On this day in Alabama history: The first Morrison’s Cafeteria opened in Mobile

On this day in Alabama history: The first Morrison’s Cafeteria opened in Mobile
Morrison's Cafeteria was founded by J. A. Morrison in Mobile in 1920. The company expanded to include more than 150 restaurants at its peak but entering the 1990s, a cultural shift toward casual dining resulted in the restructuring of the company and the discontinuation of the Morrison's name. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, photograph by Eric Overbey)

Sept 4, 1920

It introduced a new concept to serving food. The first Morrison’s Cafeteria was opened by J. A. Morrison in Mobile on Sept. 4, 1920. The restaurant helped craft the cafeteria dining concept.

Initially, Morrison had to work to convince both his customers and his employees that the concept would work. Eventually, it did, and self-serve, home-style cooked food offered at a modest cost became synonymous with the South. It was a successful venture and at its peak, Morrison’s expanded to more than 150 restaurants that offered meals 365 days a year with food items prepared “homemade” daily.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

Morrison’s Cafeterias prospered from the 1950s through the 1970s as America’s shopping-mall culture developed. The company also briefly tried its hand in the hotel industry in the late 1960s. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Courtesy of the Mobile Press-Register)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

 

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