The concept of ready-cooked food for sale is closely connected with urban developments. Homes in emerging cities often lacked adequate space or proper food preparation accouterments. Additionally, procuring cooking fuel could cost as much as purchased produce. Frying foods in vats of searing oil proved as dangerous as it was expensive, and homeowners feared that a rogue cooking fire "might easily conflagrate an entire neighborhood". Thus, urbanites were encouraged to purchase pre-prepared meats or starches, such as bread or noodles, whenever possible. In Ancient Rome, cities had street stands – a large counter with a receptacle in the middle from which food or drink would have been served. It was during post-WWII American economic boom that Americans began to spend more and buy more as the economy boomed and a culture of consumerism bloomed. As a result of this new desire to have it all, coupled with the strides made by women while the men were away, both members of the household began to work outside the home. Eating out, which had previously been considered a luxury, became a common occurrence, and then a necessity. Workers, and working families, needed quick service and inexpensive food for both lunch and dinner.