Old-school Kansas City restaurant serves food via a miniature train

Emerald Pellot
·2-min read

Americans love a gimmick. During simpler times we’ve waited in line for cronuts, bought pet rocks and if you were ever in a hunger pinch, a cupcake vending machine did the trick. 

With so many options, it’s always surprising when something with a novel quality endures. Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant in Kansas City is just one of those things that never gets old. Since 1954, the diner has been serving customers old fashioned hamburgers via train. 

Toby Anderson, a Fritz patron, captured the unique waiting system on Instagram. A miniature railway track runs along the ceiling of the establishment. When an order is ready a small train carries the “cargo” throughout the restaurant and then drops off the food on a small shelf located above the corresponding table. Not a bad way to get your hands on some french fries. 

View this post on Instagram

Train delivered lunch!

A post shared by Toby Anderson (@anderson_toby) on Mar 7, 2020 at 1:25pm PST

The restaurant founder, known only as Fritz, created the patented food delivery system in his basement during the 1960s. Fritz designed it to compensate for a labor shortage so that without servers the restaurant could still run efficiently. He called the system “Skat Kat” but everyone else called it a train. In the 1970s Fritz went all on in on the railroad theme and turned Skat Kat into a replica locomotive. 

Today Fritz’s son Fred and his wife Mary still run the Kansas City joint. And the train delivery system is no less cool. Just take a look at a few of the comments on Anderson’s video. 

“Train delivered lunch!” an Instagram user said

“I love that place,” someone wrote

“This is so cool,” one person commented.

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