Skip to content
May 22, 2019

How fast food has changed since you were in high school

December 5, 2018

{ url: "", caption: "If you grew up in the 1970s, \u201980s or \u201990s, the McDonaldland characters<\/a> \u2014 Ronald McDonald, Hamburglar, Grimace, Mayor McCheese, and others \u2014 were part of your childhood. Those characters haven\u2019t appeared on television since 2003, but for years they were ubiquitous on commercials that aired during Saturday-morning shows for kids, and they were a staple of McDonald\u2019s merchandising. These characters were also prominently featured in the old Playland areas at many of the restaurants. A line of toys soon followed. And McDonald\u2019s was hardly the only fast-food chain to target children with its advertising. Burger King has long had its paper crowns, and in the 1990s it did a series of movie tie-ins with Disney. The chains\u2019 targeting of children is less overt these days, and McDonald\u2019s has taken the lead<\/a> in offering healthier menu choices for kids, providing apple slices and yogurt options for its Happy Meals. (McDonald’s)", credit: "(McDonald’s)", authorsHtml: "By McDonald’s ", sourceId: "109936899", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "It\u2019s Targeted Less Overtly Toward Children", },

{ url: "", caption: "The first McDonald\u2019s menu<\/a> included a hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, shakes, and a handful of other drink options. By 1968 the Filet-O-Fish had been added, and the Big Mac made its debut that year. Chicken McNuggets didn\u2019t come along until 1983. Now McDonalds\u2019 offers an array of burger choices, a variety of breakfast options (including oatmeal), salads, yogurt, and multiple coffee drinks, among other items. Burger King was the rare fast-food restaurant to offer a deluxe burger option back then \u2014 it introduced the Whopper in 1957. Taco Bell, which first opened in 1962, didn\u2019t offer soft-shell tacos until 1970. Arby\u2019s offered only roast beef sandwiches, potato chips, and soft drinks after launching in 1964, adding baked potatoes in 1968. Value menus, a staple of fast-food chains these days, didn\u2019t come along until Wendy\u2019s introduced one in 1989. Burger King followed with a value menu in 1998, and McDonald\u2019s unveiled its Dollar Menu in 2003. (", credit: "(", authorsHtml: "By ", sourceId: "109936905", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "The Menus Have Gotten Much Larger", },

{ url: "", caption: "Fast-food chains are increasingly making it possible to enjoy your eggs without guilt. McDonald\u2019s buys some 2 billion eggs in the United States each year. In recent years, McDonald\u2019s has been partnering with small farms and ranches that raise free-range chickens, and McDonald\u2019s has said that its eggs will be 100 percent cage-free by 2025<\/a>. Other fast-food chains have made similar commitments. Dairy Queen<\/a>, Chik-fil-A<\/a>, Subway<\/a>, and Taco Bell<\/a> are among those that have pledged to use only cage-free eggs within the next decade. Wendy\u2019s plans to get there soon, with the intention of using entirely cage-free egg sources by 2020<\/a>. (", credit: "(", authorsHtml: "By ", sourceId: "109936911", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "More Chains Are Using Cage-Free Eggs", },

{ url: "", caption: "It\u2019s hard to think of fast-food restaurants as being eco-friendly when we so often see discarded fast-food cups, bags, and wrappers along our roads. But some of the bigger chains, including the most iconic fast-food brand of them all, have been trying to do their part for the environment. McDonald\u2019s announced<\/a> in 2013 that all of its American restaurants would start serving hot beverages in paper cups instead of polystyrene (or Styrofoam) cups. Remember when McDonald\u2019s burgers came in Styrofoam containers, too? That ended in 1990. McDonald\u2019s has also set a timeline for eliminating plastic cups for its cold drinks. Soft-drink chalices will be made with fiber-based packaging from certified or recycled sources. In April, McDonald\u2019s announced<\/a> that it would be getting rid of plastic straws at all of its restaurants in the UK, where the chain operates about 1,300 locations. (sndr/", credit: "(sndr/", authorsHtml: "By sndr/ ", sourceId: "109936914", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "It\u2019s Become More Eco-Friendly", },

{ url: "", caption: "America has been exporting fast food around the world since the 1970s, and it no longer seems so novel to hear about a McDonald\u2019s in Moscow or a Taco Bell in Tokyo. McDonald\u2019s operates about 14,000 restaurants in the U.S. and 22,000 abroad, and there are 15,000 KFC restaurants operating internationally and only about 4,000 within the U.S. But, of course, the menu options tend to differ slightly<\/a> at some of the international locations<\/a>. (Olga355/", credit: "(Olga355/", authorsHtml: "By Olga355/ ", sourceId: "109936916", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "It\u2019s Made Its Way Around the World", },

