Fast food is a global phenomenon where busy people can grab a fast meal and keep moving. These meals are typically low in cost, but high in calories. Many global fast food providers are looking at healthier options, but let’s face it: eating a salad while driving down a highway is not a realistic or safe proposition.
The Global Fast Food Industry
The global fast food industry realized $551 billion in revenues in the last year.
It is interesting to note that the revenues the fast food industry is able to pull in mirror the revenues that the grocery industries are generally able to pull in as well. This means the average person spends as much on fast food products globally as they do on groceries that they eat at home themselves. In realistic terms, this means the average household spends about 6% of their discretionary money each week on fast food.
Facts About Global Fast Food
1. Annualized growth within this industry has been 3.5% for the last 5 years.
2. There are over 826,000 businesses providing fast food services to the public around the world.
3. More than 12 million people are employed globally in a fast food establishment.
Takeaway: The unfortunate reality of the global fast food industry is that in order to keep prices relatively low and competitive, employee wages need to be relatively low as well. In most communities, working at a fast food establishment is one of the lowest paying jobs within the community. Despite these low wages, because the general public is utilizing this industry as much as they do a grocery store, workers are generally extremely busy and this can lead to low service quality.
Additional Global Fast Food Industry Statistics
1. For every dollar that is spent on wages in this industry, another $0.17 must be spent on building or equipment assets.
2. The McDonald’s Corporation is the leading provider of fast food services around the globe, accounting for $28.1 billion in total revenues. This was a net increase of 2% over the previous year.
3. In this $28.1 billion that McDonald’s generate in revenue, $5.6 billion of that was net profit.
4. In Q4 2013, fast food sales had a year-to-year comparative drop in virtually all markets. The Middle East and Africa saw the largest drops in operating income at 8%.
5. Almost 50% of the entire global market for the fast food industry exists in the United States, but accounts for only about 25% of the employees hired globally in the industry.
6. The average American child aged 6-11 will view over 250 McDonald’s advertisements every year that is geared toward them.
Takeaway: Americans have a reputation for being overweight, but part of the issue might just be the saturation of advertising to generate more revenues. The industry is placing a heavy load on McDonald’s for only beating last year’s revenues by 2% and generating “just” $5 billion in profits. Though many are beginning to focus on healthier options, when you can get 1,000 calories for less than $2, it is difficult to argue with a fully belly for consumers that struggle financially.