The Radical Evolution of the Fast Food Industry

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The concept of fast food business has been with us for close to a century now. The idea started in the 1930’s with the development of drive-in restaurants which offered food fast to motorists. To keep the business in line with the demands of customers, restaurateurs started working with short menus with quick and easy-to-work-with recipes in order not to keep customers waiting. Ever since then, the idea has significantly revolutionized with new changes made ranging from the recipes to the association between the business and customers. Modern-day fast food joints, although tracing themselves from the 1930’s fast food businesses, have evolved and changed significantly.

Demand for healthier menus and recipes

As fast food business boomed, customers adapted to whatever options that were made available to them by fast food joints. Whereas these options filled the void and demand at that time, they led to increased concerns over the healthiness of the foods. People began to be concerned about their health, since fast food was attributed to certain lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes, among others.

To ensure the survival of the businesses, franchises had to make changes to a number of things, the primary of which was the menu. The ingredients have also evolved from the old high-energy and high-protein foods to the modern-day healthy options rich in fiber and greens. Years ago, when the industry was at its nascent stages, people used to be served with meat-based fast foods. The preparation of foods using locally-sourced ingredients has led to healthy foods which are a blend of vegetables and sizable portions of meat.

Operational costs

Operationally, the fast food business is traditionally known to be labor intensive, demanding input from numerous workers However, major concerns arose that the high labor costs were eating into the profits of the cheap food joints. While doing a search for a solution, businesses were forced to raise the prices of fast foods in order to foot the bills and break even.

With the labor issue a major concern, modern-day fast food joints have found ways of circumventing the problem, leading to better profits that can keep the business afloat. One of the ways in which fast food businesses have been able to sort this problem was the incorporation of technology to take over some of the jobs in the fast food business. Tasks such as preparing chips are not almost entirely automated. Technology has therefore stepped in to help in making business more profitable. Mobile apps have transformed the fast food industry such that customers no longer have to drive in. One can, at the touch of a button, make an order and have their food delivered at their doorsteps.


With globalization on the rise, customers of fast food joint come from all over the globe. Personal preferences also vary significantly. Fast foods have broadened their menus to include Chinese, Mexican, traditional, American, and Hawaiian foods. Also, this diversity has been expanded to include the type of foods served. These levels of diversity have been replicated across the board to ensure that the food joints are inclusive for everybody, vegetarians and non-vegans alike. Today, it is possible to have vegan food delivery due to the radical menu changes that have been evidenced in the market.

Types of establishments

Fast food joints used to be single independent stand-alone establishments to which customers drive through. To attract a wider market and accommodate more people, fast food joints have become more versatile and mobile. Some joints travel from point to point using trucks while others are incorporated inside a larger establishment such as in supermarkets and gas stations.

The fast-food business has experienced numerous changes in the past 80 years. The evolution of this business has led to the modern-day establishments which feature healthier menus. These changes have been mandated by the need for better and speedy customer service.

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