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Mcdonalds, Burger King, KFC…Friends or Foes?

The debate surrounding the physiological damage of fast food is ever present. However, with busy working schedules and lifestyles changes, sometimes we have no choice to purchase something quick on our lunch breaks, turning to our trusty friends, Mcdonald’s and Burger King.

The McDonald’s franchise is the largest fast food restaurant chain in the world, being present across 119 countries, and serving a staggering 68 million customers a day. There is no denying that these chain restaurants have a global presence and an impact on consumer’s experience of fast food. So what is it that attracts  consumers to these outlets that provide ‘junk food’ and are associated with unhealthy behaviour?

One attribute of the fast food chain, is reliability. When have you ever walked into a Mcdonald’s asked for a burger, and been faced with rejection. Never! The reliability of these chains (and their never ending supply of burgers) enables us to have a steady expectation of what we are going to get, and rarely do they disappoint, in convenience and reliability.

I know it is frowned upon, but we can rely on a fast food chain to satiate us; when we are starving, or when food choices become bleak, when we can’t wait for a takeaway, and we don’t want to spend more on a cold sandwich.

They’re also welcoming, in terms of proximity. When cooking is the last thing on your mind, at the end of a tiresome day, you know that Mcdonalds is always open, and super speedy. We can always rely on our trusty friends to provide us with a warm meal that ticks all the boxes; carbohydrates, protein, fats and fibre (if the gherkin counts). Junk food, despite being naughty is convenient.

These fast food chains are also great for when you’re on the road; when commuting takes its toll and you have been stuck in a traffic jam, what are the main restaurants at a service station? Yep, you guessed it. There is no escape; your friends will do anything to welcome you with a warm hug, a fine selection, and a napkin for your greasy fingers.

This leads me onto another great concept; the ‘Drive-Thru.’ Those late night hunger pangs when the food that has been festering in your fridge just will not do, or when after a night of heavy drinking and partying and you cannot face the world, we can just hop in our car, and replenish our essential fats and salts. It is in these times of despair, where that bright yellow ‘M’ which can be spotted from a far distance, guiding you to safety.

Despite the negativity associated with these chains, they are adapting their menu to accommodate the health conscious consumer, vegetarians and even Coeliac’s (in Spain) which shows they really are stretching to make us all feel welcome. All in all, at least we know that we can always rely on our fast food friends to make an appearance when time is sparse, and when hunger is not.

I was so surprised when I was advised to go to Mcdonald’s in Spain, I was told that they were very good for Coeliacs. I was dubious at first, so I went in and asked in my terrible Spanish, ‘do you do anything Sin gluten?’ The response did not fail to put a smile on my face…They did a gluten-free Big mac and two other burgers! Of course…I had to get one.

Summer 2014 spain 479


Now it’s about time the English Outlets made a few changes!


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