For many years now, it’s been an ongoing trend in many culinary circles to denigrate the fast food experience. Some blame the entire fast food industry for the obesity epidemic, as if the easy availability of snacks and sodas along with the lack of time to work out weren’t also responsible. Others make fun of the taste of fast food, saying it doesn’t compare to “real” restaurant fare. And there are those who prefer the traditional restaurant experience of having servers at a table and paying at the end of the meal.
But the reality is that fast food places have boomed because they offer what people want. It’s the nature of capitalism—you succeed in business by offering what the consumer public wants to buy. And fast food joints offer many things you really need.
Whether it’s the easy availability of a McDonald’s location or the offers such as the Buffalo Wild Wings deals, people truly appreciate the following benefits of fast food places:
- The food comes in fast. It’s an accepted fact that life is faster these days. We don’t have much time for everything, so it’s very hard to justify a leisurely meal at lunch during the work week when there’s so much to do and there’s so little time.
- They often deliver. Many of us don’t even have time to get out of our office, and that means working lunches are needed. Or we may be home and we’re too tired to go out to eat. Not to worry; a fast food joint will always be found which can deliver your order to where you are very quickly.
- Fast food places are everywhere. It’s as if you can find one (or a dozen) easily within walking distance. That means you won’t have to waste time looking for a place to dine in, and in fact you’ll generally have lots of options. Whether you’re jonesing for burgers, chicken, pizza, tacos, or salads, you’ll find a place that will satisfy your cravings.
- The menu is lengthy and varied. Once you get in a fast food joint, you’re not really limited to what kind of food you can eat. Take a look at McDonald’s for example. They serve burgers, chicken, pasta, and now they even serve breakfast food all day. As long as you can find a single fast food location for you, you can order a different dish every day and it will take weeks before you finish sampling each main item on the menu.
- The price is truly affordable. Fast food places are very democratic by their very nature. It’s not reserved for the high and mighty as expensive restaurants are. You can enjoy their fare at any time, and whomever you may be, there’s a very high degree of probability that you’ll be able to afford to eat in such a place. In fact, with just $10 you’ll most likely exit the place feeling very full indeed. In other places, the waiter may even sneer at a $10 tip.
- Fast food places are even slashing prices. There’s now a price war brewing in the fast food industry, with McDonald’s offering 2 items for $2. Wendy’s is matching that offer with 4 items for $4, and even Burger King is upping the ante with its 5 for $4 deal. Everyone’s getting into the ring with special offers of the own. You have the Buffalo Wild Wings deals with half prices for special items on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Other places have “happy hour deals” with discounts in the afternoon or in the late night hours. Add all these deals to the general affordability of all the items in a fast food joint, and you realize that the fast food industry is helping feed just about everyone. You can track your calorie consumption. Fast food preparation is pretty much standardized, so it’s very easy to compute how many calories you consume each time you eat a particular item. Also, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires all chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menu boards. So you won’t have to guesstimate how many calories you’ve consumed every time. You’ll know, and that will help you track your diet and help you lose weight.
There’s no doubt that fast food joints are popular, as almost 83% of US consumers dine at such a place at least once a week. These benefits are undeniable, and they’ll make sure that the fast food industry will continue to be popular for many years to come.