Fast Food Industry
Companies in this industry operate restaurants in which customers order and pay at a counter. Fast food firms must comply with country-specific political requirements, such as national minimum wage regulations, affecting costs. Hygiene and quality regulations vary significantly between nations and may influence the quality of products provided by fast food outlets. Different countries set varying regulations regarding labeling and packaging. For instance the US government pressured firms to promote healthy eating, and as a result several fast food companies voluntarily included calorie information on their products.
Demand is driven by consumer tastes and personal income. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and effective marketing. Large companies have advantages in purchasing, finance, and marketing whereas small companies can compete effectively by offering superior food or service. Despite the 2008 recession and the resulting decrease in consumer confidence across the globe, average consumer fast-food spending has increased due to convenience and low-cost. Consumers are still looking for the convenience of eating out, but are drawn to the low prices of fast-food over table-service restaurants. Many fast-food chains have capitalized upon the recession by introducing new deals in addition to their already low-priced menus. McDonald's is still the leading quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain in the United States. In 2015, the company generated close to 36 billion U.S. dollars; about 22 billion U.S. dollars more than its closest rival, Starbucks.
Taste is the most important factor when it comes to restaurant experiences according to 94 percent of U.S. consumers. Health, on the other hand, might be less of a consideration as the nutritional quality of the meals offered by many popular fast food chains leaves much to be desired. That said, nearly 83 percent of U.S. consumers dine at quick-service restaurants at least once a week.