Ladies and gentlemen of this fine republic of family, friends, and bored internet surfers, it has been an utmost pleasure to satiate your need for breaking, relevant, and insightful fast food commentary over the past year. It is time now, as it feels like is often the case, to pause and reflect on where fast food has come, and what new horizons we boldly approach.
2012 has been a tumultuous year, which for many of us, may have shaken our trust in the consistent, traditional American fast food values of burgers, fries, cola, and all sorts of saturated fats. We have witnessed the display of fast food political power identified in Chik-fil-A's foray into the marriage debate, followed by a stunning alacrity in their eagerness to exit that same political sphere. There was a small shakeup in the top 5. We are watching the gentrification of a fast food culture long deemed the 'poor man's restaurant'.
The world is not what it is; and what it will be, what man can say? We see an elevation of selection, variety, health, availability, and amenities remaking the face of these chains. No longer is the decrepit, poorly lit Checker's with a nervously energetic salesman pushing DVDs from his trunk in the parking lot an acceptable standard. Leave those to the diners and convenience stores. Fast food must elevate or evaporate. What change might generate from the evolution of Starbucks to a viable food source? Or the burgeoning duality of convenience stores? Now is the time to be brimming with optimism, as more companies, rather than less, seek to find access to this golden market.