What’s the real cost of $1 fast foods?

Articles
January 05, 2010

What’s the real cost of $1 fast foods?

When fast-food patrons drive up for their newest dollar bargains, do they know what they’re getting in terms of quality?

When fast-food patrons drive up for their newest dollar bargains, do they know what they’re getting in terms of quality?

Do they think they’re being served the same grade of food components as before the recession turned burger chains and others into dollar stores on-the-go? Are the beef, chicken and fish items on the same tier? Or are more fats, sodium and other low-cost flavor enhancers used to create favorable taste and mask possible downgrades?

What would an examination of ingredients reveal? Cheaper flours or grains for the buns, wraps and tortillas? Less expensive lettuce, tomatoes, onions, carrots and other salad items? How will nutritional signs in the restaurants look a couple of months from now –once more dollar items populate the menus? Will people be shocked to learn how the cumulative effect of their dietary imbalances could add to obesity or contribute to other health challenges, if fast food is part of their regular intake?

Since nothing is truly free in this world, we wonder how the research and development teams at fast-feeders are devising their dollar items. People do eat fast food to satisfy their short-term hunger, and with high unemployment, dollar tickets have been traffic drivers. It’s the trade-off of short-term satiety vs. long-term wellness that concerns us.

While people might feel relieved to have more inexpensive meal choices in today’s tough times, they need to recognize the economic motives behind these offers. Earlier in the recession, people traded down from fine dining to casual eateries, and from casual eateries to fast-feeders. As bad times wore on, even fast-food traffic has been hurting –therefore, the dollar price wars.

It’s time, we feel, for fast-feeders to disclose how they’re able to achieve dollar price points, often on foods they’ve been selling for more for years. Something has to give; the money has to come from somewhere. The sooner answers come, the more confident patrons will be able to feel about the fast-food choices they’re making.