Fast food has changed so much, even in the years since I was getting a Happy Meal. Ray Kroc really stumbled upon something when he bought McDonald’s and started to transform it into the business behemoth it is today. Along the way, that chain changed the restaurant business and, really, the world. Fast food is a staple of everyone’s lives, even if you don’t indulge in it. The way that business model has altered not only eateries but business as a whole.
In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food. This year (2020), it is estimated that we will spend over $223 billion. Yeah, we really like our fast food and it isn’t going away any time soon. And many of the shifts in fast food — from automation to prices to health-driven initiatives — have had major impacts on other industries. What starts in fast food often makes its way to other areas of the business world. So don’t discredit fast food just because it is greasy and sometimes embarrassing. Keep and eye on it and consider it for what it is: a paradigm-shifting force of nature that shouldn’t be ignored.
From the speaker at a drive-through restaurant, "You want a number six with no pickles and a fruit cup? How about we give you a number one with fries, a small diet root beer with no straw. That will be $19.84 please drive up."
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