chapter  3
30 Pages

Fast-Food Blues: Work in a Global Economy

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with fast food. You may love the convenience and low price of a drive-through meal, but wonder why the food is so cheap. Or perhaps you embrace the opportunity to satisfy a salt craving, but recoil at the idea of “pink slime” (see photo below) being added to hamburger products. Maybe you are a person who loves to eat a fastfood burrito, but later worries about the calories, salt, or fat you have ingested. Clearly, many consumers feel conflicted about eating fast food. However, consumption of fast food is only growing, especially as fast-food brands spread around the world. McDonald’s retains its title as the most globally recognized fast-food brand with 18,710 restaurants worldwide; other firms in the “top 10” global fast-food brands include KFC, Subway, and Pizza Hut (Tice 2013). Besides the traditional fast-food giants like McDonald’s, up-market “fast casual” success stories like Chipotle and Shake Shack are growing in popularity, featuring a more expensive product that may offer “natural” meat and tastier toppings (Surowiecki 2015).