{ url: "", caption: "McDonald\u2019s was the first non-doughnut fast-food chain to offer breakfast, putting hotcakes and sausage on the menu in 1972 along with the iconic Egg McMuffin. (The Egg McMuffin was conceived as a way to turn eggs Benedict into a sandwich). It took rival Burger King more than 10 years to follow with its own breakfast menu in 1983. Even chicken-sandwich specialist Chik-fil-A started offering breakfast in 1986. Now breakfast is big business for fast-food chains. Taco Bell made headlines<\/a> by debuting a breakfast menu in 2014, McDonald\u2019s began serving all-day breakfast<\/a> nationwide a few years ago, and Sonic and Jack in the Box are among the other chains serving breakfast all day long. (Taco Bell)", credit: "(Taco Bell)", authorsHtml: "By Taco Bell ", sourceId: "109936922", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "Breakfast Has Become a Must-Have", },

{ url: "", caption: "Surprisingly, McDonald\u2019s wasn\u2019t the first restaurant to offer drive-thru service. It began in 1947 at a place called Red\u2019s Giant Hamburg on Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri. In-N-Out Burger first offered drive-thru service in the Los Angeles area in 1948, and Jack in the Box followed in 1951. The mechanics of drive-thru service haven\u2019t changed much over the years \u2014 drive up, look at a menu, place your order via speaker, wait in a short line of vehicles while your order is prepared, pay at a window and collect your food \u2014 but the number of fast-food places offering drive-thru service has exploded. Panera studied drive-thru service for 10 years before opening one in 2005, taking pains to shield its operations from its counter-serve customers and to develop special packaging. Even Chipotle is introducing drive-thru service<\/a>, though you can\u2019t place your order on-site \u2014 you\u2019ll have to do that online or with an app before picking it up. (Allard1/", credit: "(Allard1/", authorsHtml: "By Allard1/ ", sourceId: "109936925", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "Drive-Thru Has Become Commonplace", },

{ url: "", caption: "Fast-food chains haven\u2019t exactly opened full-service bars yet, but some of them are experimenting with serving alcohol<\/a>. Burger King has high-end \u201CWhopper Bars\u201D in select, high-traffic locations such as South Beach in Miami and Universal City Walk in Orlando. There are fewer food options in these experimental Burger Kings, but diners can enjoy a variety of domestic beers. Chipotle serves beer and margaritas at more than 900 of its American locations. After emerging from bankruptcy in 2014, pizza chain Sbarro began offering alcohol at many of its locations. Shake Shack serves beer and wine, and it even partnered with Brooklyn Brewery to develop a house beer called Shackmeister Ale. And Taco Bell has opened several Taco Bell Cantinas<\/a> that partner select menu items and shareable appetizers with beer, wine, and frozen drinks. (Jonathan Weiss/", credit: "(Jonathan Weiss/", authorsHtml: "By Jonathan Weiss/ ", sourceId: "109936928", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "Some Serve Alcohol", },

{ url: "", caption: "Fast-food chains didn\u2019t seem to care much about appealing to health-conscious eaters back in our high school days, but that has changed in a major way. McDonald\u2019s announced in September that its classic burgers are now preservative-free<\/a> (and some of its burgers no longer contain pre-frozen beef<\/a>.) In 2016, it eliminated artificial preservatives<\/a> from Chicken McNuggets, scrambled eggs, and breakfast sausage, and it removed high-fructose corn syrup from its burger buns. Carl\u2019s Jr. and Hardee\u2019s began offering the \u201CAll-Natural Burger<\/a>\u201D in December 2014; the burger comes from grass-fed, free-range cattle and has no antibiotics, no steroids, and no added hormones. Carl\u2019s Jr. also introduced an all-natural turkey burger line<\/a> in 2016, using patties made from turkeys raised without antibiotics. (Carl's Jr.)", credit: "(Carl's Jr.)", authorsHtml: "By Carl's Jr. ", sourceId: "109936929", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "They\u2019re Relying Less on Preservatives and Artificial Ingredients", },

{ url: "", caption: "The fast-food restaurants of our high school years were often unassuming, quaint-looking places. Today, some of these establishments look like something out of \u201CBlade Runner.\u201D McDonald\u2019s opened a futuristic-looking restaurant<\/a> in downtown Chicago that features floating glass gardens, touch screens and 27-foot windows. But technological advancements in the fast-food biz go well beyond high-tech design. In the Chinese city of Hangzhou, diners can pay for their meals simply by smiling<\/a>. Thanks to facial-recognition software, patrons of this KFC concept outlet can pay by having their faces scanned at an ordering kiosk and entering their phone number. KFC also has a location in Shanghai where customers can place their orders with a voice-activated robot<\/a>. Diners at this Shanghai KFC are also able to use pay apps to buy their food, and wireless charging stations at each table let them charge their phones while they eat. We can\u2019t wait until this technology makes its way to the U.S., and we hope these international chains come along for the ride<\/a>! (McDonald’s)", credit: "(McDonald’s)", authorsHtml: "By McDonald’s ", sourceId: "109936936", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "Chains Are Modernizing and Embracing New Technology", },


const suggestedGalleries74762 = [

{ url: "/featured/sns-how-fast-food-has-changed-over-the-years-20181205-photogallery.html", imgUrl: "", headline: "How fast food has changed since you were in high school", topic: "", displayDate: "Dec 5, 2018", timestamp: "1:35 PM" },

