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Why are Fast Food Restaurants So Compelling?

Have you noticed that a huge percentage of people eat a huge number of meals at fast food restaurants? And they’re getting pretty huge. I think fast food is popular partly because of the fast food environment. For most people, the environment is compelling.

The Fast Food Environment

  • They’re brightly lit and clean (mostly).
  • They have a straightforward menu of relatively few choices so decisions are easy.
  • When ordering you just say a number and get everything that comes with it.
  • Meals average between $4 and $5. It sounds cheap.
  • Families like them because their kids like the food and the playground equipment. So no whiney-battles.
  • Fast food restaurants were built for kids – big ones and little ones. And they serve happy meals and the kids get prizes.
  • Each food chain standardizes its food so it tastes the same no matter what city you’re in. Certainty in an uncertain world.
  • Many people eat alone in fast food restaurants so no one feels funny doing it. If you’re eating alone, you get a little company and people to watch.
  • You can get your order quickly, chew quickly (because there’s no fiber), and get out quickly.
  • You can take your food to go and eat it in the car because it’s packaged for take out. I’m not saying this is a good idea. I’m just saying that people have grown to like this option.

Fast Food Nation

Fast food executives and marketers have developed a popular product mix and welcoming environment. They’ve grown an entire culture into a fast food lifestyle and are educating the youth to this way of life.

The challenge for individuals, families, and health educators becomes one of offering a healthy food environment that is just as compelling as the fast food environment. It’s going to take creativity and effort to turn this unhealthy fast food lifestyle around.

With the growing concern about obesity, (now our children are also at high risk) the time is right to create a healthy fast food kitchen in each of our homes. McDonald’s and Wendy’s and Burger King and Taco Bell and all the rest will provide our blueprint. We should be able to beat them out!


Getting People Back Into Their Own Kitchens

I’ve never moved a massive group of people out of fast food restaurants into their own kitchens before. It’s a little intimidating, and very exciting. I’m thinking a lot about how to do that. I will be offering teleclasses and creating programs toward that goal.

How about we take the lead away from the fast food restaurants and create home kitchen environments that are more compelling than fast food restaurants!


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