Today the fast food industry is booming in many countries of the world and in the UK due to a range of reasons including their relative cheaper price, convenience of purchasing and consuming, and lack of time of people for “proper” dining. Although fast food does provide value for consumers in terms of convenience, price, and in some cases taste, these values cannot compensate the damage to the health of consumers fast food does.
The fast food culture is well embraced by the population in UK. Brown (2005, p.3) informs that fast food industry in UK has an annual turnover of £7.2 billion, earned by serving 1.5 billion meals a year in 20000 outlets, employing nearly 200000 staff. The UK fast food market is reported to be “double the size of Germany, and three times the size of the French Market” (Humphries, 2010).
According to Wikipedia (online, 2010), UK was the country with the largest number of fast food restaurants per person worldwide with Australia in second, and the United States in third places in 2008, and 25 per cent of all fast food restaurants were situated in England alone. A study in the same year found that “45% of people in UK were more likely to agree that they liked the taste of fast food to give it up” (Fastfoodnation-online, 2010). Moreover, recent financial crisis has fuelled 8 per cent growth in fast food industry in UK (Kuhn, 2009).
Fast food menu in UK mainly includes burgers, pizza, chicken, sandwiches, fish and chips, curry, Chinese takeaways and others. Main players in UK fast food industry are McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, KFC, Chicken Cottage, Subway, Starbucks Coffee, Costa, Pret A Manger, EAT, Coffee Republic, Mr Cod and others.
The Food and Drink Innovation Network (online, 2010) 95 per cent of UK population have heard about McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, more than 90 per cent have eaten in Burger King, KFC, Starbucks and Subway, and 40 per cent of them have eaten in McDonald’s during the last six months.
- Brown, S, 2005, “Strategic Operations Management”, Butterworth-Heinemann
- Humphries, J, 2010, “Fast Food Market Share”, Next Generation Food, Accessed August 6, 2010. Available at: http://www.nextgenerationfood.com/article/fast-food-market-share/
- Kuhn, K, 23 November 2009, “Recession fuels 8% growth in UK fast-food industry”, Caterersearch.com Accessed August 6, 2010. Available at: http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2009/11/23/331036/recession-fuels-8-growth-in-uk-fast-food-industry.htm