Fast food restaurants, or as quick cook restaurants, as it is sometimes referred to, serves meals and cuisine in a no-frills, fast, and efficient manner. Food served in fast food restaurants is cooked in advance: kept hot to order; is usually available ready to take away, though seating is provided. They began with changes in transportation. People began eating more meals away from home as planes, trains, and automobiles allowed them to travel faster and farther. Jobs in offices and factories required workers to eat lunch close to their workplace rather than at home.
Fast food restaurants have become so popular that a quarter of Americans eat their products everyday. This is due to the fact that fast foods have several advantages over full-service restaurants. It is definitely faster and efficient, which would suit the lifestyle of the modern person; and it is in fact cheaper than most full-service restaurants, wherein one has to pay for the extra service that is offered.
The popularity of fast food restaurants can be attributed mainly due to their quickness, affordability, convenience, and good taste of their products.
People who are pressed for time or are far away from home find these restaurants convenient. Employers, employees, and spouses who are both working full-time, don’t have enough time to prepare home cooked-meals, which lead them to stop at a drive-through. These restaurants also established a way to eat food without the necessity of knives, forks, and plates like their value meals that include hamburgers, French fries, sodas, and milkshakes. Their products can also be eaten while driving a vehicle. Their products are inexpensive.
A consumer can buy a value meal at half the price compared to what one could spend over a home-cooked meal. Most fast food restaurants have become “kid-friendly”. Most mothers maintained that they could have a moment of peace while their children play with their toys, which are included with their meals. Many consumers see them as symbols of progress of the western society and therefore are cool attractions, particularly among the younger generations who have more varied tastes.
Most fast food meals are high in unhealthy saturated fats. These foods may taste good only because of salt, fat, and the sugar added to them. Most health advocates contend that the success of these restaurants ran parallel to the increase in obesity among many Americans. Increase in the intake of these products equals the decrease of intake of food rich in nutrients like fruits and vegetables. Other impacts of these restaurants include less time and communication enjoyed by members of the family.
Family bonds weaken and there could be a possibility of parents being unaware of what is going on in their children’s lives. There is also the problem of garbage wastes, since most of their foods are wrapped in Styrofoam plates and cups, and papers. Most fast food chains have responded to criticisms by advertising the calorie and nutritional contents of their food. Others have introduced new products on their menu like salads and fruits or fruit concoctions, having been aware that more and more people are being health conscious.