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Fast Food consumption gaining popularity

Published on 19th Dec, Edition 51, 2016


Fast food is getting much more popularity worldwide in attracting people from all walks of life and it especially be a major focus for teenagers now. It has made life comfortable as one can easily visit any favorites or nearest fast food restaurants to have hassle free food. The fast food industry generates about $165 billion in revenue annually, based on 2011 market research by IBISWorld. The research also indicates that about 184,200 fast food businesses operate in the United States.

Meal prices affect consumers’ restaurant choices in some economic climates. Consumers’ desire for more variety and healthier foods at restaurants sometimes outweigh their concerns about costs. Fast food restaurants fare better during an economic downturn than pricier restaurants do. Consumers living on a tight budget in a bad economy often turn to fast food chains for inexpensive meals, according to “The Economist” magazine.

Fast food chains sometimes merge during a recession to grab a bigger share of the market and increase profits. Arby’s and Wendy’s merged in 2008 as US unemployment rates were rising and fewer consumers were dining out. The merger expanded market share for Arby’s and Wendy’s, because it created the third-largest fast food chain in the United States.

Mergers also help fast food restaurants increase their customer base and revenue by expanding their hours of operation. For example, a restaurant chain that doesn’t serve breakfast may merge with a chain that does.

QSR magazine reports 2011 sales for McDonald’s outpaced the company’s 2009 sales by $1.5 billion after the chain included fruit smoothies and other new items on its menu. Consumer demand for healthy meals is causing McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants to add fruits and vegetables to their menus, according to QSR.

Low prices on meats, vegetables and other commodities help fast food restaurants cut meal prices without losing profits.

Top ten fast food chains in the world

List of top ten fast food restaurants in the world:

1- McDonald’s

2- KFC

3- Subway

4- Pizza Huts

5- Starbucks

6- Burger King

7- Domino’s Pizza

8- Dunkin’ Donuts

9- Dairy Queen

10- Papa John’s Pizza


McDonald’s is considered as top leading fast food restaurants and gained top position in list of top 10 fast food chains in US and in the world. It has a credit of providing service to 68 million customers on daily basis in about 119 countries of the world.

McDonald’s company was initiated in 1940 and it’s rooted in United States ad it is operated and controlled by Richard and Maurice McDonald since 1948.

Ray Kroc became a part of company in 1955, he purchased chain of McDonald’s and focused on its worldwide growth. It mainly deals with hamburgers, chicken, breakfast items, cheeseburgers, soft drinks, desserts, French fries and milkshakes. With changing demands of customers McDonald’s increases its items and added fish, smoothies, salads, wraps and fruit as well.


KFC is next one and it is ranked as second largest fast food chain among top ten fast food restaurants. KFC is an abbreviation of Kentucky Fried Chicken but globally it is known by its abbreviation.

KFC has specialty in fried chicken and KFC’s roots are present in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. It has 18,000 restaurants in 120 countries of the world. It is also just like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell is a subsidiary of top leading restaurant company Yum! Brands.

KFC is very first fast foods chain that gained its position internationally means it is a first to cross a border. In 1960s it opened its restaurants in Mexico, England and Jamaica. A founder of KFC is Harland Sanders.


Next fast food chain is Subway it is third largest fast food chain in the world. It is also American fast food restaurant whose primary focus or whose specialty is submarine sandwiches along with salads. And its ownership is by Doctor’s Associates, Inc.

It is considered as most fast growing franchises around the globe and total number of outlets is 40,855 and they are present in 105 countries almost. It is believed that it is world largest restaurant operator. Subway’s headquarter is situated in Milford, Connecticut.


Pizza Hut also comes in list of top 10 fast food restaurants in United States, and it comes on forth number in this list. It is an internationally known American based restaurant and has lots of franchises around the globe. It mainly focuses on variety of pizzas and along with this offers lots of dishes such as salad pasta, breadsticks, desserts, Buffalo wings and garlic bread.

Basically it is a supplement of Yum! Brands Inc; which is a world top leading restaurant company. In year 2012 it was reported that almost 6000 Pizza Hut outlets are in US, and crossing the figure of 5139 in approximately 94 other countries.


Starbucks is next and ranked as fifth largest fast foods restaurants chain. It is an international American based coffee company and its roots are in Seattle, Washington. It is considered as world’s largest coffeehouse company.

Starbucks has 20,891 total numbers of outlets and these outlets are worldwide spread covering almost 62 countries. Among these 20,891 outlets 13,279 are in US, 989 in Japan, 806 in UK, 851 in China, 1324 in Canada, 377 in Mexico, 206 in Philippines, 556 in South Korea, 291 in Taiwan, 179 in Turkey, 167 in Germany and 171 in Thailand.

Starbucks has another credit of being a part of World Cocoa Foundation.


Burger King is fast food chain and it is ranked as sixth largest fast food chain among top 10 fast food chains in the world. Abbreviation of Burger King is BK and it is an international hamburger fast food chain whose headquarter is in unincorporated Miami-Dade Country, Florida, US.

It was initiated as Insta Burger King in about 1953. After that this chain faced some financial crisis then it was bought by David Edgerton and James McLamore.

It was renamed by them as only Burger King. Then its ownership again changed and was bought by TPG Capital, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Bain Capital in year 2002.

At the end of last year it was reported that total number of fast food outlets of Burger King touched 13,000 figure and these are widely spread in about not less than 79 countries.


