Monday, August 13, 2012

10 things you didn’t know about fast food

Ever wondered how many people eat at fast food chains each day? And have you heard of the McPizza? We've compiled 10 little-known facts about some of our favourite fast food restaurants.
You can get married in fast food restaurants © McDonalds
You can get a degree in it
Thanks to KFC, UK restaurant managers can work towards a three-year "specifically designed" BA (Hons) Management degree, offered by Leicester's De Montfort University. Jan Worth, business development manager at the university, said in a statement: "This is the first time that De Montfort University has run a 'sponsored' degree programme that will link directly to KFC's apprenticeship scheme". The degree will be available from 2013.

Girl eating holding a burger and fries (Fotolia stock image)
Colonel Harland Sanders of KFC fame didn't serve in the military
Many people assume that Colonel Harland Sanders, who founded KFC, earned his title from military service. But this isn't the case. In 1936, six years after opening his first restaurant, he was made an honorary colonel by Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon for his services to Kentucky's cuisine.
You can get married in a fast food restaurant
Weddings have taken place in Taco Bell in America, and at McDonald's in Hong Kong, where they'll host your engagement party too. There are no plans to introduce the fast food wedding to the UK, but don't worry, there's always the reception. Flintshire newlyweds Judy Foulkes and Andrew Smith hosted their reception for 33 guests in a McDonald's restaurant in 2002. The BBC reported that the bill came to just £136.87.

Their tables come with some of the best views in the world

Forget posh restaurants overlooking major world landmarks, which come at a price. You can get some cracking views at some of the world's fast food restaurants. Eat at McDonald's in Egypt and gaze out at Luxor's Great Temple. Check out KFC bang in the centre of New York's busy Times Square or grab a Burger King at Niagara Falls.
They don't offer the same menu items all over the world
Fast food chains are constantly adapting menus to appeal to customers around the world. From McDonald's 'Seaweed Shaker Fries' in Singapore and India's 'McAloo Tikki' through to Burger King's Spam, Egg and Rice meal in the Philippines, there's a fast food item to suit all regional tastes.
The first burger chain opened in 1921 © White Castle
We've been eating it for longer than you think
We tend to think of fast food restaurants as relatively new. But we've actually been visiting them for almost a century. The first burger chain, White Castle in Wichita, Kansas, opened in 1921. Other chains followed, including Harland Sanders' first fried chicken restaurant in 1930 and the first McDonald's in 1948. Burger King opened in 1954.

They don't get it right all the time
Some menu items just don't catch on. Failed fast foods include the 'McPizza', launched in the 1980s, Burger King's 'Shake 'em up Fries', and Israel's 'McFalafel' in 2011. The BBC interviewed one Israeli customer, who stated: "Their speciality is burgers. We don't need McDonald's coming over from the States to make falafel. We have Israeli places."
Fast food restaurants are (almost) everywhere
Between them, Subway, McDonald's, KFC and Burger King have over 67,000 restaurants around the world. However, the Tourdust blog recently compiled a list of McDonald's-free countries, which include Kazakhstan, Barbados and North Korea. There were rumours last year of KFC launching in North Korea but these so far haven't materialised.
Burger King in Guatamala © Rex
Prince Charles suggested McDonald's should be banned

In 2007, while Prince Charles was visiting a diabetes centre in Abu Dhabi, he turned to nutritionist Nadine Tayara and said: "Have you got anywhere with McDonald's, have you tried getting it banned? That's the key." McDonald's expressed their disappointment following the remark, saying: "We know that other royal family members have visited and have probably got a more up-to-date picture of us." As The Telegraph points out, The Duke of Cambridge visited McDonald's as a child with his mother. Prince Harry has also been photographed clutching a McDonald's paper bag.

At least 83 million of us eat there — each DAY
Burger King, McDonald's and KFC serve a combined 83 million customers every single day, around the world. Add to that the millions of customers visiting Subway's 37,199 restaurants worldwide as well as other chains such as Domino's, Wendy's and Pizza Hut and it shows we are a world of fast food lovers. It's convenient, quick and informal. And, 90 years on, it seems that it's here to stay.