{ url: "/featured/sns-15-international-potato-chip-flavors-20181204-photogallery.html", imgUrl: "", headline: "15 international potato chip flavors we long to try", topic: "", displayDate: "Dec 5, 2018", timestamp: "12:00 PM" },

{ url: "/featured/sns-deliciously-decadent-chocolate-recipes-20181204-photogallery.html", imgUrl: "", headline: "Deliciously decadent chocolate recipes", topic: "", displayDate: "Dec 5, 2018", timestamp: "11:00 AM" },

{ url: "/featured/sns-best-fried-chicken-in-every-state-20181204-photogallery.html", imgUrl: "", headline: "The best fried chicken in every state", topic: "", displayDate: "Dec 5, 2018", timestamp: "10:00 AM" },

{ url: "/featured/sns-photos-crystal-hefner-s-property-20181205-photogallery.html", imgUrl: "", headline: "PHOTOS: Crystal Hefner's property", topic: "", displayDate: "Dec 5, 2018", timestamp: "9:44 AM" },

{ url: "/featured/sns-kale-smoothie-recipes-20181204-photogallery.html", imgUrl: "", headline: "How to make kale smoothies you actually want to drink", topic: "", displayDate: "Dec 5, 2018", timestamp: "9:00 AM" },


window.serviceCallbacks.push(function() { services.mountComponent({ component: 'Gallery', props: { standaloneGalleryNextArrow: true, multisiteFeed: "{new-york-daily-news={website_url=/featured/sns-how-fast-food-has-changed-over-the-years-20181205-photogallery.html, website_section={parent={default=/}, path=/featured, _website=new-york-daily-news, parent_id=/, name=Featured, description=Read the New York Daily News Features section., _id=/featured, _website_section_id=new-york-daily-news./featured, additional_properties={original={parent={default=/}, newsletter={newsletter_id=null}, Ad_IDs={yieldmo_id_2=null, yieldmo_footer_id=null, yieldmo_id_1=null, nativo_section_id=null, nativo_id_mobile=null, yieldmo_amp_id_2=null, nativo_section_front_id_4=null, yieldmo_amp_id_1=ym_1357185183770115086, nativo_section_front_id_2=null, nativo_section_front_id_3=null, dfp_id=featured/sf, nativo_id_desktop=null}, social={twitter=null, facebook=null, instagram=null}, Ad_Slots={mobile__inline_slot_3=null, mobile__inline_slot_2=null}, branding={branded_logo=null, branded_display_name=null, subsection_menu_path=null, hide_topic_tag=false}, video={aol_skin_id=null, video_playlist_p2p_id=null, aol_playlist_id=null}, site={pagebuilder_path_for_native_apps=/featured/, site_url=/featured, title_tag_append_site_name=true, site_description=Read the New York Daily News Features section., site_title=Features}, _admin={alias_ids=[/featured]}, node_type=section, inactive=false, _website=new-york-daily-news, name=Featured, _id=/featured, ancestors={default=[]}, order={default=1018}}}, type=section, version=0.6.0}}, san-diego-union-tribune={website_url=/sns-how-fast-food-has-changed-over-the-years-20181205-photogallery.html}, sharednews={website_section={referent={website=sharednews, id=/featured, type=section}, additional_properties={}, type=reference}}, latimes={website_url=/sns-how-fast-food-has-changed-over-the-years-20181205-photogallery.html}}", feedQuery: "/featured", service: "section-feed-galleries-multisite", galleryFeedContent: suggestedGalleries74762, inlineGalleries:"true", inlineGalleriesStandalone:"false", galleryTransitionAnimation:"true", galleryName: "How fast food has changed since you were in high school", gallerySlug: "sns-how-fast-food-has-changed-over-the-years-20181205", galleryCredit: "Patrick Fitzmaurice, The Daily Meal", images: images74762, gallerySharebarHtml: " ", lightboxSharebarHtml: " ", adId: "lightbox-ad-151379", adId2: "lightbox-ad-175578", adIdMobile: "lightbox-ad-mobile-193355", suppressCaption: false, suppressCredit: false, galleryType: "standalone", multisite: "nydn", enableGDPR: false, geoCookie: 0 }, id: 74762 }) })

Fast food has long been an essential part of the American high school experience. It’s hard to say which is the more memorable rite of passage — taking your driver’s test and actually getting your license, or making that first parent-free drive to the local burger joint with friends to fuel your raging high school appetites. But so many aspects of the fast-food experience have changed dramatically over the years. While we might get nostalgic about the old fast-food restaurants where we used to spend so much time during our teenage years (possibly even working in them), most of the changes are for the better. We now have more fast-food choices than ever. We actually have some healthy fast-food options now, and these chains continue to find new and interesting ways to serve us. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which the fast-food experience has changed over the past 50 years. (This story originally appeared on The Daily Meal.)
(Patrick Fitzmaurice, The Daily Meal)

Featured Photos

Facebook Comments
Download WordPress Themes
Download WordPress Themes
Premium WordPress Themes Download
Free Download WordPress Themes
free download udemy course