Spoiler Alert: The Future of Fast Food

What do people want out of their fast food? What is it that we’re looking for? Is quality fast food just a myth? Will there be more choices than a turkey sandwich and a grilled turkey burrito?

New consumer reports are in and the verdict is loud and clear – people are still hooked on McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and Taco Bell – no matter what the health buffs say. Almost every American stops by a fast food joint once a week. However, the reviews are loud about mostly uninspired fast food served by the giant chains. This is why there is a rising number of consumers turning to fast service restaurants like Panera Bread.

What’s eating the consumer?

Mostly, consumer surveys reveal that people are looking for quality food, meaning food that is served with a smile. Fast food joints which provided warm and friendly service got higher points than those who seemed unhappy and undetermined. This is despite the promos, huge discounts and a major advertising push – looks like consumers aren’t fazed by the clown at the entrance anymore.

Truth of it is, people are starting to realize that scrimping on food and going after over-fat fast food is not really cheap at all. With the rising medical costs brought upon by hypertension and diabetes, not to mention the decrease in one’s productivity, people are choosing to eat healthier. Maybe they will have to shell out a couple of extra bucks. But they know that they are better off.

What’s so toxic about fast food?

Caloric intake from fast food, with its increased servings, is making people rethink their lifestyle. People are starting to realize that a serving of regular fries is already 300 calories, and a Big Mac meal would take as much as 1800 calories – all the calories you would need in a day – in just one lunch.

Another disturbing fact is that fast food, secret ingredients and all, is loaded with chemicals, GMOs and salt. A we gobble down a pack of fries, realize that you are actually digesting fries that are packed with preservatives, dextrose and dimethylpolysiloxane.

Consumers are not very happy with knowing that their tub of fries comes with dimethylpolysiloxane, the same chemical found in Rain-X.

Other than chicken breast, all-beef burgers are still heavily sought by customers. Burger restaurants claim that they are all meat and all fresh. But the truth comes out eventually, and people get to know about it. They are no longer interested in beef that is sourced from a hundred unselected cows, and most of these massively bred cows are fortified with chemicals and growth boosters that affect the quality of beef. People are also now aware that inorganic beef sources are filled with bacteria.

People are obviously seeking alternatives to food that is chemically loaded. And the information is out there, and knowing this, people are deciding to take their dollars someplace else – even if it takes them to drive more for a couple of minutes to a healthier althernative.

Can it get any worse?

Fast food chains are growing bigger and bigger by the day, while the environment takes the dump. Literally, use of Styrofoam, plastic bags and cups, and straws add up to the already gigantic garbage problem. These non-biodegradable materials create such a big problem that the world, taking hundreds of years before they decompose in landfills, if they are put in the landfills.

Fast food waste is the second source of non-biodegradable waste in the world.

Adding to already giant profits of these fast food franchises is coming from cheap labor. Almost all fast food restaurants pay below minimum wage, with no benefits and for some branches, child labor.

People want better food. Now.

Future of Fast FoodConsumers can’t be any more vocal about what they want. And the fast food industry is listening.

More and more do upcoming restaurants are being more conscious of what people want. It seems that there are more fast service restaurants who are slowly gaining more popularity. McDonald’s franchises are now starting to use boxes and cups made of wax paper. Restaurants are now being more picky with their sources of food – adding healthy options in their menu, and making sure that meat is GMO free and chemical free.

Other fast service restaurants are changing their food sources altogether. Establishments like Chipotle are driving at service and food which are uncompromised, meaning food that is sourced properly, organic and environment friendly.

However, there is still more to do. It is obvious that the consumer ultimately will have to power to change the way our food is being served.

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