1936. Davre Davidson of Los Angeles has a vision to put vending machines in factories and offices. His inventory is peanuts; his warehouse is the back seat of a 1932 Dodge. The first week's receipts are less than $8.
1939. The business has grown enough that Davidson can bring on his brother Henry as a partner. The company becomes Davidson Brothers.
1940: William Fishman of Chicago believes, like the Davidsons, that there is a promising future in vending. He purchases 200 candy and cigarette machines and enters into the vending industry.
1940s: During World War II, Davidson manages vending for Douglas Aircraft's Southern California plant, while Fishman handles vending at its Chicago plant. The two men meet, share ideas and became fast friends.
1959: Davidson and Fishman merge their operations into one, and the combined company becomes known as Automatic Retailers of America, or ARA for short. ARA earns $24 million in its first year.
1960: ARA goes public to infuse the enterprise with new capital and expand the business. ARA's annual revenue exceeds $37 million.
1961: ARA spends $15 million to acquire Philadelphia-based Slater System Inc., the country's largest manual food service business at the time. The purchase gives ARA a strong foothold in institutional markets such as colleges and universities.
1964: ARA operates 95,000 vending machines and has 750 cafeterias or other "manual food service" outlets. The company's total revenues reach $200.6 million.
In 1965: ARA branches out to recreational foodservice at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium.
1967: ARA broadens its activity in Canada through an equity investment in Versafood Services Ltd., Canada's leading food service company at the time.
1968: ARA is selected to serve more than 1 million meals to thousands of athletes at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City.
1969: The company name is officially changed to ARA Services.
1972: ARA Services begins operating in England.
1973: ARA Services ventures into the nursing home management field, purchasing National Living Centers. It would also purchase Geriatrics Inc. the following year.
1976: ARA Services enters the Japanese market through a joint venture with Mitsui & Co. Ltd. to form AIM Services.
1976: ARA Services enters the work uniform rental and career apparel industry.
1979: ARA Services' total employment surpasses 100,000. ARA operates more than 6,000 food service establishments in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Germany.
1979: Joseph Neubauer joins ARA Services as executive vice president of finance and development, chief financial officer and a member of the company's board of directors.
1980: ARA Services acquires National Child Care Centers Inc. and enters the childcare arena.
1981: Joseph Neubauer is elected president of the company.
1983: Neubauer is elected chief executive officer, and finally chairman a year later.
1984: A group of executives, including Neubauer, fight off a hostile takeover bid and coordinate a management buyout that results in management ownership of 40 percent of the company.
1989: ARA Services employs 125,000 people and has total revenues of approximately $4.2 billion.
1990: ARA Services moves into Hungary and the Czech Republic.
1992: ARA Services acquires WearGuard, a leading direct marketer of work clothes and casual wear.
1992: The company spins off a portion of its geriatrics division in an initial public offering that raises $112.7 million. ARA maintains a 10 percent interest in the new company, which is named Living Centers of America.
1992: ARA Services serves Olympic athletes their native foods at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
1993: ARA Services enters Spain and enters into a joint venture with Daewoo Corporation in Korea.
1994: ARA Services changes its name to Aramark.
1995: Aramark acquires Galls, the leading direct marketer of public-safety uniforms.
1996: The company teams up with renowned chef Charlie Trotter to design menus and wine lists, and to implement chef training programs for its executive and corporate dining division.
1999: Aramark's revenues reach approximately $6.7 billion.
2000: Fortune magazine names Aramark one of "America's 100 Most Admired Companies."
2000: The firm acquired the food and concession services of the Ogden Corp., making it the largest sports and entertainment concessions provider in the U.S.
2001: Aramark acquires ServiceMaster Management Services, dramatically expanding the company's facility service capabilities.
2001: Aramark goes public again after 17 years as a private company. The company's revenues reach approximately $8 billion.
2002: Fortune names Aramark "America's No. 1 Diversified Outsourcing Company." It would do so again in 2006.
2003: The company completes the sale of its childcare division to better focus on its core food, facilities and uniform businesses.
2004: Aramark acquires a 90 percent stake in the Irish catering company Campbell Bewley Group, the largest food service company in Ireland.
2006: A group of investors led by Neubauer proposes the acquisition of all outstanding shares of the company, a move shareholders overwhelmingly vote to approve.
2009: Risk & Insurance« names Aramark the winner of the 2009 Theodore Roosevelt Workers' Compensation and Disability Management Award in the for-profit division.
November 1, 2009
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