In the 17th century, the Osman Empire was famous for baking piles of cuts of marinated meat on a horizontal grill. This method of meat preparation was very similar to Cağ kebabı also called Yatık Döner. The first records of the vertical grill are considering the city of Bursa as the birthplace of doner kebab.
In the 1950s doner kebab was recognized as a fast food and gained international popularity. The first doner kebab shop was opened in 1966 in London. By the 1970s kebab shops became a popular sight in cities and towns across the UK. In 1973 Greek immigrant Peter Gamoulakos, established a chain of restaurants in Canadian Halifax, Nova Scotia. His shops popularized the donair making it a city's signature dish.
Doner kebab shops and middle eastern restaurants are popular sights across European cities. Europeans like to eat quickly, cheaply and heavily. They prefer kebab over pizza or pasta, which takes longer preparation time. At peak times it can take up to 30 minutes to receive the order. Chinese food is not an exciting alternative anymore and Japanese sushi can be very expensive.
The reason for the success of the doner kebab is affordability. It offers big portions of meat and vegetables for a reasonable price making it one of the top choices in Europe.