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"I'm a fairly visual thinker. In doing science, I think in terms of pictures of things happening, and then do the mathematics."
- Gregory Benford

Self-Service Cafeteria  
  Food on demand.  

The bright lights of a restaurant showed clear against the sunlight and he entered, slumping in a chair, and staring dully at a row of buttons to his right. He pressed several of them, then waited, wondering what was the next thing to do. Machinery whined beneath the smooth surface of the table, a panel slid aside, and a tray, loaded with steaming dishes, rose before him. As he lifted the tray the panel closed again and he smiled as he recognised an old idea in its modern form.

He had chosen a self-service cafeteria.

From The Mechanical Monarch, by E.C. Tubb.
Published by Ace Books in 1958
Additional resources -

As far as I know, the earliest instance of this idea in sf is found in Burroughs' 1912 novel A Princess of Mars - the automated restaurant.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Mechanical Monarch
  More Ideas and Technology by E.C. Tubb
  Tech news articles related to The Mechanical Monarch
  Tech news articles related to works by E.C. Tubb

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