Fast food; A Necessary One-Meal-a-Day Routine?

Fast food

by Jonathan Haggstam

We are surrounded by plenty of options on where to get a quick bite, so which fast food restaurants are the best? This article will give you an understanding where fast food comes from, and a top-5 listing of the best chains in New York.

The evolution of the world, from the primitive to the modern one has evolved quickly and covered most areas in our everyday life. And food is certainly not an exception and where “fast food” is the most popular way of eating out today. The actual term came on the scene with the emergence of metropolitan cities around the globe, and it appears to be a direct relationship between societal patterns and food consumption behaviours.

There was a time, when people used to live in extended family structures and home cooked food was the rule of the thumb. However, the gradual shift of the family paradigm resulted in the introduction of semi cooked food. Subsequently, the concept of independent living paved way for the introduction of fast food. Henceforth, revamped social culture is responsible for altering the food habits of the individuals.

To the outside world find Americans in general and New Yorkers in particular to have a profound infatuation for fast food and I guess that's not a myth. The busy, fast paced and independent lifestyle of New York is basically an analogy of to the concept, fast food.

Quick service restaurants is a term that is used as a synonym to the fast food industry. It is an industry that offers delicious serving of morsels to the clients sufficing in metropolitan cities. Howard Johnson, in mid 1930’s, is considered to be an inventor of fast food franchising when, as an aftermath of the Great Depression, he rented his second corporate location to a friend in lieu of proliferating his business operations. However, the concept gained wide scale growth and acceptance when cars became a commonplace to hang around, and on the go eating phenomenon were taken by storm, to be in line with the fast and busy life of metropolitans.


By the end of 1951, the term was so common and popular that it was considered worthy of being included in the dictionary, as a separate term. However, it is no myth to state that the industry faces immense challenges in a country like USA. These challenges include, but are, by no means, limited to rising food costs, economic recessions and increased health conscious behaviour of individuals towards changing perceptions about fast food.

Statistics are a proof of the fact that in recent times, the American companies have been successful in franchising in over 100 countries around the globe. Apart from this, in America alone, there are more than two hundred thousand fast food locations, total revenue mounting from $ 6 billion a year in 1970 to $ 160 billion annually till the end of 2014, making 8.6% as the official profit rate for the industry in USA.

The fast food industry operates through the mantra of increased volume and decreased cost, thus, benefiting from economies of scale, with fast paced product delivery. But, with the passage of time, the industry is quickly approaching a saturation point; the situation is increasingly true for the American market. Consider, for example, the case of McDonald’s, which is operating in almost every city and town of USA, along with a side by side existence of competitors at the exact same locations. This has done no good to the competitors; rather resulted in creating a chaos and confusion by snubbing brand loyalty.

So, what are the top fast food restaurants? This article will list the top 5 fast food chains in New York, ranked in ascending order, but at the end of the day you of course have your own taste. And for the sake of simplicity, we’ve listed fast food restaurant chains in New York referring to chains that operates in more than one location in NYC.

5. Poppeye’s

Poppeye's Wings Chicken The inexpensive solid fried chicken with the serving of Cajun spices is the highlight of the show. Also deals with delicious biscuits and cookies carved out of buttermilk. The place is not ideal for health and diet conscious people, as the chain specialize in fried chicken on the bone, boneless and nuggets. But, the taste of the food worth skipping your diet once a while. You can find the restaurants in multiple locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn.

4. Atomic Wings

Atomic Wings Chicken The waffle fries are excellent and so also their sauces as they got a kick of flavour in them, and then of course the fried chicken wins, ahead of Poppeye’s. You can find nine restaurant locations throughout New York City. One of the pronounced advantage that has put Atomic Wings a head of Poppeye’s is their ease of location access, as the franchises are, by and large, present all across Manhattan.

3. Lenny’s

Lenny's sub-marine sandwich Lenny’s wins the race by securing the number one position on my chart. Lenny’s is operating in 13 locations across Manhattan. Apart from their easy access, the company provide diversified food portfolio to choose from including, sandwiches, wraps, salads, breakfast items, soups, along with a variety of meats and cheeses. The highlight of the menu is the breaded chicken cutlet and turkey meat sandwiches. If you can’t reach Lenny’s, no worries, Lenny’s will reach you, as the company offers delivery system through their well established distribution channel.

2. Five Guys

Five Guys Burgers The reason of five guys staying at the number third position is their fresh and healthier taste. The company offers fresh cut potatoes and serves fresh burgers. The company only deals with stuff like hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, fries and drinks. Five Guys is cost effective in a sense that they do not charge a single extra penny under the name of extra toppings. Burgers are offered in two varied sizes; patty and regular. Regular is made by combining two patty ones. No long waiting, you can place your order online, and then just come and collect it. The chain operates at three varied locations in Manhattan and at one location in Brooklyn.

1. Pret A Manger

Pret A Manger Fresh healthy food Pret mainly offers sandwiches, baguettes and wraps. However, salads, soups, sushi and desserts are also the famous servings of the company. The chain serves healthy and fresh food only and give away what’s not sold on the day to the homeless of NYC. It’s not as cheap as its competitors but with this initiative in mind I think it goes without saying that it’s worth it. Pret could be considered as a premium for delicious fast food.