What is Fast Food Restaurant? Fast food is a mass-produced food that can be prepared and served very quickly. The food is typically less nutritionally valuable compared to other foods and dishes.
While any meal with low preparation time can be considered fast food, typically, the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients and served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away.
Fast food restaurants are traditionally distinguished by their ability to serve food via a drive-through. Outlets may be stands or kiosks, which may provide no shelter or seating, or fast food restaurants (also known as quick-service restaurants).
Franchise operations that are part of restaurant chains have standardized foodstuffs shipped to each Restaurant from central locations.
What is fast food Restaurant mean?
A fast food restaurant is a specific type of restaurant that serves fast food cuisine and has minimal table service. In the United States, “fast food” restaurants are mainly regulated by local health departments instead of state and federal regulations for other types of restaurants.
This means that there are often variations in the menu within a particular area. This is accommodated by having some regions of fast food “restaurant” chains distinguished by differences in the way foods are prepared, such as whether they are grilled or fried.
Or whether they can be ordered to go or to eat on site. The concept originated with opening a fast food restaurant called “A&W” in California in 1919.
Types of Fast Food Restaurants.
Today, a fast food restaurant is most commonly a specific type of Restaurant that serves fast food cuisine and has minimal table service. A quick meal at the modern drive-up window takes less time than going to a full-service restaurant with waiter service. Additional industries have also adopted the concept, such as airline services, higher education cafeterias, amusement parks, and even the armed forces.
Top 10 Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants:
McDonald’s is the world’s largest hamburger fast food restaurant, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries across 35,000 outlets. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald.
In 1948 they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand using production line principles. Businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchise agent in 1955. He subsequently purchased the chain from the McDonald brothers and oversaw its worldwide growth.
Subway IP Inc. is a privately held American fast food restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads. It is owned and operated by Doctor’s Associates Inc., doing business as Subway IP Inc.
Subway is one of the fastest-growing franchises globally, with 44,882 restaurants in 112 countries and territories. The United States alone has 26,646 outlets. It is the largest single-brand restaurant chain and the largest restaurant operator in the world.
3. Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain and international franchise known for pizza and side dishes. It is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., the world’s largest restaurant company with 38,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and territories. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 by two Wichita State University students, brothers Dan and Frank Carney, as a single location in Wichita.
More commonly known by its initials KFC, Kentucky Fried Chicken is an American fast food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, it is the world’s second-largest restaurant chain (as measured by sales) after McDonald’s, with almost 20,000 locations globally in 123 countries and territories. The chain is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains.
5. Burger King
Burger King, often abbreviated as BK, is an American global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. Headquartered in the unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County, Florida, the company was founded in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida -based restaurant chain.
6. Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts is an American global donut company and coffeehouse based in Canton, Massachusetts, in Greater Boston. It was founded by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts, on May 30, 1950.
The chain was acquired by Baskin-Robbins’ holding company Allied Lyons in 1990; its parent company was renamed Darden Restaurants in 1995 after a merger with General Mills. As of 2015, it has over 12,000 restaurants in 36 countries.
7. Domino’s Pizza
Domino’s Pizza Inc. is an American pizza restaurant chain founded in 1960. The corporation is headquartered at Domino’s Farms Office Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In February 2018, the chain became the largest pizza seller worldwide and in the United States based upon global retail sales.
8. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is an American chain of fast food restaurants based out of Irvine, California, and a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. primarily serves the Southern United States. Founded in 1962 by Glen Bell, Taco Bell emphasizes value and affordability with its menu featuring four items for 99¢ (equivalent to $2.27 in 2017) and a “Why Pay More!” menu featuring items priced at $1.49 (equivalent to $3.33 in 2017), $1.69 (equivalent to $3.72 in 2017), and other affordable prices.
9. Pizza Hut Delivery
Pizza Hut is an American restaurant chain and international franchise known for pizza and side dishes. The company is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., the world’s largest restaurant company with over 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.
Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 by two Wichita State University students, brothers Dan and Frank Carney, as a single location in Wichita, Kansas. It became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. in 1971. The chain has over 15,000 locations worldwide as of 2015.
10. Subway Delivery
Subway IP Inc., doing business as Subway, is a privately held American fast food restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads. It is owned and operated by Doctor’s Associates Inc. (DAI).
Subway is one of the fastest-growing franchises globally, with 44,882 restaurants in 112 countries and territories as of December 27, 2016. The United States alone has 26,646 outlets. It is the largest single-brand restaurant chain and the largest restaurant operator in the world.
Why do people eat at fast food restaurants?
The top reasons people visit fast food restaurants are for convenience, taste/quality, and value.
1. Convenience – The availability of locations makes it convenient to pick up fast food when in a rush during the day or night. People can get what they want with little wait time, even late at night. Restaurants may be open 24 hours a day, which also makes it convenient.
2. Taste/Quality – Many consumers enjoy the taste of fast food. It can be both cheap and tasty simultaneously, while others prefer it over cooking meals at home because they find it to taste better than homemade meals.
3. Value – Fast food is often cost-effective not only because of low menu prices but also because of multiple-item discounts. For example, many fast food restaurants offer deals where if a consumer orders two or more sandwiches simultaneously, the second sandwich is either free or significantly discounted.
Why do people visit Fast Food restaurants?
People visit fast food restaurants for a variety of reasons, but mostly they go there for convenience. There are many drive-throughs and most offer outdoor seating if someone wants to eat in their car. In addition, most offer delivery with a fee or have a take-out option.
How to make healthier choices at a Fast Food Restaurant?
Eating at fast food restaurants is almost always unhealthy, but consumers can sometimes make healthier choices.
- Choose water or unsweetened iced tea instead of soft drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Try to eat the smallest portion on the menu or share with a friend.
- Go for grilled chicken instead of fried.
- Avoid mayonnaise and cheese on sandwiches.
- Go for whole wheat bread or wraps that contain something other than white flour.
- Get the smallest size available. If there are multiple sizes, choose the smaller one.
- Ask to substitute ingredients with lower-calorie options to make your meal healthier. For example, ask for ketchup instead of mayonnaise.
- Choose salads with grilled chicken, vegetables, and light dressing. If salad dressings are not an option, request oil and vinegar or lemon.
- Opt for the smallest size available for sides like fries, onion rings, and coleslaw.
- Go for healthier sides like yogurt, applesauce, baby carrots, and fresh fruit cups.
- Use the condiment bar to add vinegar, salsa, or mustard instead of fat-filled dips like cheese sauce or creamy dressing.
- Ask that salt not be added to your food.
The benefits and disadvantages of visiting a fast food restaurant
There are pros and cons to visiting a fast food restaurant. The main reason people visit them is that they are convenient. They are open long hours so they can fit into busy schedules, drive-throughs make it easy to pick up food on the go, and you don’t need to wait for service.
However, the downside is that the food they serve is usually unhealthy, and most people don’t realize that until after they eat it. The only nutritional value most fast food places offer is putting tomatoes on a burger or adding lettuce to a sandwich. Consuming too many calories from fast food can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, etc.
Fast Food Restaurants History
In the early 20th century, fast food was becoming recognized as a national industry, aided by the development of refrigerated train cars, which allowed mass production and distribution of freshly prepared foods versus cooked or cured.
By the 1950s, drive-through restaurants were popular across the United States. It was noticed that there was a high demand for this type of service, and a new type of Restaurant was developed to fulfill this demand. In 1952, the first Burger King location opened in Miami, Florida, eventually turning into a franchise spread across the United States.
The Bottom Line
Fast food restaurants are establishments that primarily serve fast food. The term was coined in the late 20th century and has grown to include more than just “quick-service” or “drive-through” restaurants. Restaurants such as Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and KFC fall under this category because they offer a limited menu of inexpensive items designed for quick service. If you have any questions about what a fast food restaurant is, please leave a comment below. Thanks!