Fast food chains are not only serving up a cheap, fun eating experience to children; They are now entering the liquor business to bring back adults who may have been turned off by all those “pesky” reports that show links between their food and obesity, hypertension, and almost all food-related illnesses and diseases.
What genius! Capitalism at work! It’s definitely signaling you can have it “your way.” But, it’s certainly not innovative!
Chipotle Mexican Grill was one of the first large scale fast-food restaurants in the U.S. to obtain a liquor licenses for a majority of their joints. Now some fast-food restaurants are seeing the advantages of serving alcohol alongside what some would call items akin to “bar food.” Longer visits and dining-in are some of the advantages Chipotle has and their competition wants.
Overseas, alcohol has been on the menu at McDonalds since the 1970’s. It’s also major staple now in many Starbucks in the Northwest.
According to USA Today, two Sonic burger franchises will start serving beer and wine to keep pace with Burger King’s newly implemented “Whopper Bars,” which are now operational in Miami, Las Vegas, and Kansas City.
Many fast-food restaurants are looking to drive traffic to their locations during typically slower evenings. Some restaurant owners want to compete with traditional sit-down restaurants, like Applebee’s and Chili’s, and see serving adult beverages as the best way to contend and capitalize.
USA Today quoted opposition to the proposed expansion of liquor in fast-food restaurants when they talked with Christopher Muller, dean at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration:
Beer or wine sold at fast-food outlets might give young folks the wrong message…You don’t want someone downing a quick beer, then getting into their cars and driving off. It’s a delicate balance of risk and reward.
Imbedded into Muller statement are two troubling implications: Fast-food restaurants are knowingly and acceptably being marketed more to children, and there is an acceptable time limit before people can drink and drive. Both show the issues with legal substances that cause as much public harm as illicit drugs.
But this issue is a simple fix if citizens are concerned that alcohol will be more pervasive at fast-food joints in the future–stay informed to your local government happenings and vote for who you want to obtain a liquor license.
FrugiVoice: Do you think fast-food restaurants should serve alcohol? Does it send a message to children that it’s as fun to drink as it is to eat fast-food?