Millennial Fast Food Trends: Effects on the Fast Food Industry

Fast Casual Restaurants, Millennials and the Evolution in the Fast Food Industry in America

When we think of fast food restaurants, we think of fried fries, burgers, fried poultry, sugary pastries and calorie-laden soft drinks. This phenomenon is the case in America for a very long time with fast food franchises for example McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger Ruler and White Castle dominating the market. However , over the past 20 years, fast food in America has slowly and gradually changed from greasy chips and burgers at McDonald’s to deli sandwiches as well as milkshakes at Panera Loaves of bread or Chipotle. This trend is known as the rise in the ‘fast casual’ restaurants that provide the casual dining experience of healthy, organic meals created with produce that is sourced close to you but served at the velocity and convenience that one would certainly experience at a fast food bistro. This trend points to a new fast-food industry that is modifying and becoming healthier while nevertheless maintaining the convenience and the somewhat low price point that produced fast food restaurants so productive in the first place. This essay will present evidence on how the fast-food in America is changing by becoming healthier, exotic, custom, ethical and ambient and the role that fast informal restaurants and Millennials are playing in driving this kind of change.

The main driver of this shift within the fast food industry is the greater health consciousness of Americans. In accordance with Miller (182), the natural food movement which were only available in the 1960s has been very successful in educating People in the usa about the dangers of highly processed foods, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the poisonous pesticides that are used in modern agriculture. As an alternative, the movement implored Americans to eat locally grown foods natural and healthy foods. The success of this movement has had a detrimental impact on conventional fast-food restaurants who have typically come under attack intended for selling high-calorie meals which are unhealthy and cause being overweight, diabetes and high blood pressure. Standard fast food restaurants have also been falsely accused of advertising unhealthy meals to children and using not naturally made and highly refined materials to make their meals. That increased health consciousness has led to reduced sales in take out restaurants and constant dangers of class action lawsuits from those who think their health conditions have been caused by eating junk food (Dixon et al. 104). In order to deal with this happening, fast food restaurants have enhanced the number of healthy meals particular menus, but their uptake has not been very high.

The rise connected with fast casual restaurants is usually attributed to the fact that they serve healthy food with the same benefit as fast food restaurants. Eagan (178) reports that it is as a result of this health consciousness that this “number of diners checking out fast-casual restaurants grew at ten times the rate involving traffic to fast-food restaurants coming from 1999 through 2014. ” Fast-casual restaurants have grown throughout popularity due to their healthy, refreshing made offerings at a low price and also high convenience. Food stores such as Panera Bread in addition to Chipotle are fast laid-back restaurants that have succeeded with providing healthy meals easily. These restaurants have self-service kiosks and drive by way of windows to compete properly with fast food restaurants by offering healthy meals in a quick and convenient manner (Treflis Team 1). It appears that innovations in fast food in America will include more fast-casual restaurants.

The tastes of american citizens have also changed, with Millennials being more adventurous with the food tastes. Due to the rise of social media, Americans are actually more aware of exotic repas such as Mexican, Greek, Jewish, Italian and Chinese and perhaps they are more willing to try these people (Williams 1). Moreover, consuming exotic meals and publishing them on social media increases the social capital of Millennial leading to a sharp rise in their very own demand. Since traditional junk food restaurants still offer classic meals such as burgers, fried potatoes, and chicken they are staying edged out by fast-casual restaurants which offer a wide range of unique meals which customers could customize in a dozen various ways. The ability to customize meals is especially important to Millennials who are at this point the dominant working era in America as they see foodstuff as an extension of their persona (Eagan 177). These tendencies point to a future where fastfood will consist of exotic and also international cuisines which will be highly customizable.

A different shift in food attitude that has been experienced in America will be the increased need to eat in the environmentally friendly and socially conscious manner. There is an increase in the desire to eat food that has been sourced locally to support local farmers and local economies and also to eat food which has is grown in an environmentally friendly manner (Miller 182). Often , the food served at traditional fast food restaurants violates these kind of ideals as the breeding of these animals is done in cages, the food is grown utilizing pesticides, and they do not support local farmers. On the other hand, rapidly casual restaurants often espouse these ideas and more Americans, especially Millennials are choosing rapid casual restaurants over traditional fast food restaurants to express their beliefs on ethics connected with food sourcing. In the future, fast food is likely to be ethically sourced through local farmers using natural and pasture raised ingredients.

The climb of social media and the wish to share one’s activity regarding social capital has also modified what Millenials require associated with fast food joints by boosting the patronage of places and food that is photo perfect, and that can be submitted to social media sites such as Instagram (Williams 1). Social media requires that will restaurants have great atmosphere and artistically presented meals that is ‘Instagram ready’ no matter if they are not fine dining restaurants, and they are willing to pay a little more for any experience. Fast-casual restaurants similar to Chipotle have capitalized with this by having a brick and metallic theme with high ambient lighting that has attracted Millennials in droves (Dixon et al. 104). These changes show that traditional fast food restaurants are now being edged out by fast-casual restaurants which provide a great ambiance that can provide web 2 . 0 likes for Millennials. Because of this trend, it looks like fast food eateries will have to become posh for you to compete effectively.

These changes in the fast food marketplace can be attributed to the coming of age of millennials who are at this point working and have disposable salary to spend eating out, their thought patterns about healthy food and the ethics of food sourcing in addition to production have played the role in making fast food far healthier and fueling the increase of fast-casual restaurants. Based on Williams (1), Millennials may also be more likely to cook their foods than to eat out that might lead to a decline throughout eating out generally as really them get into the job industry and are earning salaries. Social media has also fueled these adjustments as it has made exotic cuisines more popular and also required that eating places become more chic and circling so that they can take photos and post them online in social media sites. The internet has also made it easier for in spread the message of healthy food, environmental consciousness, ethical food sourcing as well as the dangers of refined food in order to more people than before. That generation will continue to influence not only the fast food market but food trends in general.

From the previous discussions, it is clear how the fast food industry in America is poised for significant modifications as a result of increased health brain, fast casual restaurants, and also the Millennial generation. The future of fastfood is likely to include healthier meal, exotic food, ethically noted ingredients, and more choices. Additionally, fast food restaurants are likely to be a lot more chick and ambiently decorated even as they focus on providing food as fast as possible through self-service kiosks, online ordering, along with drive-through windows. It appears that fast-casual restaurants, the internet, and Millennials are going to be the drivers of the changes in the fast food industry.


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