Fast Food and Street Vendors in Theory

If you go to many countries there are street food vendors everywhere, and they pop up wherever there are hungry people. It’s a perfect business model and it is how free-market entrepreneurs evolve and solve problems, in this case food distribution and feeding people. Now then, many people in the United States believe that fast food is an American thing, and although that might appear to be the case on the surface, philosophically it really isn’t true. There’s nothing faster than the food that a street vendor can cook for you, and he does it without the building.

No, I’m not saying that the food is safer, or better for you, or even that it tastes better, although it usually does taste good because the entrepreneur or street vendor can’t sell anything which tastes bad. And yes, there is something to be said for food safety, and those big fast food restaurants with the big brand names don’t want to have their customers getting sick as that would destroy their customer base faster than anything.

There is an interesting trend in the United States all these mobile food truck which we see popping up all over the place. In many regards they are nothing more than sophisticated street vendors that you might see in any other country in the world, but in this case they have most of the facilities with them and they can pick out the best locations depending on the time of day and the demographics which move around. For instance people who work in office complexes are only there during the day, and in some suburban areas there may not be any restaurants for miles.

Perhaps this is why fast food restaurants originated in the United States do so well when they go abroad. All they have to do is adjust their food items to match the local venues, as the populations there are already used to getting their food very quickly. It just makes sense to them, plus they get to sit inside with air-conditioning, and everyone is happy. Of course, the Happy Meal you might get in the United States is not the same as one you by get in China, Vietnam, India, Kenya, or South Africa at their McDonald’s but for those folks, they love it just as much as our kids do.

Everything is custom tailored to the type of food they eat there, perhaps fish and rice, rice and beans, or bread and goat meat. In the end, one could ask philosophically; what’s the difference, rather than the building and the high costly overhead? There is still regional variation, even when a big brand name fast food restaurant comes into a new area, just as the street vendors and the items they sell change from country to country. Please consider all this and think on it.

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