In the past few decades the fast food industry has experienced exponential growth. Millions of people swarm into these establishments to chow down on delicious, sodium packed food served in a hurry. It seems as though fast food is available everywhere. Even in the poorest of countries one does not have to travel far to stumble across a McDonald’s or Burger King. With such a strong global presence it seems evident that people all over the world support the industry, but why? The answer is simple, convenience.
With so many different franchises (especially throughout North America) a person does not have to travel far to grab a burger, taco, or sandwich. With seemingly no effort and only a minor expense a busy parent can pick up dinner for the family on their way home from work. With such a fast delivery and the creation of the “drive-thru” fast food is also top choice for anyone looking to fill their stomach in a rush. Even impatient children and teenagers can stop by the nearest fast food place and enjoy a meal without the seemingly endless wait for their food that exists at many other restaurants.
With the entrance of women into the work force convenience is now more important than ever. Mothers no longer have the time to spend hours creating a nice, healthy home cooked meal like they used to in the pre-war era. Even if they do have the time, the last thing that any parent wants to do after a long day of work is slave away over a hot stove. In this sense it seems that fast food is the only affordable alternative to an inconvenient and gruelling home cooked meal.
The hours of operation throughout many of these fast-food chains seem to be in a state of constant expansion. With many institutions now providing “drive-thru” or even sit-in service 24 hours per day, fast food has become the only choice for a satisfying late night snack. This means that anyone working a night or early morning shift will find it much easier in their exhausted state to drive through a fast food restaurant on the ride to or from work than to make a meal themselves.
Overall it seems as though our fast paced lifestyle has caused an increased desire for convenience in any form. In terms of the food industry, fast food chains have undoubtedly gained from this trend towards convenience and have watch their empires grow. Despite constant reference to the negative effects that the food provided by these restaurants has on the health of its consumers, it is simply too easy, cheap, quick, and satisfying to avoid.
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