In the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II, the food of 2015 looks incredibly familiar — it’s just prepared a bit differently. Toss a miniature Pizza Hut pizza onto a pan, stick it into your Black & Decker Hydrator, tell the machine how you want it cooked, and three seconds later your pizza is ready. The appliance even slices it for you.
The December 17, 1989 edition of the Orange County Register took this big screen vision of our fast food future as its jumping off point. Enormous technological changes were coming to the quick service industry, they said. Robots, voice recognition, and credit cards (remember when fast food restaurants didn’t take credit cards?) were all just over the horizon: