Fast food is a type of mass-produced food designed for commercial resale and with a strong priority placed on "speed of service" versus other relevant factors involved in culinary science. Fast food was originally created as a commercial strategy to accommodate the larger numbers of busy commuters, travelers and wage workers who often did not have the time to sit down at a public house or diner and wait for their meal. By making speed of service the priority, this ensured that customers with strictly limited time (a commuter stopping to procure dinner to bring home to their family, for example, or an hourly laborer on a short lunch break) were not inconvenienced by waiting for their food to be cooked on-the-spot (as is expected from a traditional "sit down" restaurant). For those with no time to spare, fast food became a multibillion-dollar industry.
The fastest form of "fast food" consists of pre-cooked meals kept in readiness for a customer's arrival (Boston Market rotisserie chicken, Little Caesars pizza, etc.), with waiting time reduced to mere seconds. Other fast food outlets, primarily the hamburger outlets (McDonald's, Burger King, etc.) use mass-produced pre-prepared ingredients (bagged buns & condiments, frozen beef patties, prewashed/sliced vegetables, etc.) but take great pains to point out to the customer that the "meat and potatoes" (hamburgers and french fries) are always cooked fresh (or at least relatively recently) and assembled "to order" (like at a diner).
Although a vast variety of food can be "cooked fast", "fast food" is a commercial term limited to food sold in a restaurant or store with frozen, 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.
Fast food began with the first fish and chip shops in Britain in the 1860s. Drive-through restaurants were first popularized in the 1950s in the United States. The term "fast food" was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam–Webster in 1951.
Eating fast food has been linked to, among other things, colorectal cancer, obesity, high cholesterol, and depression. Many fast foods tend to be high in saturated fat, sugar, salt and calories.
The traditional family dinner is increasingly being replaced by the consumption of takeaway fast food. As a result, the time invested on food preparation is getting lower, with an average couple in the United States spending 47 minutes and 19 seconds per day on food preparation in 2013.
The concept of ready-cooked food for sale is closely connected with urban developments. Homes in emerging cities often lacked adequate space or proper food preparation accouterments. Additionally, procuring cooking fuel could cost as much as purchased produce. Frying foods in vats of searing oil proved as dangerous as it was expensive, and homeowners feared that a rogue cooking fire "might easily conflagrate an entire neighborhood". Thus, urbanites were encouraged to purchase pre-prepared meats or starches, such as bread or noodles, whenever possible. In Ancient Rome, cities had street stands – a large counter with a receptacle in the middle from which food or drink would have been served. It was during post-WWII American economic boom that Americans began to spend more and buy more as the economy boomed and a culture of consumerism bloomed. As a result of this new desire to have it all, coupled with the strides made by women while the men were away, both members of the household began to work outside the home. Eating out, which had previously been considered a luxury, became a common occurrence, and then a necessity. Workers, and working families, needed quick service and inexpensive food for both lunch and dinner.
In the cities of Roman antiquity, much of the urban population living in insulae, multi-story apartment blocks, depended on food vendors for much of their meal; the Forum itself served as a marketplace where Romans could purchase baked goods and cured meats. In the mornings, bread soaked in wine was eaten as a quick snack and cooked vegetables and stews later in popina, a simple type of eating establishment. In Asia, 12th century Chinese ate fried dough, soups and stuffed buns, all of which still exist as contemporary snack food. Their Baghdadi contemporaries supplemented home-cooked meals with processed legumes, purchased starches, and even ready-to-eat meats. During the Middle Ages, large towns and major urban areas such as London and Paris supported numerous vendors that sold dishes such as pies, pasties, flans, waffles, wafers, pancakes and cooked meats. As in Roman cities during antiquity, many of these establishments catered to those who did not have means to cook their own food, particularly single households. Unlike richer town dwellers, many often could not afford housing with kitchen facilities and thus relied on fast food. Travelers such as pilgrims en route to a holy site, were among the customers.
In areas with access to coastal or tidal waters, 'fast food' frequently included local shellfish or seafood, such as oysters or, as in London, eels. Often this seafood was cooked directly on the quay or close by. The development of trawler fishing in the mid-nineteenth century led to the development of a British favourite, fish and chips, and the first shop in 1860.
A blue plaque at Oldham's Tommyfield Market marks the origin of the fish and chip shop and fast food industries. As a cheap fast food served in a wrapper, fish and chips became a stock meal among the Victorian working classes. By 1910, there were more than 25,000 fish and chip shops across the UK, and in the 1920s there were more than 35,000 shops. Harry Ramsden's fast food restaurant chain opened its first fish and chip shop in Guiseley, West Yorkshire in 1928. On a single day in 1952, the shop served 10,000 portions of fish and chips, earning a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
British fast food had considerable regional variation. Sometimes the regionality of a dish became part of the culture of its respective area, such as the Cornish pasty and deep-fried Mars bar. The content of fast food pies has varied, with poultry (such as chickens) or wildfowl commonly being used. Since the Second World War, turkey has been used more frequently in fast food. The UK has adopted fast food from other cultures as well, such as pizza, doner kebab, and curry. More recently, healthier alternatives to conventional fast food have also emerged.
As automobiles became popular and more affordable following World War I, drive-in restaurants were introduced. The American company White Castle, founded by Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson in Wichita, Kansas in 1921, is generally credited with opening the second fast food outlet and first hamburger chain, selling hamburgers for five cents each. Walter Anderson had built the first White Castle restaurant in Wichita in 1916, introducing the limited menu, high-volume, low-cost, high-speed hamburger restaurant. Among its innovations, the company allowed customers to see the food being prepared. White Castle was successful from its inception and spawned numerous competitors.
Franchising was introduced in 1921 by A&W Root Beer, which franchised its distinctive syrup. Howard Johnson's first franchised the restaurant concept in the mid-1930s, formally standardizing menus, signage and advertising.
The United States has the largest fast food industry in the world, and American fast food restaurants are located in over 100 countries. Approximately 4.7 million U.S. workers are employed in the areas of food preparation and food servicing, including fast food in the USA. Worries of an obesity epidemic and its related illnesses have inspired many local government officials in the United States to propose to limit or regulate fast-food restaurants. Yet, US adults are unwilling to change their fast food consumption even in the face of rising costs and unemployment characterized by the great recession, suggesting an inelastic demand. However, some areas are more affected than others. In Los Angeles County, for example, about 45% of the restaurants in South Central Los Angeles are fast-food chains or restaurants with minimal seating. By comparison, only 16% of those on the Westside are such restaurants.
The National Employment Law Project wrote in 2013, "according to a study by researchers at the University of California-Berkeley, more than half (52 percent) of front-line fast-food workers must rely on at least one public assistance program to support their families. As a result, the fast-food-industry business model of low wages, non-existent benefits, and limited work hours costs taxpayers an average of nearly $7 billion every year". They claim this funding allows these workers to "afford health care, food, and other basic necessities" 
Fast food outlets are take-away or take-out providers that promise quick service. Such fast food outlets often come with a "drive-through" service that lets customers order and pick up food from their vehicles. Others have indoor or outdoor seating areas where customers can eat on-site. In recent times, the boom in IT services has allowed customers to order food from their homes through their smart phone apps.
Nearly from its inception, fast food has been designed to be eaten "on the go," often does not require traditional cutlery, and is eaten as a finger food. Common menu items at fast food outlets include fish and chips, sandwiches, pitas, hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, onion rings, chicken nuggets, tacos, pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream, though many fast food restaurants offer "slower" foods like chili, mashed potatoes, and salads.
Convenience stores located within many petrol/gas stations sell pre-packaged sandwiches, doughnuts, and hot food. Many gas stations in the United States and Europe also sell frozen foods, and have microwave ovens on the premises in which to prepare them. Petrol Stations in Australia sell foods such as hot pies, sandwiches, and chocolate bars, which are easy for a customer to access while on their journey. Petrol stations are a place that are often open long hours and are open before and after shop trading hours therefore it makes it easy to access for consumers.
Traditional street food is available around the world, usually through small and independent vendors operating from a cart, table, portable grill or motor vehicle. Common examples include Vietnamese noodle vendors, Middle Eastern falafel stands, New York City hot dog carts, and taco trucks. Turo-Turo vendors (Tagalog for point point) are a feature of Philippine life. Commonly, street vendors provide a colorful and varying range of options designed to quickly captivate passers-by and attract as much attention as possible.
Depending on the locale, multiple street vendors may specialize in specific types of food characteristic of a given cultural or ethnic tradition. In some cultures, it is typical for street vendors to call out prices, sing or chant sales-pitches, play music, or engage in other forms of "street theatrics" to engage prospective customers. In some cases, this can garner more attention than the food.
Modern commercial fast food is often highly processed and prepared in an industrial fashion, i.e., on a large scale with standard ingredients and standardized cooking and production methods. It is usually rapidly served in cartons or bags or in a plastic wrapping, in a fashion that minimizes cost. In most fast food operations, menu items are generally made from processed ingredients prepared at a central supply facility and then shipped to individual outlets where they are reheated, cooked (usually by microwave or deep frying) or assembled in a short amount of time. This process ensures a consistent level of product quality, and is key to being able to deliver the order quickly to the customer and eliminate labor and equipment costs in the individual stores.
Because of commercial emphasis on quickness, uniformity and low cost, fast food products are often made with ingredients formulated to achieve a certain flavor or consistency and to preserve freshness.
Chinese takeaways/takeout restaurants are particularly popular in Western countries such as the US and UK. They normally offer a wide variety of Asian food (not always Chinese), which has normally been fried. Most options are some form of noodles, rice, or meat. In some cases, the food is presented as a smörgåsbord, sometimes self service. The customer chooses the size of the container they wish to buy, and then is free to fill it with their choice of food. It is common to combine several options in one container, and some outlets charge by weight rather than by item. In large cities, these restaurants may offer free delivery for purchases over a minimum amount.
Sushi has seen rapidly rising popularity recently in the Western world. A form of fast food created in Japan (where bentō is the Japanese variety of fast food), sushi is normally cold sticky rice flavored with a sweet rice vinegar and served with some topping (often fish), or, as in the most popular kind in the West, rolled in nori (dried laver) with filling. The filling often includes fish, seafood, chicken or cucumber.
Pizza is a common fast food category in the United States, with nationwide chains including Papa John's, Domino's Pizza, Sbarro and Pizza Hut. It trails only the burger industry in supplying children's fast food calories. Menus are more limited and standardized than in traditional pizzerias, and pizza delivery is offered.
Kebab houses are a form of fast food restaurant from the Middle East, especially Turkey and Lebanon. Meat is shaven from a rotisserie, and is served on a warmed flatbread with salad and a choice of sauce and dressing. These doner kebabs or shawarmas are distinct from shish kebabs served on sticks. Kebab shops are also found throughout the world, especially Europe, New Zealand and Australia but they generally are less common in the US.
Fish and chip shops are a form of fast food popular in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Fish is battered and then deep fried, and served with deep fried potato strips.
The Dutch have their own types of fast food. A Dutch fast food meal often consists of a portion of french fries (called friet or patat) with a sauce and a meat product. The most common sauce to accompany french fries is fritessaus. It is a sweet, vinegary and low fat mayonnaise substitute, that the Dutch nevertheless still call "mayonnaise". When ordering it is very often abbreviated to met (literally "with"). Other popular sauces are ketchup or spiced ketchup ("curry"), Indonesian style peanut sauce ("satésaus" or "pindasaus") or piccalilli. Sometimes the fries are served with combinations of sauces, most famously speciaal (special): mayonnaise, with (spiced) ketchup and chopped onions; and oorlog (literally "war"): mayonnaise and peanut sauce (sometimes also with ketchup and chopped onions). The meat product is usually a deep fried snack; this includes the frikandel (a deep fried skinless minced meat sausage), and the kroket (deep fried meat ragout covered in breadcrumbs).
In Portugal, there are some varieties of local fast-food and restaurants specialized in this type of local cuisine. Some of the most popular foods include frango assado (Piri-piri grilled chicken previously marinated), francesinha, francesinha poveira, espetada (turkey or pork meat on two sticks) and bifanas (pork cutlets in a specific sauce served as a sandwich). This type of food is also often served with french fries (called batatas fritas), some international chains started appearing specialized in some of the typical Portuguese fast food such as Nando's.
An example of a local form of fast food in Poland is pasztecik szczeciński, a deep-fried yeast dough stuffed with meat or vegetarian filling, typical fast food dish of the city of Szczecin well known in many other cities in the country. A dish is on Polish List of traditional products. The first bar serving pasztecik szczeciński, Bar "Pasztecik" founded in 1969, is located on Wojska Polskiego Avenue 46 in Szczecin.
A fixture of East Asian cities is the noodle shop. Flatbread and falafel are today ubiquitous in the Middle East. Popular Indian fast food dishes include vada pav, panipuri and dahi vada. In the French-speaking nations of West Africa, roadside stands in and around the larger cities continue to sell—as they have done for generations—a range of ready-to-eat, char-grilled meat sticks known locally as brochettes (not to be confused with the bread snack of the same name found in Europe).
In the United States, consumers spent $160 billion on fast food in 2012 (up from $6 billion in 1970). In 2013, the US restaurant industry had total projected sales of $660.5 billion. Fast food has been losing market share to fast casual dining restaurants, which offer more robust and expensive cuisines. Due to this competition, fast food giants have seen dramatic drops in their sales. While overall fast food sales have fallen, the number of Americans who eat in these restaurants "once a month or 'a few times a year'" has risen.
In contrast to the rest of the world, American citizens spend a much smaller amount of their income on food — largely due to various government subsidies that make fast food cheap and easily accessible. Calorie for calorie, foods sold in fast food restaurants, costs less and is more energy-dense, and is made mostly of products that the government subsidizes heavily: corn, soy, and beef.
The Australian fast food market is valued at more than 2.7 billion GPB and is composed of 1.4 billion fast food meals. This includes meals serviced at 17,000 fast food outlets. The fast food market has experienced an average annual growth rate of 6.5 percent, which is the most rapidly growing sector of the retail food market.
In 2012, fast food restaurants spent roughly US$4.6 billion on advertising campaigns, which represented an 8% increase from 2009. In the same period of time, McDonald's spent nearly 3 times as much on advertising as all water, milk, and produce advertisers spent combined.
A study done by researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College saw results that suggest that when children watch more commercial television (and see more advertisements on fast food), they are more inclined to ask to visit these subsequent fast food restaurants. Specifically, fast food restaurants have been increasing their advertising efforts that target black and Hispanic youth. Advertising on Spanish speaking channels increased by 8% in 2012, with KFC and Burger King increasing spending in this demographic by 35% while cutting down on their regular advertising within English speaking channels.
The Council of Better Business Bureaus started the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in 2006 which asked fast food companies to pledge to "advertise only more healthful products to children" with McDonald's and Burger King signing on. However, despite a slight increase in healthful food advertising, the effectiveness of this initiative has been disputed by studies that reveal that "children couldn't remember or identify healthful foods in the ads, and that 81 percent of the 99 3 to 7 year olds in that study recalled French fries" even though there were no French fries in the advertisement.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 4.1 million U.S. workers are employed in food preparation and serving (including fast food) as of 2010. The BLS's projected job outlook expects average growth and excellent opportunity as a result of high turnover. However, in April 2011, McDonald's hired approximately 62,000 new workers and received a million applications for those positions—an acceptance rate of 6.2%. The median age of workers in the industry in 2013 was 28. Obtaining Human Resource Management diploma or diploma in Fast Food Management can help to get a job in major fast food restaurants since it is one of the most desired. The employment rate for Australians working in the fast food industry is increasingly high, with 17% of people working within the fast food sector in Australia.
In 2006, the global fast-food market grew by 4.8% and reached a value of £102.4 billion and a volume of 80.3 billion transactions. McDonald's alone, has outlets in 126 countries on 6 continents and operates over 31,000 restaurants worldwide.
One example of McDonald's expansion on a global scale was its introduction to the Russian market. In order for the American business to succeed it would have to be accepted and integrated into the daily lives of natives in Moscow. Thus, the restaurant was strategically implemented so that its offerings would align with the distinct and established eating habits, also known as the customs around food, eating and cooking, of Muscovites. One significant characteristic of Russian food culture is the emphasis on knowing about the locality of goods that are consumed. Essentially, in order to successfully launch this American brand in a foreign country, McDonald's interpreted the local interests of consumers in Moscow by promoting the origins of the produce used in the restaurant. On January 31, 1990 McDonald's opened a restaurant in Moscow and broke opening-day records for customers served. The Moscow restaurant is the busiest in the world.
There are numerous other fast food restaurants located all over the world. Burger King has more than 11,100 restaurants in more than 65 countries. KFC is located in 25 countries. Subway is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world with approximately 39,129 restaurants in 90 countries as of May 2009, the first non-US location opening in December 1984 in Bahrain. Wienerwald has spread from Germany into Asia and Africa. Pizza Hut is located in 97 countries, with 100 locations in China. Taco Bell has 278 restaurants located in 14 countries besides the United States.
Fast-food chains have come under criticism over concerns ranging from claimed negative health effects, alleged animal cruelty, cases of worker exploitation, and claims of cultural degradation via shifts in people's eating patterns away from traditional foods.
The intake of fast food is increasing worldwide. A study done in the city of Jeddah has shown that current fast-food habits are related to the increase of overweight and obesity among adolescents in Saudi Arabia. In 2014, the World Health Organization published a study which claims that deregulated food markets are largely to blame for the obesity crisis, and suggested tighter regulations to reverse the trend. In the United States, local governments are restricting fast food chains by limiting the number of restaurants found in certain geographical areas.
To combat criticism, fast-food restaurants are starting to offer more health-friendly menu items. In addition to health critics, there are suggestions for the fast-food industry to become more eco-friendly. The chains have responded by "reducing packaging waste".
Although trying to overcome criticism through healthy options on fast food menus, Marion Nestle, who serves as the chair of New York University's Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, suggests that fast-food industries intentionally market unhealthy foods to children through advertising options and therefore create customers for life.
Despite so much popularity, fast foods and fast-food chains have adverse impacts not only on the job and social skills, but on the health and academic performance of students. Fifty-six percent of students consume fast food on a weekly basis. The researcher who wrote Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser, highlights this fact, arguing that this is not only a financial but also a psychological bait, in that the students are lured towards this early employment opportunity knowing little that the time spent on this no-skill-learning job is wasted. Two other researchers, Charles Hirschman and Irina Voloshin, highlight their dangerous impacts and consequences regarding hiring and firing of teenage school-goers in the fast-food industry. Kelly Brownwell of The Atlantic Times has further supported this argument that another dangerous practice was adopted by Burger King and McDonald's for marketing to the innocent children.
In a research study conducted by Professors Purtell Kelly and Gershoff, they found that the students of fifth grades, who ate fast foods as compared to the students of the same age after some other social factors were controlled. Also, the percentage of the students having consumed fast food and showed poor grades was around 11 percent more than those who used organic foods. They are of the view that other social factors such as television watching, video games and playing were controlled to assess the real impacts of the fast foods.
There have been books and films, such as the 2004 film Super Size Me, designed to highlight the potential negative health effects from the overconsumption of fast food such as its contribution to obesity.
Though still a relatively small sector within the nation's $350 billion restaurant industry, several fast-casual chains are showing success and growth in Manhattan, and industry experts say it could be a sign of the sector's maturity and sustainability nationwide.
Baskin-Robbins is an American chain of ice cream and cake specialty shop restaurants. Based in Canton, Massachusetts, it was founded in 1945 by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in Glendale, California. It claims to be the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty stores, with 7,500 locations, including nearly 2,500 shops in the United States and over 5,000 in other countries as of December 28, 2013. Baskin-Robbins sells ice cream in nearly 50 countries.
The company is known for its "31 flavors" slogan, with the idea that a customer could have a different flavor every day of any month. The slogan came from the Carson-Roberts advertising agency (which later merged into Ogilvy & Mather) in 1953. Baskin and Robbins believed that people should be able to sample flavors until they found one they wanted to buy. The company has introduced more than 1,000 flavors since 1945. The company has been headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts since 2004 after moving from Randolph, Massachusetts.Burger King
Burger King (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. After Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties in 1954, its two Miami-based franchisees David Edgerton and James McLamore purchased the company and renamed it "Burger King". Over the next half-century, the company would change hands four times, with its third set of owners, a partnership of TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, taking it public in 2002. In late 2010, 3G Capital of Brazil acquired a majority stake in the company, in a deal valued at US$3.26 billion. The new owners promptly initiated a restructuring of the company to reverse its fortunes. 3G, along with partner Berkshire Hathaway, eventually merged the company with the Canadian-based doughnut chain Tim Hortons, under the auspices of a new Canadian-based parent company named Restaurant Brands International.
The 1970s were the "Golden Age" of the company's advertising, but beginning in the early-1980s, Burger King advertising began losing focus. A series of less successful advertising campaigns created by a procession of advertising agencies continued for the next two decades. In 2003, Burger King hired the Miami-based advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B), which completely reorganized its advertising with a series of new campaigns centered on a redesigned Burger King character nicknamed "The King", accompanied by a new online presence. While highly successful, some of CP+B's commercials were derided for perceived sexism or cultural insensitivity. Burger King's new owner, 3G Capital, later terminated the relationship with CP+B in 2011 and moved its advertising to McGarryBowen, to begin a new product-oriented campaign with expanded demographic targeting.
Burger King's menu has expanded from a basic offering of burgers, French fries, sodas, and milkshakes to a larger and more diverse set of products. In 1957, the "Whopper" became the first major addition to the menu, and it has become Burger King's signature product since. Conversely, BK has introduced many products which failed to catch hold in the marketplace. Some of these failures in the United States have seen success in foreign markets, where BK has also tailored its menu for regional tastes. From 2002 to 2010, Burger King aggressively targeted the 18–34 male demographic with larger products that often carried correspondingly large amounts of unhealthy fats and trans-fats. This tactic would eventually damage the company's financial underpinnings, and cast a negative pall on its earnings. Beginning in 2011, the company began to move away from its previous male-oriented menu and introduce new menu items, product reformulations and packaging, as part of its current owner 3G Capital's restructuring plans of the company.As of December 31, 2018, Burger King reported it had 17,796 outlets in 100 countries. Of these, nearly half are located in the United States, and 99.7% are privately owned and operated, with its new owners moving to an almost entirely franchised model in 2013. BK has historically used several variations of franchising to expand its operations. The manner in which the company licenses its franchisees varies depending on the region, with some regional franchises, known as master franchises, responsible for selling franchise sub-licenses on the company's behalf. Burger King's relationship with its franchises has not always been harmonious. Occasional spats between the two have caused numerous issues, and in several instances, the company's and its licensees' relations have degenerated into precedent-setting court cases. Burger King's Australian franchise Hungry Jack's is the only franchise to operate under a different name, due to a trademark dispute and a series of legal cases between the two.Carl's Jr.
Carl's Jr. Restaurants LLC is an American fast food restaurant chain operated by CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc., with franchisees in the United States and Canada and, since 2017, in Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia.
Carl Karcher (1917–2008) and his wife Margaret (1915–2006) founded the predecessor of Carl's Jr. in 1941, starting as a hot-dog cart in Los Angeles. In 1945, the Karchers moved to Anaheim, California, and opened their first full-service restaurant, Carl's Drive-In Barbecue. As the restaurant became successful, Carl expanded his business by opening the first two Carl's Jr. restaurants in Anaheim and nearby Brea in 1956. They were so named because they were smaller versions of Carl's original drive-in restaurant. That same year, the chain was officially renamed Carl's Jr.In 2016, Entrepreneur listed Carl's Jr. as #54 on their Top Franchise 500 list, which ranks the overall financial strength, stability, and growth rate for the top 500 franchisees in any field across the United States.As of March 2016, CKE (the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's) has a total of 3,664 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 38 foreign countries and U.S. territories.Checkers and Rally's
Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., is one of the largest chains of double drive-thru restaurants in the United States. The company operates Checkers and Rally's restaurants in 28 states and the District of Columbia. They specialize in hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, and milkshakes.Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen (DQ) is an American chain of soft serve ice cream and fast-food restaurants owned by International Dairy Queen, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. International Dairy Queen, Inc., also owns Orange Julius and Karmelkorn.The first DQ restaurant was located in Joliet, Illinois. It was operated by Sherb Noble and opened for business on June 22, 1940. It served a variety of frozen products, such as soft serve ice cream.The company's corporate offices are located in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, Minnesota.Fast food restaurant
A fast food restaurant, also known as a quick service restaurant (QSR) within the industry, is a specific type of restaurant that serves fast food cuisine and has minimal table service. The food served in fast food restaurants is typically part of a "meat-sweet diet", offered from a limited menu, cooked in bulk in advance and kept hot, finished and packaged to order, and usually available for take away, though seating may be provided. Fast food restaurants are typically part of a restaurant chain or franchise operation that provides standardized ingredients and/or partially prepared foods and supplies to each restaurant through controlled supply channels. The term "fast food" was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam–Webster in 1951.Arguably, the first fast food restaurants originated in the United States with White Castle in 1921. Today, American-founded fast food chains such as McDonald's (est. 1940) and KFC (est. 1952) are multinational corporations with outlets across the globe.
Variations on the fast food restaurant concept include fast casual restaurants and catering trucks. Fast casual restaurants have higher sit-in ratios, offering a hybrid between counter-service typical at fast food restaurants and a traditional table service restaurant. Catering trucks (also called food trucks) often park just outside worksites and are popular with factory workers.In-N-Out Burger
In-N-Out Burger is an American regional chain of fast food restaurants with locations primarily in the Southwest and the Pacific coast. It was founded in Baldwin Park, California, in 1948 by Harry Snyder and Esther Snyder. The chain is currently headquartered in Irvine, California and has expanded outside Southern California into the rest of California, as well as into Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Oregon. The current owner is Lynsi Snyder, the Snyders' only grandchild.
As the chain has expanded, it has opened several distribution centers in addition to its original Baldwin Park location. The new facilities, located in Lathrop, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Draper, Utah; and Dallas, Texas will provide for potential future expansion into other parts of the country.In-N-Out Burger has chosen not to franchise its operations or go public; one reason is the prospect of quality or customer consistency being compromised by excessively rapid business growth. The company's business practices have been noted for employee-centered personnel policies. For example, In-N-Out is one of the few fast food chains in the United States to pay its employees more than state and federally mandated minimum wage guidelines – starting at US$11 per hour in California, as of May 2017. The In-N-Out restaurant chain has developed a highly loyal customer base, and has been rated as one of the top fast food restaurants in several customer satisfaction surveys.Jollibee
Jollibee is a Filipino multinational chain of fast food restaurants owned by Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC). As of April 2018, JFC had a total of about 1,200 Jollibee outlets worldwide; with presence in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, East Asia (Hong Kong, Macau), North America, Europe (Italy, UK).Junk food
Junk food is a pejorative term, dating back at least to the 1950s, describing food that is high in calories from sugar or fat, with little dietary fiber, protein, vitamins or minerals. It can also refer to high protein food like meat prepared with saturated fat. The term HFSS foods (high in fat, salt and sugar) is used synonymously. Fast food and fast food restaurants are often equated with junk food, although fast foods cannot be categorically described as junk food.
Concerns about the negative health effects resulting from a junk food-heavy diet, especially obesity, have resulted in public health awareness campaigns, and restrictions on advertising and sale in several countries.KFC
KFC, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is an American fast food restaurant chain headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, that specializes in fried chicken. It is the world's second-largest restaurant chain (as measured by sales) after McDonald's, with 22,621 locations globally in 136 countries as of December 2018. The chain is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and WingStreet chains.
KFC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Sanders identified the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and the first "Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise opened in Utah in 1952. KFC popularized chicken in the fast food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger. By branding himself as "Colonel Sanders", Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history, and his image remains widely used in KFC advertising to this day. However, the company's rapid expansion overwhelmed the aging Sanders, and he sold it to a group of investors led by John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey in 1964.
KFC was one of the first American fast food chains to expand internationally, opening outlets in Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Jamaica by the mid-1960s. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it experienced mixed fortunes domestically, as it went through a series of changes in corporate ownership with little or no experience in the restaurant business. In the early 1970s, KFC was sold to the spirits distributor Heublein, which was taken over by the R.J. Reynolds food and tobacco conglomerate; that company sold the chain to PepsiCo. The chain continued to expand overseas, however, and in 1987, it became the first Western restaurant chain to open in China. It has since expanded rapidly in China, which is now the company's single largest market. PepsiCo spun off its restaurants division as Tricon Global Restaurants, which later changed its name to Yum! Brands.
KFC's original product is pressure-fried chicken pieces, seasoned with Sanders' recipe of 11 herbs and spices. The constituents of the recipe represent a notable trade secret. Larger portions of fried chicken are served in a cardboard "bucket", which has become a well-known feature of the chain since it was first introduced by franchisee Pete Harman in 1957. Since the early 1990s, KFC has expanded its menu to offer other chicken products such as chicken fillet sandwiches and wraps, as well as salads and side dishes such as French fries and coleslaw, desserts, and soft drinks; the latter often supplied by PepsiCo. KFC is known for its slogans "It's Finger Lickin' Good!", "Nobody does chicken like KFC", and "So good".List of fast food restaurant chains
The following is a list of notable current and former fast food restaurant chains, as distinct from fast casual restaurants (see List of casual dining restaurant chains), coffeehouses (see List of coffeehouse chains), ice cream parlors (see List of ice cream parlor chains), and pizzerias (see List of pizza chains).McDonald's
McDonald's is an American fast food company, founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States. They rechristened their business as a hamburger stand, and later turned the company into a franchise, with the Golden Arches logo being introduced in 1953 at a location in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1955, Ray Kroc, a businessman, joined the company as a franchise agent and proceeded to purchase the chain from the McDonald brothers. McDonald's had its original headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, but moved its global headquarters to Chicago in early 2018.McDonald's is the world's largest restaurant chain by revenue, serving over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across 37,855 outlets as of 2018. Although McDonald's is best known for its hamburgers, cheeseburgers and french fries, they also feature chicken products, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes and a negative backlash because of the unhealthiness of their food, the company has added to its menu salads, fish, smoothies, and fruit. The McDonald's Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. According to two reports published in 2018, McDonald's is the world's second-largest private employer with 1.7 million employees (behind Walmart with 2.3 million employees).Pakora
Pakora (pronounced [pəˈkoːɽaː]), also called pakoda, pakodi, fakkura, bhajiya, bhajji, bhaji or ponako, is a fried snack (fritter), originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is a popular snack across the Indian subcontinent; it is served in restaurants and sold by street vendors. It's also often found in Pakistani and Indian restaurants in the Western world.Popeyes
Popeyes is an American multinational chain of fried chicken fast food restaurants founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana and headquartered in Miami, Florida. Since 2008, its full brand name is Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., and it was formerly named Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits. It is currently a subsidiary of Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International.
