Fast Food Nation

Known as carhops the waitresses who carried trays of

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Unformatted text preview: y were “circular meccas of neon,” in the words of drive-in historian Michael Witzel, designed to be easily spotted from the road. The triumph of the automobile encouraged not only a geographic separation between buildings, but also a manmade landscape that was loud and bold. Architecture could no longer afford to be subtle; it had to catch the eye of motorists traveling at high speed. The new drive-ins competed for attention, using all kinds of visual lures, decorating their buildings in bright colors and dressing their waitresses in various costumes. Known as “carhops,” the waitresses – who carried trays of food to patrons in parked cars — often wore short skirts and dressed up like cowgirls, majorettes, Scottish lasses in kilts. They were likely to be attractive, often received no hourly wages, and earned their money through tips and a small commission on every item they sold. The carhops had a strong economic incentive to be friendly to their customers, and drive-in restaurants quickly became popular hangouts for teenage boys. The drive-ins fit perfectly w...
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2014 for the course MGMT 120 taught by Professor Litt during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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