Adventures in Restaurants: The Consequences of the Fast Food Franchise.

RestaurantLogoIt feels like fast food has been around FOREVER. As a matter of fact, the first fast food franchises were White Castle and A&W. Both started in the US after WWI, so it’s an anniversary of sorts. Now you can’t drive downtown without seeing at least one burger joint.

There are some places in the US where there are no grocery stores, only fast food restaurants. They have a name for it too – “food deserts”. These are poorer neighbourhoods where access to healthy foods is all but impossible. It’s frightening when you think about it.

There is something insidious going on. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear it’s a conspiracy.

Yet are franchised restaurants just as bad? You know the ones I’m talking about. Sure the food takes longer to prepare and it looks fresher than fast food, but they have their secrets too. Sithboy’s first job was at one of these franchised restaurants (no, I’m not naming it), and he told me that the side dishes of mashed potatoes were actually instant, even though they used real potatoes for an appetizer. All the pulp of the cooked potatoes were thrown out instead of used because (get this) – consistency. Instant potatoes tasted the same and were easy to keep to the same texture than real mashed potatoes. It was the same when I worked at a franchised pizza place. We had lasagna (and it was good), but it was frozen. People couldn’t tell the difference. It’s still processed food, just made up to look less processed.

If fast food is one of the main reasons for obesity, then who is to blame for their popularity? Is it the consumer? Are we as a society so busy that we can’t take thirty minutes out of our schedule to prepare our food? Have we become so dependent on big chain grocery stores that we are incapable of growing our own? We can’t blame the franchise; they are only responding to a growing need. People have to eat, and in some cases a burger and fries at McDonald’s is the only alternative.

Do you think the owners of A&W or White Castle knew what they were starting?


About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

2 Responses to Adventures in Restaurants: The Consequences of the Fast Food Franchise.

  1. I’m cynical. Not sure if that’s a feature or a bug, but it’s what I am. And I tend to assume that any chain restaurant is serving fake food. I’m more optimistic with small, local places, but really got thrown for a loop once at a small-town donut shop that had been in business for generations. I assumed they made their own donuts. I pictured giant bags of flour being delivered everyday. Then once I asked for a cruller, and the lady told me that she’d decided not to sell them because the bag of dough that was delivered that morning had looked “strange,” and she just wasn’t sure about them.

    Now, I’m glad she was willing to do the right thing. But I almost cried, now that I knew they were getting their dough in bags from some factory. Sure, they fried and baked the donuts on site, but so what? Goddess only knows what cheap ingredients go into the factory dough, that then gets delivered to every donut shop in the west. No wonder they all taste the same!

    • Things like that are common place, and yeah, it’s why Husband and I like to go to the small intimate restaurants. Yes, it’s more expensive and you don’t get enough food to feed three people, but it’s generally local and made right there. Husband still goes on about the ravioli he had.

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