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WorkbookEdition 6 the first restaurant

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Passage and Questions

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• Reading Comprehension Assessment
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.

The First Restaurant
Experts estimate that there are more than 8 million restaurants
in the world today. So it might surprise you to learn that restaurants as
we know them have only existed for a few centuries. Before 1765,
there were no restaurants. That is, there were no places that provided
the restaurant experience. There was nowhere in which a server
brought you food and drink that you picked off of a menu. In fact, there
were no menus anywhere!
There were places travelers could eat centuries before that.
The countryside was full of inns that would serve food. And there were taverns where one could get a
drink. The wealthy could also eat personally catered meals supplied by private chefs. But there was

nothing that could be called a “restaurant.”
A. Boulanger changed that. In 1765, he opened a place in Paris that sold soups. On his sign, he
used the term “restaurants” to describe what he was selling. See, soups were considered “restorative,” so
he called them “restaurants.” Eventually, people started buying Boulanger’s soups even when not ill. And
over time, people began to use the term “restaurant” to refer to the place soup was sold rather than the
soup itself. More “restaurants” opened up in France, and people began to purchase soups more regularly.
Then, restaurants in Paris began to serve food other than soups. In the 1780s, menus started to
appear. By the 1800s, there were many types of restaurants. The United States offered coffee shops and
oyster houses. Paris began creating elegant restaurants for the rich. The British began to copy the
French, and the restaurant concept was spread throughout the British Empire.
A slow start gave way to rapid growth. Urban areas around the world are cluttered with eateries
today. The European Union estimates that there are 1.6 million restaurants in Europe. In America, there
are nearly a half million restaurants. Today, diners have literally millions of options from which to choose.
1) According to the passage, about how many restaurants are there in the world today?
A.
B.
C.
D.

a half million
1.6 million
8 million
more than 8 million

2) Information presented in the first two paragraphs suggest that the author most likely sees a restaurant
as
A.
B.
C.
D.

a place that is very uncommon in the world
something other than just a place to eat food
a thing that had to be invented by the French
something other than a place that has a menu

3) The first thing to be called a restaurant
A. only served soups
B. was created by the British



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Questions

C. was invented in the 1780s
D. included a menu
4) This passage is most concerned with
A.
B.
C.
D.

how people eat out around the world
how restaurants invented menus
the history of British taverns
the history of restaurants

5) Based on the information in the passage, describe the origin of the modern restaurant in your own
words.
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6) Today, we take the existence of restaurants for granted, but only a few hundred years ago, they did
not exist. What other modern practices or businesses do we take for granted? What products do we
use constantly, but would never be recognized by our ancestors? Why?
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Questions

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7) Think of your favorite restaurant. What do you know about the origins of that restaurant? Who do you
think started it? Do you know how long has it been around? How many locations does it have, and
where? Why is it your favorite?
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8) Imagine that the concept of the “restaurant” had never been developed. How would society be
different? How would your own life and diet be different? Explain.
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Answers and Explanations

1) D
Question Type: Detail
To answer this detail question, look for the part of the passage that discusses how many restaurants there are in the world today.
This occurs in the first sentence of the passage. There, the author writes that “experts estimate that there are more than 8 million
restaurants in the world today.” This makes choice (D) correct. The final paragraph states that “there are nearly a half million
restaurants” in the US today. However, this question asks about the number of restaurants in the world, not how many there are in
the US. Because of this, choice (A) is not correct. The final paragraph states that “the European Union estimates that there are 1.6
million restaurants in Europe” today. However, this question asks about the number of restaurants in the world, not how many there
are in Europe. Because of this, choice (B) is not correct. The first sentence of the passage states that “experts estimate that there
are more than 8 million restaurants in the world today.” This means there are not 8 million restaurants but, rather, MORE than 8
million. Because of this, choice (C) is not correct.
2) B
Question Type: Inference
In the first paragraph, the author states that “there were no places that provided the restaurant experience.” However, in the second
paragraph, he or she states that “there were places travelers could eat” and that there were ways for rich people to eat prepared
food. “But there was nothing that could be called a ‘restaurant,’” the author states. This suggests that the author sees a difference
between a restaurant and simply a place to eat food. Because of this, choice (B) is correct. In the first two paragraphs, the author
makes clear that restaurants are actually very common in the world. He or she writes that “there are more than 8 million restaurants
in the world today.” This makes restaurants very common, not very uncommon. Because of this, choice (A) is not correct. The
author does not mention the French inventing the restaurant until the third paragraph. This question asks about paragraphs 1 and 2,
so choice(C) is not correct. The author mentions the first eateries in the world not having a menu. But he or she also makes it clear
that the first eateries were not like today’s restaurants. One way they were not similar is that “there were no menus” in those
eateries. This suggests that the author believes a restaurant is a place that has a menu, not something other than a place that has a
menu. Because of this, choice (D) is not correct.
3) A
Question Type: Detail
To answer this detail question, look for the part of the passage that describes the first restaurant in the world. This occurs in the third
paragraph. There, the author states that the first restaurant was created by A. Boulanger, who used the term “restaurants” to refer to
the soups he sold. His “soups were considered ‘restorative’ so he called them ‘restaurants.’” Slowly, “more ‘restaurants’ opened up
in France,” allowing people to “purchase soups more regularly.” All of this makes it clear that the first restaurant in the world only
served soups. Because of this, choice (A) is correct. The third paragraph states that the first restaurant in the world opened in Paris
“in 1765” and was opened by A. Boulanger. This means the British did not create the first restaurant, so choice (B) is not correct.
The fourth paragraph states that “menus started to appear” in the 1780s, but the third paragraph states that the first restaurant
opened in Paris “in 1765.” This means choice (C) is not correct The fourth paragraph states that “menus started to appear” in the
1780s, but the third paragraph states that the first restaurant opened in Paris “in 1765.” This means the first restaurant did not have
a menu. It also means choice (D) is not correct.
4) D
Question Type: Global
This passage is all about the history of restaurants. The first paragraph states that “restaurants as we know them have only existed
for a few centuries.” And the rest of the passage goes on to discuss that history. It traces the restaurant concept back to Paris in the
1760s and follows the history of the restaurant through to the present. Because of this, choice (D) is correct. The passage suggests
that people eat out all around the world, but it is mostly interested in tracing the origins and beginnings of restaurants. It does not
discuss much about the present, other than how many restaurants exist in the world. Because of this, choice (A) is not correct. The
passage suggests that restaurants invented menus, but it does not go into any detail on the subject. Instead, it mostly describes
how restaurants themselves came to be created. Because of this, choice (B) is not correct. The passage only mentions taverns or
the British in passing. In no way does the passage focus on either subject. Because of this, choice (C) is not correct.



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