There’s an interesting article in the Dallas Morning News which talks about how the fast-food industry is “recession resistant” because more Americans are going the cheaper albeit unhealthier route when eating out by eating fast-food more often. Raising Cane, a fast-food restaurant which serves only chicken fingers was featured as a success story in the midst of many retailers and restaurants going bankrupt.
The article said:
“Our restaurants are doing exceptional,” said Todd Graves, founder, Raising Cane’s. “We grew over 20 percent this past year. We’ll grow over 20 percent this year. Our same store sales were in double digits…People are busy and people still love to eat out,” Graves explained. We’re not seeing them go back to the kitchens and cooking. So they want a place to go so it needs to serve that right price point.”
The article also noted that McDonald’s posted a seven percent increase in sales in the last quarter mostly due to its dollar menus. The article painted this as a silver lining amidst the bankruptcies strangling our economy; but is it really good news? Many of these Americans are being forced to eat the unhealthiest food because they are working more hours (less time to cook) and making less money, so they go to fast-food joints and spend a dollar for some filling although artery clogging food. As more workers and unemployed people go without health insurance, what is going to happen to them when they develop hypertension, high blood pressure or even heart disease because they spent a year or two eating “happy meals” because they were living off of reduced wages or unemployment insurance? They will go to the hospital; but they are going to be straddled with huge amounts of medical debt. As the number of Texans dining at fast-food restaurants increase so will the amount of Texans working just topay off medical debt. If this trend continues expect to see more Texans facing mounting medical debt and filing bankruptcy just to get relief from health related bills.