Fast Food and Family
Did you know there are more than 300,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S. Why is fast food so popular? Because it is convenient, predictable, and fast. Fast food has become a part of the busy American lifestyle.
Chairman and CEO, Tom Dobson, attributes Whataburger's success to "...a fresh, made-to-order meal in a family atmosphere at a fair price."
Kid's meals are offered, and they have a whatakid website.
Employment opportunities are described as, "Join Our Family."
The Wendy's story goes, "He (Dave) wanted to build a place where families would come together to enjoy delicious meals in a comfortable and friendly environment.
In 1997, retail sales from eating places amounted to $220.0 billion, or nearly 9 percent of total retail trade. Estimates of about $350 billion dollars spent eating out in 2001.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, more than 71 percent of all families reported buying meals at restaurants, carry-outs, and other eating establishments during an average week in 1997.
The average annual expenditure was about $1,477 per family, or nearly 31 percent of total expenditures for food.
Dinner away from home accounts for the largest share of total food expenditures, ranging from 12 to 21 percent of total food expenditures.
Children aged 5-15 are one of the fastest growing segments of the American population, and most fast food establishments are "kid friendly."
Dual-income households with or without children are finding an increasing need for speedy and convenient meals.
French fries may become more popular than ever, if cooked in soybean oil. Fast food chains are beginning to promote a healthy menu.
In 1991 fast food restaurant sales were at $110 billion dollars.
As of September 2001, McDonald's total revenues were $11.1 billion.
Changes in family income, number of earners, and other demographic factors will undoubtedly influence future spending for meals away from home.
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