The fast-food culture is fast expanding into the developing nations, as more and more people are attracted towards the taste, quick service, consistency and cheap prices. Out of the total restaurant revenues of the developed nations, the fast food outlets accounts for almost half.
"It is no longer enough to just fill someone's stomach - you have to do it better and faster than others do. Product innovation, customer satisfaction, and differentiated promotions are of utmost importance - now more than ever" (Shekeb Naim, 2008)
The industry has nearly matured in the developed countries but in countries like India the fast food industry is growing at the rate of over 40% per annum. The growth of the IT and IT enables services in India were the bulk of urban youth are working with big pay packets and little time to cook are driving the growth.
Growing concerns over the fat and salt content of some fast foods has led to a severe criticism of eating fast food and have prompted the industry to offer an increasing range of "healthy" fast foods. A typical fast food outlet carries high overheads in terms of rents, rates, labor costs and bank interest charges. The market is labor intensive and involves considerable start-up and ongoing capital investment.
The fast food industry has a lot to thank McDonald's for. Especially the supply chain management of this company is highly regarded as one of the best in any industry and fast food companies try to emulate the McDonald way of operations.
"Flavor is the key to the attractiveness of fast food. It is not just the blend of salt, sugar and fat, but the combination of taste and smell, which is now micro-engineered by the big food corporations' chemists. Fast food is industrially processed before it is served. It requires color additives to make it look good, and chemical flavor compounds to make it taste right. Technically it is perfectly legal to call these flavors that are manufactured in plants "natural"."( www.bbc.co.uk, 2006)
McDonald's being the pioneer in many path-breaking practices followed by the fast-food industry was also responsible for placing the quick service restaurant industry amongst the big economic driving force industries such as steel and automobiles.
The fast-food industry has matured over that last 50 years and is now seen as one of the most competitive for a new company to enter. The US and other developed countries are the biggest markets of the industry. McDonalds gets about 80% of its revenues from eight countries like US, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, UK, Australia and