Fritz's Railroad Restaurant: Food Delivery by Toy Trains

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Fritz's Railroad Restaurant is a family-friendly restaurant in Kansas City dedicated to trains, the city’s original form of transportation. At Fritz’s patrons order their food by telephone and it's brought to their tables by an overhead train.

Toy electric trains run around the the edge of the ceiling throughout the restaurant. There are railroad style whistles for sale and children under 12 get a free cardboard engineer's hat.

Orders at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant are called in from the booths on a telephone. A server brings the drinks, but the food is delivered by the overhead track. A mechanical arm stops your order at the platform above your table, which then lowers to deliver your food. This rig is a bit noisy and everyone watches when a meal is delivered. There's nothing quite like the look of wonder on a child's face as the train comes chug-chug-chugging along with their meal in tow.

Burgers are the main feature of the menu, but they also deliver hot dogs, grilled chicken, tenderloin and fish sandwiches, or grilled cheese.

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Fritz's Railroad Restaurant is owned by Fred Kropf whose family has been in the restaurant business since the 1920s. The restaurant was established in 1954. His father, Fritz, engineered what he called the ‘Skat Kat’ food delivery system, installing it in the 1970s. Patrons simply referred to it as a train and began bringing in railroad memorabilia, such as lanterns and toy engines, that quickly spread throughout the restaurant like the railroad stretched across Kansas in the 1800s.

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Food arrives in a tray brought by an overhead train. Photo credit

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Sources: 1, 2, 3

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