Although fast food restaurants have been prevalent for about 100 years, their success has only increased. Nowadays, the industry goes beyond burgers and fries, and has become a place where people even grab their daily cup of coffee. The ‘Quick Service Restaurant’ segment has accounted for over half of the total amount of dollars generated in the entire restaurant industry. Celebrities indulging in fast food is proof that the low cost of the restaurants isn’t the only factor in the fortune. The instant gratification and indulgence that fast food brings has generated over 20 billion dollars in 2018 for McDonald’s alone. While fast food is notorious for having high calorie counts, the dollar amount generated per calorie is shockingly high as well.
Putting a Single Calorie in Perspective
We typically hear the cost of a calorie put in a dietary perspective. But, if we add up the total amount of dollars a restaurant generates, and divide it by the number of calories on the menu, this shows just how much money these restaurants are bringing in. Calorie counting just got a lot more interesting.
From Coffee to Fast Food, Consumers are Obsessed
Companies like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks have expanded their menu to food along with coffee, making them top competitors in the fast food industry. What some may not know though, is that both companies have been ranked for having a couple of the highest calorie-dense menus – even beating out McDonald’s. A frappuccino, depending on the size, may have more calories than the Big Mac. Out of the ten highest competitors in fast food, this puts the two companies at the bottom when it comes to dollar amount generated per calorie. Starbucks is at the ninth spot with $16,000 per calorie, and Dunkin in tenth place at $7,000.
Big Macs & Big Bucks
McDonald’s takes the crown when it comes to overall profit. The world-wide company made over $200,000 per calorie in 2018. The company continues to grow, and has fulfilled the consumer needs by joining delivery services like Postmates. This increases the convenience aspect of fast food even more than it was previously. In a society with binge-watching, 4G networks and instant results in Google, being able to order the food online has increased its sales. With Chick-Fil-A and Subway taking second and third place, all three chains have generated six figures per calorie that they have on their menu.
The Appeal and Relevancy of Fast Food
It may be shocking looking at how much the fast food industry generates yearly. So, what exactly is the appeal of fast food? How are these companies making up to six figures per individual calorie on their menu? Although cooking at home may be the healthier option, having a week off of fast food is something that most Americans don’t do. The phrase ‘having a quick bite to eat’ is a universal idea that is favorable to many.
When going into a new town or even a new country, one thing that is constant is the fact that there is a McDonald’s or Burger King right around the corner. The most recognizable logos in the world are ones like the Starbucks and McDonald’s logos, creating a sense of familiarity with the restaurants and loyal consumers. This appeals to the ease and satisfaction aspect of fast food—it hits home. Although high in calories, the filling and fast meals continue to be a large part of society across the globe.
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