Old-school dining traditions have stuck around in the form of classic diners, and some of the country's oldest restaurants make a point of keeping history on display, but a lot has changed since the days of drive-ins and jukeboxes in the late 60s.AMC

Having a phone at the table was a huge deal.

These days, certain restaurants are getting attention by banning the use of cell phones in restaurants, but 50 years ago, it was a big deal to be able to have access to a telephone table-side. Back in the day, your waiter might bring a clunky phone over and plug it into a jack nearby if you had a pressing call to make - but such service was mostly reserved for pricey establishments and VIP diners.John Pratt - Getty Images

Customers always carried cash.

The convenience of paying your bill with a credit card didn't become a viable option until the system was computerized in 1973, so diners always kept cash on hand. Luckily, settling the check was often as easy as throwing some change on the counter and walking out.Getty Images

Checks were written by hand.

Old-school diners still keep things simple by scribbling your order onto a pad of paper, but before digital registers became a mainstay, that's how your bill arrived at every restaurant.Getty Images

Soda shops were on their way out.

In 40s and 50s, drugstore soda fountains were the place to be to socialize with friends over ice cream sodas and egg creams, but chains like Walgreens and Dairy Queen popped up and put them out of business.Getty Images

But fountain Coke was all the rage.

The popularity of Coca-Cola ensured that restaurants everywhere stocked the syrup and had it on tap in the 50s and 60s. The iconic aluminum cans were introduced in 1967.Getty Images

Then drive-ins took over.

Customers embraced the drive-in trend, which introduced car-side service by "carhop" waiters and waitresses at restaurants like A&W.Getty Images

McDonald's was having a moment.

Though McDonald's had been in operation since the 40s, Ray Kroc later expanded the chain's reach to the global scale, adding drive-in service and introducing beloved menu items like the Big Mac, which debuted in 1967.Getty Images

Take-out was a new concept.

With over 1,000 locations throughout the U.S. in 1966, Kentucky Fried Chicken popularized the idea of a "take away" fast food meal, with advertisements proclaiming: "We fix Sunday dinner seven days a week."Getty Images

Menus were much shorter.

Multi-page restaurant menus that you can browse like a book were unheard of back in the day. Eateries offered a concise list of straightforward mains, sides and desserts with limited beverage options, and asking for substitutions would definitely get you a dirty look.Getty Images

And the food was way cheaper.

Restaurant prices from the 60s and 70s make today's offerings seem outrageous. A roast turkey dinner, complete with sides, only cost diners 70 cents back in 1963.Getty Images

Sparkling water wasn't an option.

Servers definitely weren't asking customers whether they prefer still or sparkling water. Other than water, Americans drank mostly soda and beer in restaurants until Perrier exploded the sparkling water industry in the states in 1977.Getty Images

But teenagers could order booze.

The drinking age was all over the place between 1969 and 1976. Since many states lowered the drinking age from 21 to 18 to match the change in voting age, teens were able to drink beer with their dinner in some parts of the country.

And smoking was allowed.

Though most restaurants had non-smoking sections, it was common for bars and eateries to be shrouded in a veil of cigarette smoke with diners puffing away throughout their meal.Getty Images

Segregation was a still major problem.

A series of sit-ins were held throughout the 50s and 60s to protest segregation in restaurants and other public places. Though President Lyndon B. Johnson forbid the practice by signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, black customers often still suffered unfair prices, poor service and more.Getty Images

Department stores had dining rooms.

Before the smell of food-court Chinese food permeated shopping centers, sitting down for lunch at a department store restaurant was a common occurrence. Bloomingdale's, Marshall Field's, Macy's and other stores served simple sandwiches, salads and desserts onsite, so shoppers could have a leisurely meal while running their errands.Getty Images

Anyone who was anyone had a Diner's Club card.

Travel and entertainment charge cards were a trendy way to settle the bill when dining out with friends or colleagues. The Diner's Club system allowed patrons to pay their balance from participating restaurants at the end of each through their credit account.Getty Images

Howard Johnson's was a go-to on any road trip.

Before a long car ride meant grabbing a Happy Meal at the McDonald's drive-through, Howard Johnson's was a hugely popular stop for hungry travelers. It was the largest restaurant chain in the U.S. in the 60s and 70s, known for its fried clam strips and 28 flavors of homemade ice cream.Getty Images

Air conditioning was a big selling point.

Though residential air conditioning was nothing new, restaurants with cooling systems were less common. Many spots advertised AC along with their menu items to draw in customers, especially during hot, summer days.Getty Images

Customers controlled the music.

If you wanted to control the tunes while you ate, you could bet there was a jukebox in the corner, waiting for your song selections. The introduction of wallboxes meant diners could do it right from their table or booth.Getty Images

24-hour restaurants were scarce.

Today certain restaurants and convenience stores stay open 24 hours, but 50 years ago, classic diners were just about the only place to grab a bite at any time, day or night. They were most prevalent in large cities and areas where factory workers were on the job around the clock.Getty Images

But chains started getting more competitive.

Restaurants like Denny's and Waffle House bucked tradition by staying open on major holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, bringing in a ton of business and inspiring others to adopt a 365-day operation.Getty Images