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Quality Fast Food

Food was the impetus and the core of the Fred Harvey Company. When Fred Harvey was a railroad employee, he constantly encountered unpalatable meals that made travel a dismal endeavor. He opened his first Harvey House in 1876, with the expectation and goal of providing delicious food at reasonable prices in a timely manner.

The span of service for each train stop was 30 minutes, which was a quick turnaround time that required coordination between the conductor, the Harvey Houses and the Harvey Girls. In this sense, Fred Harvey can be considered one of the earliest, if the not the first, to serve food quickly and efficiently, a business model that is now known as "fast food."

As the company grew so did its approach to business relationships. Contracts with local purveyors ensured fresh ingredients. In true farm-to-table fashion, the company even operated its own produce and dairy farms and ran its own cattle. The company manufactured its own products, such as whiskey and other spirits, which appeared on its drink menus. As a way for customers to take a piece of their Fred Harvey Company experience home with them, brand retail products were available for purchase in the gift shops.

Efficiency and Quality






Menu Artwork


Fred Harvey, the company, utilized a great deal of local imagery and iconography to promote their brand.

William Dean Fausett

William Dean Fausett's images were initially featured in El Tovar's cocktail lounge. The Seven Stages of Drunkenness made for a humorous addition especially given the fact that the images were featured in the bars of Harvey establishments. Note the cat in the images.

Tribal Icons

As the company promoted the Indian Department and the Detours, the use of tribal imagery made its way into the menus and promotional products.

3000 Miles of Hospitality

A popularly used series of images or clip art was the 3000 Miles of Hospitality collection.

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