Next fast foods chain is Domino’s Pizza and it’s on seventh number in list of top 10 fast food restaurants in the world. It is basically an American restaurant chain along with worldwide pizza delivery Franchise Corporation whose headquarter is located at Domino Farms Office Park whose owner is named as Tom Monaghan. It is situated in Ann Arbor Charter Township, Michigan.

It is considered as second largest pizza delivering chain in United States and it was initiated in 1960. Almost 10,000 restaurants and franchises belong to Domino’s Pizza and its restaurants are worldwide spread in about 70 countries. Bain Capital bought Domino’s Pizza in 1998 and eventually it became public in 2004


Dunkin’ Donuts is eighth one in list of top 10 fast food restaurants list in the world. In about 1946, founder of this fast foods chain Bill Rosenberg started delivering donuts along with coffee to workers of different workplaces.

It was in true senses overnight success for him. Then Rosenberg decided to sell its franchises and in 1955 first franchise of Dunkin’ Donuts was sold.

Dunkin’ Donuts in 1970 went across the border and touches the earth of Japan. Currently there are about 6,000 Dunkin Donuts which are working worldwide in about 30 countries.

This fast foods chain reached to Pakistan in 2000 and its franchise was bought by Phoenix Foods (Pvt) Ltd


Dairy Queen is next in list of top ten fast food restaurants chains and it’s on ninth number in ranking. It is usually abbreviated as DQ.

The owner of this fast food chain is International Dairy Queen, Inc which is simultaneously owner of Orange Julius as well as Karmelkorn.

The very first restaurant of Dairy Queen fast foods chain was opened in about 1940 at the place Joliet, Illinois. Corporate offices of Dairy Queen are present in Edina, Minnesota. Founder of Dairy Queen fast foods chain is John Fremont McCullough.


Papa John’s Pizza is first fast foods chain and in ranking of top 10 fast food chains in US and World it’s on tenth number. It is known to be third largest fast food chain in United States according to a magazine known as Pizza Today.

Papa John’s pizzas headquarter is situated in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. Renowned slogan of this fast foods chain is “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza, Papa John’s pizza”.

There are approximately 4,000 restaurants of this fast foods chain which are working throughout the world. Among these 4,000 most of them like 3,200 are in United States and remaining restaurants are working in 32 countries.


American fast food industry is the world’s most famous fast food industry. There are several popular American fast food chains established in the country with big sales.


KFC has a clear edge on others. Not only it’s the most famous fried chicken outlet, it’s also the biggest American fast food chain operating in Pakistan at present. KFC Pakistan has come a long way since 1997. There is no denying that KFC is definitely the most popular food chain in the country right now.


McDonald’s Pakistan has opened its first branch back in 1998 at Gulberg, Lahore. It is the number one burger chain in Pakistan right now. Kids are its primary customers. The small toys that come with every happy meal attract hundreds of kids to McDonald’s on a daily basis. Apart from the outlets, McDonald’s also performs business through smart shops. These smart shops are located at popular malls and markets.


Probably the most popular brand of pizza in the world at the moment and, without doubt, the most famous pizza franchise in Pakistan at the moment, pizza hut does not need any kind of introduction. It began operating in 1993 and since then has opened 40 outlets in all major cities of Pakistan. Pizza Hut Pakistan was also one of the first American fast food chains that initiated their operations in the country.


Although Subway is not much famous in teenagers of Pakistan, yet it has grown in size, having more than 40 outlets. Health conscious people who want to eat healthy and balanced diet, look towards Subway as their number one choice. By providing good quality sandwiches Subway is slowly attracting more and more people.


Domino’s Pizza is a very famous pizza franchise currently operating in Pakistan. With a total number of 13 outlets in four major cities of Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi), Domino’s has gained popularity in urban population.

Domino’s is famous for its efficient and standard delivery. The franchise is still expanding and continues to attract more and more customer.


Hardee is famous for its burgers and particularly famous for its special chips. This American food chain is currently operating five outlets in Pakistan.


One of the most popular burgers in USA is in Pakistan. In 2013, they finally opened their first franchise in Karachi. At this moment, Burger King is operating in three major cities of Pakistan including Karachi, Multan and Islamabad with seven outlets in total.


Fat Burger is a name associated with an American fast food chain of burgers. It took more than 60 years for Fat Burger to finally open its own outlet in Pakistan. Currently, Fat Burger has just two branches in two major cities of Pakistan (Karachi and Lahore); however, its popularity is becoming widespread. It will continue to grow in coming years.


Johnny Rockets provides a fun filled atmosphere where ketchup art is a thing. It currently has two outlets in Lahore and Karachi with plans to open in other parts of Pakistan.

Fast food consumption is now on a rapid rise and Pakistanis from all economic and social status have jumped onto the junk food consumption.

A study on fast food consumption trends in Pakistan published in the European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science; Issue 48 (2012) confirms this affirmation:

The study was conducted in Lahore and Faisalabad and 100 persons were interviewed.

89 per cent people indicated a preference for fast food over fine dining or cooking at home.

70 percent people answered yes when asked if they thought fast food led to obesity.

70 per cent of the respondents cited convenience as the reason for eating fast food.

The cost of fast food is still an important issue in a country like Pakistan (60 percent indicated that they were not satisfied with the price).

The issue of obesity cannot be brushed away even in an economically backward country like Pakistan.

The increase in fast food consumption continues to be on the upswing in Pakistan among all classes.

The study in Pakistan provides results that are consistent with similar studies carried out around the world.

This indicates how carefully planned advertising can bring down the cultural and geographical boundaries even in an aspect of life like food preference that is very strongly culture bound.


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