I’m as anti-fast food as they come. Since I moved to New York in 2003, I’ve eaten at McDonald’s once (a post-drinking Big Mac run) and Burger King once (while I was covering the company) in the city. I’ve eaten fast food a couple of other times in that time on road trips when it was the only option.
But saying that, I’ve come to respect the fast food giants Burger King, McDonald’s and Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) for their logistics and ability to get new markets to embrace their food. The growth of fast food in China is staggering and they had no concept of hamburgers before McDonald’s arrived in 1990. Now whether this is a good or bad thing isn’t for me to say. If people are choosing to eat it, then not much can be said.
Fast food companies have also taken the criticism of their food’s nutritional value and turned to more healthy alternatives. Burger King, like many chains, got rid of artery cloggin trans fats in October. McDonald’s even advertises its salads.
I still won’t choose to eat at a fast food joint, but I have much more respect for the business acumen and ability to make money, even in a downturn. All the major fast food chains had income growth in the third quarter and McDonald’s is the only stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that has a higher now than it did a year ago.
So I’m not saying go eat Burger King and McDonald’s, but at least respect them. These American companies truly dominate their global industry and that can’t be said about many companies from the good old US of A anymore.
Peace and good luck to everyone after graduation.