The fast food industry has been growing dramatically during the last few years. For this reason, we should try to find out what are the several factors why fast food consumption keeps growing among young people. Therefore, as we have seen, the popularity of fast food is spreading rapidly among many people due to the following three main reasons: good taste, convenient time, and price. “Over the last three decades, fast food has infiltrated every nook and cranny of American society,” writes Eric Schlosser in Fast Food Nation. In the beginning, the fast food restaurant started with a cafeteria-style restaurant known as the “Automat” in New York on July 7, 1912. Then, in 1921, White Castle restaurants were started in Wichita, Kansas, selling hamburgers for five cents. By 1948, McDonalds was opened by two brothers from Nashua, New Hampshire, who developed the concept of selling hamburgers, French fries, shakes, coffee, and coca cola in disposable wrappings. So from its humble beginnings, the fast food industry has become an undeniable factor in our society. Certainly, with our ever increasing and busy society, eating at fast food restaurants has become the norm.
Families that have busy schedules, such as taking their kids to various activities, attending church functions, and late meetings rely heavily on fast food as a meal choice. For example, about one-quarter of adults and a third of children eat at fast food restaurants on any given day. According to the American Journal of Public Health, consumers have spent $16.1 billion in 1975 to $153.1 billion in 2004 on fast food. People are generally drawn to good tasting food. With fast food, it couldn’t of ever tasted any better. No matter how unhealthy it is, we cannot deny that we have a love affair with the value meals, the fast service, home delivery and of course the drive-through. We no longer feel the need to slave away in the kitchen; we can just save so much time by satisfying ourselves with a relatively cheap McDonalds meal.
It is ironic that in order to achieve the ever-increasing financial goals that we set for ourselves needed to feed our individual families, we must restrict ourselves from high quality food, the very diet that defines success, in favor of food that can be seen as more cost effective, and fast food fits the part perfectly. Moreover, the fast food industry has created many job opportunities for people who in normal circumstances would find work difficult to come by. Many young college students take on the challenge of working in a Burger King or Taco Bell kitchen in interest of supporting themselves financially. There are a countless number of students who decide to apply for jobs in the fast food industry to help them pay off their tuition. Working in the fast food industry can also be viewed as a potential transitional job for certain individuals.
For in the present economy, many people have now found themselves jobless, while working in a fast food chain might not be desirable to them in comparison to their former jobs, it could be seen as a perfect temporary replacement while one searches for a new equally lucrative long term job. Some individuals go for fast food as they consider it to be a treat for themselves. There are many people who like fun and one of the best places that they can always get that is at the fast food restaurants. A part from just eating, they also find the places as socializing venues where they can make many friends. The fast food restaurants also offer a lot of entertainment zones that make their clients comfortable as they enjoy their meals; this is one factor that will make many people to prefer going there as opposed to cooking food for themselves at their homes. People also love fast food because there are so many of them next to their work place, their homes, on the side of the road or in any petrol station. That’s an important point to many people, because when they feel like having a fast food meal, they don’t waste a lot of time searching for a restaurant to eat from. They just find the restaurant near the place they are in.
We cannot deny the world has undergone a “fast food revolution” over the past few years, and I believe there is good reason for the immense popularity of this “fast food culture” we are presently living in. It maybe greasy and unhealthy, but it is ultimately cheaper than home cooking and its convenience to the incredibly busy urban lifestyle is too significant to ignore. Fast food should be viewed as a positive aspect of our society as a result of the advantages it presents to us in our hectic lives, but we should not abuse it. In the words of actress Mae West: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful”, however in this case it is quite the contrary.