The Pros and Cons of Sharing Fast Food Items
Going to a fast food joint is in some ways like going to a movie theater to watch a film. It’s invariably an entertaining experience, and at the same time it offers a comfortable and familiar good time. It’s also very easy on the wallet, since fast food joints are to 5-star restaurants as movie theaters are to concert venues, sports arenas, and opera houses.
You can go alone if you have to as well. You can just go to a burger joint for a quick bite during your lunch break, and then sprint right over to Starbucks for a nice cup of java to keep you up during the lazy afternoons.
But it’s no fun to stay inside a fast food restaurant all alone, just like it’s sad to watch a movie by yourself. It’s better when you go with friends with whom you can share the experience. The advantage of fast food places over regular restaurants is that there isn’t any trouble figuring out how much money each one of the group shells out for the bill. Each of you can just go to the counter, make your order one at a time, and pay one at a time. It’s neat and it diffuses any tension about money that makes things so awkward.
But when you’re all gathered around the table with your food, invariably people share food items with each other. After all, you’re friends, right? This is especially true when you order the Taco Bell Nachos BellGrande instead of the smaller Taco Bell Nachos Supreme. Or sometimes you’re at McDonald’s and you all dump your individual fries into one pile to share.
So what are the advantages of this approach?
- It fosters friendship. Yes it truly does. It’s one thing to share a table with other people while everyone eats their own food. But it’s another thing entirely when you share food. It’s why “breaking bread” is such a cliché when it comes to camaraderie, community, and friendship. Sharing simply forges stronger relationships.
- You get to help out some of the people in your group whose budget is limited. Often there is that one guy in the group who orders the inexpensive items off the menu because he can’t afford the pricier dishes. It’s like that episode in Friends where there are 5 orders of steaks and a single order of eggplant. In a fast food joint, the sides and finger foods can be offered to all, so that everyone gets to eat their fill and everyone is happy.
- If you’re into weight loss (and everyone seems, and ought, to be considering the overweight and obesity statistics around the globe), you can at least remove the temptation or the opportunity of consuming too many calories for your diet. When you order a Nachos BellGrande at Taco Bell, you ought to know that the entire dish is worth 760 calories. So by sharing with friends, you can really reduce the calorie consumption to a more manageable level.
- Also, sharing improves your image. Your friends think well of you, and at the same time you don’t look like a glutton when you have too much food in front of you.
Still, in some cases sharing food may not be as perfect as it may seem. There are a few drawbacks to this kind of group activity:
- Sometimes you ordered just enough for your needs. This often happens, especially when you’re a creature of habit and you tend to order the same things for your lunch or for snacks. You already know how much food you need and you make your order accordingly. So sharing your food with others can leave you hungry and dissatisfied.
- It may make people resentful. The problem with sharing food is that there’s an inherent unfairness to the practice. It is one thing for people to exchange food, as in one shares a large nachos and the other one offers a share of their large fries. But often it’s about one person giving and another person taking.
- What’s more, it can foster abuse. Some people may become so used to taking that they become “moochers”, and that kind of thing can destroy friendships altogether.
So how do you deal with this? The best approach is for a group to understand that each person orders just for themselves alone. They can offer to share, but no one should be obliged to share. If you’re all really friends, then everyone will understand the importance of fairness so that relationships won’t be frayed.