According to a company press release dated June 29, 2007, Popeyes is the second-largest "quick-service chicken restaurant group, measured by number of units", after KFC. 3,102 Popeyes restaurants are in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 30 countries worldwide. About thirty locations are company-owned, the rest franchised.Ray Kroc
Raymond Albert "Ray" Kroc (October 5, 1902 – January 14, 1984) was an American fast-food tycoon. He joined the California company McDonald's in 1954, after the McDonald brothers had franchised 6 locations out from their original 1940 operation in San Bernardino. This set the stage for national expansion with the help of Kroc, eventually leading to a global franchise, making it the most successful fast food corporation in the world. Kroc was included in Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and amassed a fortune during his lifetime. He owned the San Diego Padres baseball team from 1974 until his death in 1984.Subway (restaurant)
Subway is an American privately held fast food restaurant franchise that primarily sells submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads. Subway is one of the fastest-growing franchises in the world and, as of June 2017, had approximately 42,000 stores located in more than 100 countries. More than half of the stores are located in the United States. It is the largest single-brand restaurant chain, and the largest restaurant operator, in the world.As of 2017, the Subway Group of companies was organized as follows:
Subway IP Inc. is the owner of the intellectual property for the restaurant system.
Franchise World Headquarters, LLC leads franchising operations. FWH Technologies, LLC owns and licenses Subway's point of sale software.
Franchisors include Doctor's Associates Inc. in the U.S.; Subway International B.V.; Subway Franchise Systems of Canada, Ltd.; etc.
Advertising affiliates include Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, Ltd.; Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, B.V.; Subway Franchisee Canadian Advertising Trust; etc.Subway's international headquarters are in Milford, Connecticut, with five regional centers supporting the company's international operations. The regional offices for European franchises are located in Amsterdam (Netherlands); the Australian and New Zealand locations are supported from Brisbane (Australia); the Asian locations are supported from offices in Beirut (Lebanon) and Singapore; and the Latin American support center is in Miami.Wendy's
Wendy's is an American international fast food restaurant chain founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio. The company moved its headquarters to Dublin, Ohio, on January 29, 2006. As of December 31, 2018, Wendy's was the world's third largest hamburger fast food chain with 6,711 locations, following Burger King and McDonald's. On April 24, 2008, the company announced a merger with Triarc Companies Inc., a publicly traded company and the parent company of Arby's. Despite the new ownership, Wendy's headquarters remained in Dublin. Previously, Wendy's had rejected more than two buyout offers from Triarc. Following the merger, Triarc became known as Wendy's/Arby's Group, and later as The Wendy's Company.
As of December 31, 2018, there were a total of 6,711 locations, including 353 that are company-owned. 6,358 restaurants are franchised, and 92% of the system-wide restaurants are located in North America. While Wendy's sets standards for exterior store appearance, food quality, and menu, individual owners have control over hours of operations, interior decor, pricing, staff uniforms, and wages.
The chain is known for its square hamburgers, sea salt fries, and their signature Frosty, a form of soft serve ice cream mixed with frozen starches. Wendy's menu consists primarily of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries, and beverages such as the Frosty. Since phasing out their famous "Big Classic", the company does not have a signature sandwich, such as the Burger King Whopper or the McDonald's Big Mac - although, by default, the "signature sandwich" spot seems to have been filled by Dave's 1/4 lb Single (introduced in 2011 as Dave's Hot 'N Juicy as a reworking of the longstanding Wendy's Single, shortened to simply Dave's in 2016), a square-pattied burger made with fresh ground beef rather than round frozen patties. Wendy's uses square hamburger patties – which hang over the edge of a circular bun – as its signature item.Whataburger
Whataburger is an American privately held regional fast food restaurant chain, headquartered and based in San Antonio, Texas, that specializes in hamburgers. The company, founded by Harmon Dobson and Paul Burton, opened its first restaurant in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1950. The chain is owned and operated by the Dobson family, along with 25 franchisees as of April 2012. As of April 2017, there are 824 Whataburger stores across the Southeastern and Southwestern United States regions.Whataburger was known for many years for its distinct A-framed orange-and-white-stripe-roofed buildings. The first A-frame restaurant was built in Odessa, Texas, and is now a historical landmark.The company's core products includes the "Whataburger", the "Whataburger Jr.", the "Justaburger", the "Whatacatch" (fish sandwich), and the "Whatachick'n". The company also has a breakfast menu.White Castle (restaurant)
White Castle is an American regional hamburger restaurant chain with 377 locations across 13 states, with its greatest presence in the Midwest. It has been generally credited as the country's first fast-food chain. It is known for its small, square hamburgers. Sometimes referred to as "sliders", the burgers were initially priced at five cents until 1929 and remained at ten cents until 1949. In the 1940s, White Castle periodically ran promotional ads in local newspapers which contained coupons offering five burgers for ten cents, takeout only.On January 14, 2014, Time labeled the White Castle slider the most influential burger of all time.
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