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The Problem with Fast Food (Not what you Think)

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on December 10, 2018 10:24

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Getting frustrated with that drive-through window? Me too! What has happened to the speed and ease of fast food?

Confession: I love fast food! Don’t argue with me about the quality or health ramifications. I acknowledge your perspective. I don’t disagree with it.

Still, I love fast food. But it occurred to me the other day that our cheap quick meals have lost something. 

What have they lost?

Being cheap and quick.

As I sat in the drive-through of a Wendy’s for 30 minutes, I pondered this aggravation. There I was, starving after Christmas shopping. Running through the drive-through seemed like an efficient option. Yet, as I found myself trapped in the lane with no exit, I couldn’t help but wonder: could I have gotten an equally good or better burger from a restaurant faster for nearly the same price?

Long ago I worked for McDonald's for an entire two days. I was in college, and I found something that didn’t cause spontaneous acne instead. But what I recall of those two days was the timer than demanded an order be completed within 60 seconds.

Where have these fast food standards gone?

I realize that I just used standards in the same sentence as fast food. But it’s true; those were the primary standards of your local fast food joint. Now, these quick and easy options are trying to compete with the $8 burger at a diner.

I propose the standards are stuck somewhere in the grease trap in need of cleaning, along with the complexity of fast food menus. There are more burger options on Wendy’s menu than many sit-down restaurants. With so many options, how can anything be fast?

And for $9 for a burger, fries and a drink, would I have been more relaxed and satisfied if I drove five minutes to the Chili’s and sat down to eat? The last time I was at Chili’s, I was in and out for a quick lunch in 40 minutes and $17 - with leftovers. 

Yes, I still love my fast food. But I’ve been increasingly disappointed with the timeliness, the lack of even the basics of service pleasantries, and the increasing expense. Even my son commented that it was a scam to advertise items on the dollar menu at McDonald's that are $1.50, a huge price increase from a dollar for a teen out with his friends and on a budget.

It seems to be that as fast food restaurants try to increase margins, they distance themselves from the mission of fast and affordable food options. Are their margins enough to meet profit standards with more and more customers going elsewhere.

Kimberlee Leonard

Posted on December 10, 2018 10:24

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