How Did Fast Food Become So Popular option in today’s society? Almost all of us have consumed some form of fast food in the past month, and it is estimated that over half of the population eats at least one fast food meal every day.
With so many people eating this unhealthy and fatty food, we’re left to wonder: how did this delicious yet unhealthful cuisine exist?
We need to look back in time. During the late 1800s, America was at its peak of industrialization and modernization. Cities were expanding rapidly, with workers moving out into the countryside to work in factories.
Fast food chains opened up White Castle in 1921, McDonald’s in 1948– to accommodate these busy Americans. By 1955, 15% of Americans were walking into a fast food restaurant.
It was a time when people worked long hours and had little to no time to cook a meal at home. So they would take their family out to eat or buy lunch from a drive-thru window on the way home from work instead.
Why did fast food become so popular?
The answer may lie in inconvenience. In small towns, there were no fast food restaurants or even places for people to buy groceries. In cities, the only place open at night was a bar or a diner. Here, you could get a full meal and drinks with your family- some form of entertainment for them!
Thus began the demand for restaurants that offered more than just burgers. Fast forward to today, and we see that fast food restaurants are everywhere! There’s one down the street from every house, sometimes even on opposite corners of each other.
The tendency now is to go into a fast food restaurant for any meal: breakfast, lunch, or dinner. People don’t cook as much as they used to, and it’s too difficult or time-consuming to go out and buy groceries, then cook at home.
We’re all busy people with lives that we don’t want to spend in the kitchen! Thus began the demand for fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Subway, and Taco Bell.
Top 10 Secrets Reasons for Fast Food’s Popularity:
Fast food has been a part of American culture for a long time. As a result, it has become extremely popular and widespread throughout the country. Here are some reasons why:
1) Convenience – It’s fast and easy to walk up to a drive-thru window or go inside and order at a counter without any waiting. Since there are so many fast food restaurants located conveniently around the area, you can have a decent meal without stepping foot into your kitchen.
2) Price – Fast food is usually very inexpensive. The price of a burger and fries isn’t bad, especially when you consider how much more expensive it would be if you cooked the meal at home yourself. Plus, you can get a lot of food for one low price by choosing the value menu.
3) Taste – Americans have grown up with fast food since it became popular in the 1950s. They are accustomed to its unique flavors and know what they will get when they order at a fast food restaurant. Fast-food chains have made an effort to offer new menu items, but none have replaced their original cheeseburger.
4) Availability – With so many fast food chains in existence today, you can find them everywhere. There’s no escape when they are on every corner! When you’re hungry, and there’s nothing in the house for dinner, it’s convenient to order in or pick up food for the family.
5) Nutrition – A cheeseburger isn’t exactly healthy, but in today’s world, it’s healthier than it used to be. Fast-food chains have started offering healthier choices such as salads with grilled chicken and apple slices instead of fries. You can also choose between low-fat milk or regular. They’ve even started offering nutritious drinks such as smoothies and fruit juices, which were unheard of in the 1950s!
6) Advertising – Fast food chains spend billions each year on advertising. The ads are everywhere: television, radio, billboards- you’re bound to see them when driving around town. Over time, it has become easier for fast food chains to pitch their products by using celebrities, children, and cartoon characters.
7) Child-Friendly – A fast food restaurant is a child’s paradise. Kids are surrounded by their favorite cartoons on the walls, toys they can play with, and people bringing them free soda refills. Plus- it’s very easy for parents to take their children to a fast food restaurant and let them order for themselves.
8) Novelty – Fast food is everywhere, but it’s also new! People love feeling like they’re part of something, and knowing that you can eat at a different type of restaurant every night is exciting. There’s always a new burger or chicken sandwich on the menu to try. Plus, the restaurant is during “happy hour” or giving away free t-shirts!
9) Quality – People don’t mind spending money on fast food if it tastes good! One bite of a burger at McDonald’s, and you’ll know why people love to eat there. It doesn’t matter that they aren’t home-cooked since fast food chains offer some of the best-tasting food!
10) Healthier Alternatives – Fast food chains are starting to realize that Americans are becoming more health-conscious. Thus, they are trying their best to offer healthier alternatives, including salads with grilled chicken, turkey burgers, smoothies, apple slices instead of fries, and fresh fruit cups.
So, how did fast food become so popular?
It all started in the early 1900s when home refrigeration became popular. Instead of cooking every night, families were able to go out for dinner or buy already-prepared food.
This gave way to restaurants opening up around the 1930s and 1940s, allowing their customers to enjoy a quick meal without leaving their homes.
By mid-century, the automobile and improved roads made it easier to take a family out for dinner without having to bring along food. Along with families starting to eat out more frequently, fast food was introduced in the 1950s. It wasn’t until the 1960s that major fast food chains such as McDonald’s became popular.
Fast food is everywhere today, and it continues to gain popularity as people become busier and busier. It’s a great choice if you’re in a hurry or don’t feel like cooking dinner.
The Bottom Line
Fast food has been around for decades and is a staple of many people’s diets. The popularity of fast food establishments, however, did not come from anywhere. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the factors that have contributed to its rise in popularity over time from an economic perspective and how it may be affecting your health negatively. If you want more information on any of these topics or if you have any questions. Please leave a comment below!