at Mitsuwa. http://www.youtube.com/…

  8. Daniel Rutter says: September 29, 201112:28 am

    Yep – today conveyor-belt restaurants all seem to be sushi places:
    (I highly recommend ’em, by the way. It’s the buffet that comes to you!)

    You’d think there’d be other food styles that’d work this way, but as far as I know modern conveyor-belt restaurants are 99% sushi, 1% dim-sum.

  9. Jack R says: September 29, 20117:48 pm

    This looks a lot like the circle sushi joints that have become so popular in Japan. Each plate costs 100 yen and you simply put the empty plates in a slot that adds up the bill. The plates have computer chips that register how long the food has been on the conveyor. If it sits around too long it is automatically removed. All the sushi served is fresh. And I thought this was a new innovation!

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