The emergence of the fast-food industry has brought drastic changes to the market and has significantly impacted people’s dietary preferences. The innovations adopted by the McDonald’s chain in the 1950s have led to the development of similar facilities because of the idea’s profitability and simplicity in the implementation (Rawson & Shore, 2019). Nowadays, individuals have many appealing options which can match their tastes and be time-saving because businesses enhance their creativity to withstand the fierce competition. Having a common goal to attract consumers, fast-food restaurants choose a niche and specialize in certain types of food, such as pizza, burgers, sandwiches, chicken, fish, Asian, Mexican, and snacks.
Restaurants offering pizza occupy an enormous share of the market because their product is always popular among different categories of consumers. Pizza emanated from Naples and appeared in the United States in the nineteenth century due to Italian immigrants (“A Slice of History,” 2019). Since then, pizza has become one of the favorite foods of Americans. Every restaurant can boast its unique recipe of dough, the way of its baking, thickness, and shape. The variety of toppings makes it possible to engage the clients with the most specific preferences. Consequently, it is not surprising that Americans order more than three billion pizzas per year (“A Slice of History,” 2019). The high demand allows restaurant owners to reach success while avoiding high expenses.
Burgers also belong to the favored type of fast food, and the restaurants serving them enjoy a stable flow of customers. Similar to pizza, the history of burgers in the U.S. begins with the recipe brought to the country by German immigrants (McNair, n.d.). However, the product underwent numerous modifications and was used by McDonald’s to establish the fast-food industry in America and further develop it throughout the world (McNair, n.d.). Besides this corporation, other examples of restaurants selling burgers include Burger King, In-N-Out Double Double, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Wendy’s, and Fatburger among others. Consumers enjoy high-calorie food which can be eaten within the minimum time.
Another category of fast-food restaurants adored by many people is the one offering sandwiches. The common conception is that such products are convenient to eat and easy to cook, especially the ones with ready-made ingredients. Nonetheless, the recipes of sandwiches have evolutionized from simply practical to complicated cuisine, creating a number of options for picky individuals (Olver, 2015). Some of the well-known places serving sandwiches include Central Grocery, La Peche Gourmet-To-Go, Cutty’s, Katz Deli, La Torta Gorda, and Union Loafers Café. One can find their ideal sandwich without having to compromise their healthy lifestyle, even though it belongs to fast food.
The next class of restaurants providing quick service is the one serving chicken. Such food can be cooked within a short time, which is a considerable advantage for both customers and the facilities offering it. Established in 1930, KFC is considered the first fast-food chain selling chicken (“10 Oldest Fast Food Chains,” n.d.). The restaurant used an innovative method of preparing it, a pressure fryer, which has contributed to the business’s prosperity (“10 Oldest Fast Food Chains,” n.d.). The chefs invent various sauces, flavorings, and spices to attract the intended audience and prevent the surfeit of the same basic ingredient. Thus, the diversity of options helps such establishments obtain dedicated clients.
Fish restaurants constitute a special category of fast food, creating their competitive advantage by focusing on the product which usually requires a complicated cooking process. It is favored by people who value their time and want to receive proven health benefits from the consumption. Fish is one of the earliest fast foods in the territories where the individuals do not prefer menus of the famous industry giants (“The Geography of Fish and Chips,” 2018). The corresponding restaurants, such as Arthur Treacher’s, Long John Silver’s, Nordsee, Popeye’s, Boston Sea Party, Captain D’s, and Ivar’s, demonstrate the viability of their chosen niche. Fish fast food certainly deserves more attention from those entrepreneurs who doubt their ability to overcome the increased competition with other restaurants.
Just like pizza and hamburgers, Asian fast food is widely popular in the whole world. Its success is based not only on the diverse and exotic cuisine but also on the western world’s interest in the inherent rich culture. Chinese noodles, Japanese sushi and sashimi, Thai fried rice, Korean kimchi, and other Asian dishes are appreciated by those individuals who prefer extraordinary combinations of tastes and are not afraid to try new ones. The U.S. boasts a large number of Asian fast-food chains, for instance, Panda Express, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Manchu WOK, Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, Thai Express, and Ginger Sushi + Poke Shop. These restaurants are expected to remain prosperous for a long time due to the loyalty of their customers.
Mexican fast food does not appeal to everyone but still has its place in people’s time-saving preferences. Certainly, the cuisine appeared in the U.S. on demand of the immigrants who promoted their businesses. Burritos, tacos, and enchilada are well-known for their hot flavors and provide a counterchange from the ordinary dishes. The examples of Mexican fast-food restaurants in America include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Serrano’s Mexican Fast Food, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Jalisco Mexican Restaurant, and Café Rio Mexican Grill among others. Their products are worth trying at least once and may become one’s favorite.
The last type of the restaurants offers snacks with coffee, although people do not always recognize such facilities as fast food. Almost every person has a habit of holding a conversation with a friend or a colleague while drinking a cup of coffee. Moreover, people additionally consume cookies, pastries, cakes, and other patisseries without realizing how often they do it and how they depend on the restaurants serving such food. Starbucks, Baskin-Robbins, Birch Coffee, Four Barrell Coffe, La Colombe Torrefaction, and others constitute a significant variety of fast-food chains. Due to the widely accepted culture of drinking coffee, these facilities are probably the most profitable fast foods in the world.
In conclusion, choosing to sell a certain product allows fast-food restaurants to distinguish their intended audience and maintain their prosperity. Pizza is one of the most popular types of fast food, and it fiercely competes with burgers. Both of them were initially created by the immigrants and gained a great competitive advantage. Sandwiches and chicken occupy their own extensive niche on the market, appealing to many people’s tastes. Those individuals who prefer exotic and unusual food order it in Asian and Mexican fast-food restaurants, also being interested in the unique cultures. Fish restaurants are competitive due to their healthy offerings, and coffee shops tend to attract people with desserts. In today’s conditions of high competition and technological advancements, the admirers of fast food can expect the invention of its new types soon.
A slice of history: Pizza in America. (2019). National Park Service. Web.
Olver, L. (2015). Food timeline FAQs: Sandwiches. The Food Timeline. Web.
Rawson, K., & Shore, E. (2019). Dining out: A global history of restaurants. Reaktion Books.
10 oldest fast food chains in the world. (n.d.). Oldest.org. Web.
The geography of fish and chips. (2018). UCSB Geography. Web.