这一切听起来都很具有未来感：一个没有服务员的餐厅，柜台后面没有工人，没有任何明显的员工，你只需将钱喂入玻璃封闭的售货亭，取出新鲜制作的蒸盘，然后送到你的表。欢迎来到Horn＆Hardart，大约1950年，这家餐饮连锁店曾经在纽约市拥有40个地点，在美国各地拥有数十家分店，当时很长一段时间，自动化服务每天为数十万城市客户提供服务。自动机通常被认为是一种纯粹的美国现象，但事实上，世界上第一家此类餐厅于1895年在德国柏林开业。这家名为Quisisana的公司也是一家同时生产食品自动售货机的公司 – 这家高科技餐馆Quisisana在其他北欧城市建立起来，Quisisana很快就将其技术授权给了Joseph Horn和Frank Hardart，后者于1902年在费城开设了第一家美国自动机。与许多其他社会趋势一样，它在世纪之交自动化的纽约真的起飞了。第一个纽约Horn＆Hardart于1912年开业，很快这个连锁店就出现了一个吸引人的公式：客户兑换了一小撮镍币的美元钞票（来自玻璃摊后面的迷人女性，手指上戴着橡皮头），然后喂他们的变化进入自动售货机，转动旋钮，提取肉块，土豆泥和樱桃馅饼，以及其他数百种菜单。餐饮是公共和自助餐厅风格，在某种程度上，Horn＆Hardart自动化被认为是对许多纽约市餐厅势利的有价值的纠正。它今天并不广为人知，但Horn＆Hardart也是纽约第一家为客户提供新鲜咖啡的纽约连锁餐厅。员工被指示丢弃任何已经坐了超过二十分钟的锅，一定程度的质量控制激发欧文柏林创作歌曲“让我们喝另一杯咖啡”（很快成为Horn＆Hardart的官方叮当声）。没有太多（如果有的话）选择，但就可靠性而言，Horn＆Hardart可以被认为是1950年代的星巴克。
It all sounds so futuristic: a restaurant without waiters, without workers behind the counter, without any visible employees whatsoever, where you simply feed your money into a glass-enclosed kiosk, remove a steaming plate of freshly made food, and carry it to your table. Welcome to Horn & Hardart, circa 1950, a restaurant chain that once boasted 40 locations in New York City and dozens more across the U.S., at a now-distant time when automats served hundreds of thousands of urban customers every day. The automat is often considered to be an exclusively American phenomenon, but in fact, the world’s first restaurant of this kind opened in Berlin, Germany in 1895. Named Quisisana—after a company that also manufactured food-vending machinery—this high-tech eatery established itself in other northern European cities, and Quisisana soon licensed its technology to Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart, who opened the first American automat in Philadelphia in 1902. As with so many other societal trends, it was in turn-of-the-century New York that automats really took off. The first New York Horn & Hardart opened in 1912, and soon the chain had hit on an appealing formula: customers exchanged dollar bills for handfuls of nickels (from attractive women behind glass booths, wearing rubber tips on their fingers), then fed their change into vending machines, turned the knobs, and extracted plates of meat loaf, mashed potatoes and cherry pie, among hundreds of other menu items. Dining was communal and cafeteria-style, to the extent that Horn & Hardart automats were considered a valuable corrective to the snobbery of so many New York City restaurants. It’s not widely known today, but Horn & Hardart was also the first New York restaurant chain to offer its customers fresh-brewed coffee, for a nickel a cup. Employees were instructed to discard any pots that had been sitting for more than twenty minutes, a level of quality control that inspired Irving Berlin to compose the song “Let’s Have Another Cup of Coffee” (which quickly became Horn & Hardart’s official jingle). There wasn’t much (if any) choice, but in terms of reliability, Horn & Hardart could be considered the 1950’s equivalent of Starbucks.