ALL ABOUT FA(S)T FOOD
In 1921, after World War 1, vehicles became more popular and more affordable for the middle class; therefore, drive-in restaurants were introduced. Founded by Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson, the American Company White Castle, is generally credited with opening the second fast food outlet and first hamburger chain. Walter Anderson had built the first drive-in restaurant in Wichita in 1916, introducing a low cost and high speed hamburger restaurant. White Castle was tremendously successful from the beginning and produced numerous competitors. Then, franchising was introduced by A&W Root Beer, which franchised its distinctive syrup. Howard Johnson's first franchised the restaurant concept in the mid-1930s, formally standardizing menus, signage and advertising. Moreover, in 2006, the global fast food market grew by 4.8% and reached a value of 102.4 billion dollars. Shockingly, in India alone, the fast food industry was growing by 41% a year. Today, the United States has the main fast food industry in the world, having roughly 2 million U.S. workers employed in the areas of food preparation and food servicing.
Leader in the Fast Food Industry: A&W, McDonalds, Subway…?
The fast-food industry or quick service restaurants are thriving. The food industry is let by fast food restaurants which are responsible for 72.8% of the whole food industry revenues. In North America, McDonald's is followed by Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts, Pizza Hut, KFC. All in particular order to the amount of sales in North America in 2010. McDonald’s is the industry leader, with revenues that are 3 times to the next on the list. They are very much concentrated on low prices and getting the customer as quick as possible out the door, which appeals a lot to families that want a cheap, fun and safe place to eat. In today’s modern society, time is a very essential and limited factor; society is very preoccupied with everything else going on, their eating habits become irrelevant. This is where fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, have a great success preparing their food in record time, making more time for other and more important tasks.
Fast Food Trends
Over the last decade there has been increased focus on the quality of food served in fast food restaurants. “New” fast food versus old fast food, which essentially means that throughout the past years, many fast food businesses started to develop. And two “leagues” of fast food restaurants have emerged. “Old” fast foods and “new” fast foods, the old fast foods consist of companies like McDonald’s and smaller companies like Burger King and Yum! Brands (Taco Bell, KFC, Arby’s and Wendy’s). “New” fast foots are “Chipotle Mexican Grill”, “Panera Bread”, “Five Guys” and Oqdoba all owned by “Jack in the box” which is a member of the old fast food league. Both leagues have very similar attributes. They both serve inexpensive food in a casual matter while keeping a fast tempo. But the players in the “new” league have introduced higher-quality menu items, making the consumer’s experience more similar to a traditional restaurant dining casually at a table, rather than being in and out of the fast food restaurant with a greasy bag of food. Typically highly processed and industrial in preparation, much of the food is high in fat and has been shown to increase body mass index and cause weight gain. Popular books such as Fast Food Nation and documentaries like “Super Size Me” have amplified public awareness of the negative health consequences of fast food. These documentaries have had a huge impact on fast food restaurants who were indirectly obliged to respond to this trend if they wanted to keep most of their clientele. AMERICAN DIETARY TRENDS, BY DECADE
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