According to the current edition of Larousse Gastronomque (p.194-5), the first cafes (generally defined as places selling drinks and snacks) was established in Constantinople in 1550.
He introduced the novelty of listing the dishes available on a menu and serving them at small individual tables during fixed hours." ---Larousse Gastronomique, (p. France was the birthplace of what we now call the restaurant..happened toward the end of the eighteenth century.
Advances in technology made possible mass production of foodstuffs, quick distribution of goods, safer storage facilities, and more efficient cooking appliances.
Advances in transportation (most notably trains, automobiles, trucks) also created a huge demand for public dining venues.
They were highly regulated establishments that sold restaurants (meat based consommes intended to "restore" a person's strength) to people who were not feeling well.
Cook-caterers (traiteurs) also served hungry patrons. The history of these two professions is historically connected and often difficult to distinguish.