The Omni Parker House Hotel was one of the first hotels to deviate from the American plan and embrace the more flexible European plan. Hotelier Harvey Parker was also the first to offer meals continuously throughout the day, rather than at fixed intervals, and the second floor became a popular choice for the dining clubs of the time.
19th century Americans resisted the European plan as an affront to democratic ideals. Today, the American plan exists only on cruise ships and certain inclusive resorts, like Sandals Royal Plantation, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The Parker House had little culinary competition in Boston, but its great contribution to the nation’s menu is its namesake roll.