Business and Commerce

Food and Food Service Industries

When did soul food restaurants become popular?

As segregation declined during the twentieth century and restaurants brought down racial barriers, many African-American businesses saw a decline in customers. African-American economic ventures in the food service industry of the twentieth century included two popular trends—soul food based on traditional black cooking and served in African-American-owned restaurants, and black ownership of fast-food franchises such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s.


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