Fast Food Restaurant
A Fast Food Restaurant is a quick service restaurant QSR. They are a specific type of restaurant and well known for fast food and minimal table service. The food served in these restaurants is very often offered from a limited menu, and typically cooked and prepared in advance, kept hot and when an order is placed, it is then ready to be served. If the food is to be taken away, it will be packaged.
These restaurants are very often part of a restaurant chain, and the provisions they use are standardized ingredients and sometimes partially prepared food will be supplied to them through controlled channels. The first one most likely originated in the United States. Another variation of this is a catering van or truck, which has the advantage of mobility.
At the time of writing this article there are around 58 popular restaurants, and totalled together they offer almost 3000 menu items, and the number is still rising.
These restaurants are generally located in towns, cities, along major roadways, leisure parks and other easy to get to locations. Many of these restaurants provide drive through facilities. A drive through facility enables customers to place an order and then pick it up at the customer service bay without leaving their vehicle.
Some of these restaurants provide dining areas where food can be ordered and eaten on the premises, and a few will even take orders by phone and deliver the food to the required address. Many pizza restaurants provide this delivery service at no extra cost to the customer, however a minimum order must be adhered to.
Fast food is any food that is quick, convenient and usually inexpensive. Fast food can be bought just about anywhere that sells food and snacks. Vending machines, drive through restaurants and 24hr convenience shops are the most common places to obtain fast food.
Fast food is generally cheaper because it is made with cheaper ingredients such as, refined grains, added sugar and high fat meat. Many of these quick and convenient meals contain a high amount of sodium which can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Sodium can also lead to build-up of fluids in case of people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis or kidney disease.
Today most fast food chains are responding to customers comments by changing their menus to more healthy alternatives, and these can include more fruits and vegetables, and reducing the amount of fat, salt and added sugar on many of their menu items.
Can You Eat Healthy at a Fast Food Restaurant?
You have changed your eating habits to align with your decision to live a healthy lifestyle but you find yourself with only fast food restaurants for lunch. Due to hypertension your doctor has put you on a low sodium diet but your kids keep nagging you to take them to McDonalds. After a thorough diet evaluation you have chosen a low fat diet plan to lose those extra pounds but your friends love to eat at Subway. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? The bottom line is can you eat at fast food restaurants and still adhere to whatever diet plan you have chosen to follow?
You can definitely minimize the unhealthy impact of most fast food restaurants on your diet plan by choosing menu items that are better for you than most. But before we get into the details let’s review the basic tenants of healthy eating. Avoid foods with saturated fats and trans fatty acids, load up on fruits and vegetables, choose whole grain foods, choose foods low in cholesterol, don’t drink your calories and watch your portions.
The two healthy eating basics that you can follow to a “T” are don’t drink your calories and watch your portions. Choose either a diet soda or, better yet, ask for water. Do not supersize and select the smallest size available. There that wasn’t hard and you can apply these two basics to any fast food, or for that matter any fine dining, restaurant.
The other basic tenants require a little prior planning to satisfy effectively. Almost every fast food restaurant has nutrition information available on their website. For example if you type in Subway in the Google search window the third item on the drop down menu of suggestions is Subway nutrition. Click on the first item and it takes you to the nutritional information for Subway. There is a ton of information including fat, fiber and sodium tips and printer friendly nutritional information. The fat, fiber and sodium tips provide specific information on what sandwich to order and also what toppings to choose and which toppings to avoid – excellent information.
What do you do if forget to do your research? The first choice is to inform the staff your specific diet requirements (emphasize that your doctor has put you on a special diet this should get you special treatment) and ask what menu items satisfy your requirements. Your second choice is review the menu while you’re waiting in line and with the basic healthy eating tenants in mind make your best guess.
Let’s say you made you best guess and when you get back to the office or home and check the nutritional and caloric values on the fast food restaurants website you discover that what you just had for lunch was loaded with calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. Ouch! All is not lost, just adjust what you eat for the remainder of the day so you don’t go over your daily caloric limit and burn the experience into your memory so you don’t make the same mistake the next time.
Another strategy, especially if you are eating with family or friends, is to bring your own healthy lunch. Most fast food restaurants will not make a fuss if your lunch companions are ordering from their menu. This will generally be more difficult to pull off if you are eating alone but can be done if you select a couple of healthy menu items to compliment what you brought from home.
My final recommendation is to select a couple of healthy sides and don’t select a burger or sandwich. For example, if you find yourself at Wendy’s you can get a side salad and a baked potato. Just be sure not to load up the potato with cheese, bacon or chilli and choose a fat free or low fat salad dressing for your side salad.
You can now walk into a fast food restaurant and have a plan in place that won’t bust your healthy eating or diet plan. With all this in mind you don’t want to eat at fast food restaurants on a regular basis unless based on your research into the nutritional and caloric value you can stick with your diet.
Useful Tips in Starting a Fast Food Restaurant
A fast food is referred to as food served and prepared quickly. Most fast food chains started this business small and eventually became bigger, branching out as time passed. This is all accomplished by hard work, perseverance as well as proper planning and management.
Here are some tips in starting a fast food restaurant.
Make the necessary planning. Make sure that this is the type of business you want and that you are prepared to shoulder everything, from the finances up to the hard work and stressful details. If the food industry is what you plan to handle, finalize on the kind of fast food you want to sell. List the type of foods you want and narrow it down until you already have a list of what you will be selling.
Ensure that you have enough money to franchise or launch your own fast food restaurant. Aside from this, you need to have sufficient money to maintain it for at least two to three years.
Search for a place were you would like to establish your fast food restaurant. Find out about the health codes and zoning laws. Get a business permit or license. Make sure that you have all the necessary permits and receipts when you open your restaurant.
One thing about buying a franchise of a fast food restaurant is the fact that they have a proven success record. In that way, you are confident that you are investing your money in a big business that has better chances of earning profit.
If you want to start an independent fast food restaurant, decide on the idea or concept you will promote. Think of ways on how you can make your fast food restaurant unique and what demographics you have that can attract people. The name is also very important. Think of a good name for your restaurant. Many people even spend good money just to have a professional think of a good name for their company. Sometimes it is a simple name that is related to the food but something that will stick onto the mind of your would-be customers.
Restaurants have a specialty. Highlight this on your menu.
Spend time on promotions even prior to your opening day. It pays to have people know what is upcoming. Keep people curious and perked up.
For your staff, start interviewing applicants in advance. This is to make sure that you have enough time to train them. Make sure that you hire a chef and a waiter that has ample experience and are very efficient. You also need to do some background check. Make sure that they no criminal or negative offenses on their previous jobs. Ask for some character references.
Market your own fast food restaurant. You may advertise in television, radio or newspapers.
These are all essential when setting-up a fast food restaurant. However, it is proven that successful business rise when the owners are managing it. Make sure that when you set up a restaurant or any business, you will have time for it.