Fast food, as we know it, is an independent dining culture that projects a very way of life. In fact, fast food restaurants, also known as Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) make up for more than 50 per cent of sales in the entire dining sector.
Fast food, as the name suggests, comprises pre-heated or pre-cooked ingredients which are rustled up quickly and served or sold to customers in packages for take-away. The contemporary world is defined by speed. A hectic lifestyle demands looking for quick-fix solutions to save time, including dining and this is where the fast food industry thrives and proliferates. Fast food industry is now an integral part of modern life.
Pros of the Fast Food Industry:
- You save time:
You have an important meeting to attend, you are late for office, or meet someone at the airport and you have to maneuver heavy traffic to reach on time and you are hungry. You reach out for a fast food outlet to grab your grub. Most fast food joints deliver meals in just minutes. These quick-service restaurants require little waiting to place an order as well. Preparing a meal at home is also a time-consuming affair.
- Fast food prices are affordable:
Most fast food items are cheaper than sit-down restaurants and people with low income can afford to buy sumptuous food at an affordable price. This ensures that they do not have to skip meals and go hungry.
- Choosing healthy fast food is a better option than skipping a meal:
Obesity is the new monster on the block and many are fighting to keep the unwanted pounds at bay by simply skipping meals. However, the healthy way to lose weight is to reduce the number of calories you consume. If you choose a healthy fast food meal that includes fruits and vegetables, you can keep your craving for high-sugar or high-fat foods at bay.
- Fast food industry provides more healthy choices to customers:
Nowadays people have become very health conscious and pay attention to the food they eat and keep a sharp eye on the calories they consume. Keeping this in mind, the fast food industry has undergone transformation and now you find several restaurants that offer healthy options on the menu to meet your health and wellness expectations.
- An affordable way to try out new food items:
The fast food industry is not restricted to offering the standard pizza, burgers, sandwiches and fries only. In fact, it provides plenty of food options to the adventurous consumer. Different cultures have a unique approach to fast food meals and you will be inundated with choices if you explore Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Italian and West Asian gourmet meal options, and that too, at an affordable fare..
- Fast food industry is convenient:
After a long and hectic day at work, cooking a dinner for the family after returning hom dead tired, can be the most tedious and frustrating chore imaginable. It is during these situations that the fast food industry can be the savior. You place your order at any of the fast food joints and in no time your food will be handed over to you, neatly packed, piping hot, fresh from the oven.
- Offering Entrepreneurial opportunities:
The fast food industry offers one of the best franchise options and helps with all the nitty-gritty of setting up a restaurant. Different brands have different offers for the entrepreneur and even offers advice on branding, advertising etc. and an opportunity to pocket in a hefty percentage of the profits.
- Fast food industry generates employment locally:
Entrepreneurs get an opportunity to establish their business in their own area and they in turn, employ locals in their restaurant chains, thus generating job opportunities and uplifting the economic condition of the locality. Those who work in these joints get a first-hand experience and gain helpful service skills.
Cons of the Fast Food Industry:
The average home-cooked meal is cheaper than food bought from fast food joints:
As a thumb rule, if you calculate carefully, you will see, a home cooked meal comes in cheaper than a meal bought from a fast food joint. When you shop at the grocer’s, you pick the best available option for your consumption, but you don’t know the quality of the raw ingredients that go into the items that you buy from a fast food outlet.
- The questionable quality of raw materials:
The fast food industry procures its raw material like poultry, processed meat and spices etc from a variety of vendors and shipping processes to create the best quality of service possible. However, the quality that you may receive is dependent upon that restaurant’s ability to follow proper food handling procedures.
- Your health is compromised by products served by the fast food industry:
Processed foods is dangerous for the health. In fact, there are some specific risks if you eat frequently from fast food eateries. There are additional physical symptoms to consider as well, including anxiety, mood swings, and brain fog.
- Obesity epidemic is directly linked to fast food industry:
Scientists and researchers insist that that fast food items are just as addictive as heroin due to the presence of high levels of sugar, caffeine saturated and trans fat. These are the primary reasons for the rise in obesity and diabetes.
- Fast food can be dangerous to your health:
If fast food products are consumed on a regular basis, the human body reacts adversely and one can encounter regular headaches, dental problems, high cholesterol levels, shortness of breath, acne, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
No option for alternative eating needs:
The fast food options usually do not support special diet requirements of individuals. For instance, if you are a vegetarian and choose a salad, there may not be any guarantees that the menu item is free of animal products. Animal products may include lactic acid, gelatin, casein, lecithin, and stearic acid. If you are vegan, the things will be just worse.
If you have a busy schedule and no time to cook, then fast food items can satiate your hunger pangs without making a deep hole in your pocket. If you are to occasionally indulge in fast food and restaurant eateries, make sure you work off those calories. Exercising regularly to make up for irregular eating habits should keep away those pesky illnesses away. Even though fast food is an easy and, so to speak, fast option, try recreating healthy versions of fast food.