McDonald's golden arches may be tarnishing. The iconic hamburger joint and its fellow fast-food restaurants are struggling as more consumers opt for fast-casual and full-service restaurants when dining out. A July 2014 snapshot survey, for example, showed a drop in fast-food restaurant patronage by Millennials, Gen. Xers and Baby Boomers (20 percent, 11 percent and 18 percent, respectively), and a corresponding rise by these groups in fast-casual restaurant visitation (42 percent, 11 percent, 20 percent, respectively) [sources: Rossolillo, Statista].
Part of the reason for the declining popularity of Whoppers and Big Macs lies in America's current trend toward healthier eating, especially among Millennials. In addition, Millennials are eating out more often than older folks, increasing the weight of their choices, which also include the willingness to dine in full-service restaurants.
Before fast-food restaurants are shuttered, though, they may shove all of their employees out the door. More fast food and fast-casual restaurants are adding self-service kiosks for customers to place their orders. Benefits include orders that are filled more accurately, and the ability to save dining preferences and track rewards points. Panera Bread, Wendy's and McDonald's are all part of this trend, which isn't likely to go away as many Americans continue to push for a higher minimum wage [source: Johnson].
Author's Note: 10 20th-Century Staples We Never Thought Would Die
It's certainly not surprising that staples of life change over time. My great-grandparents likely never thought transportation by horse-and-buggy would disappear, or that outhouses would be moved indoors. But it's a little sad to think of a paper- map-less world, at least if you're a map geek like me. Or the death of cinemas. Even the disappearance of Gideon Bibles makes me a little sad. I never read one, but for some reason I always checked the nightstand to make sure one was there. The one thing I'd love to see gone, though, is smoking.
More Great Links
- Amazon. "Prime." (Dec. 12, 2016) https://www.amazon.com/gp/dmusic/promotions/PrimeMusic
- American Psychological Association. "Marriage & divorce." (Dec. 9, 2016) http://www.apa.org/topics/divorce/
- Blumberg, Stephen and Julian Luke. "Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-June 2015." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. December 2015. (Dec. 7, 2016) http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/wireless201512.pdf
- Branagh, Ellen. "Landlines will be 'virtually extinct' by 2025." Cable. April 21, 2015. (Dec. 7, 2016) https://www.cable.co.uk/news/landlines-will-be-virtually-extinct-by-2025-700000592/
- Brick, Michael. "The American Highway Map is Dead. Long Live the American Highway Map." Esquire. Oct. 11, 2013. (Dec. 16, 2016) http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a25200/lament-for-the-highway-map/
- Cameraplex. "Priceless Reactions to Worlds First Cell Phone Camera." June 23, 2015. (Dec. 8, 2016) http://cameraplex.com/priceless-reactions-to-worlds-first-cell-phone-camera/
- Cancino, Alejandra. "Macmillan to go all digital with dictionaries." Chicago Tribune. Nov. 5, 2012. (Dec. 16, 2016) http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-05/news/chi-macmillan-to-go-all-digital-with-dictionaries-20121105_1_dictionaries-print-edition-final-editions
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Tobacco Use, United States, 1900-1999." Nov. 5, 1999. (Dec. 6, 2016) https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4843a2.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Marriage and Divorce." (Dec. 9, 2016) http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/marriage-divorce.htm
- Collins, Lois. "U.S. marriage rate hits new low and may continue to decline." Deseret News. May 20, 2015. (Dec. 9, 2016) http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865629093/US-marriage-rate-hits-new-low-and-may-continue-to-decline.html?pg=all
- Cowden, Caterina. "Movie Attendance Has Been On A Dismal Decline Since The 1940s." Business Insider. Jan. 6, 2015. (Dec. 15, 2016) http://www.businessinsider.com/movie-attendance-over-the-years-2015-1
- Fox News. "Less than half of US hotel rooms now have Bibles." Dec. 5, 2016. (Dec. 13, 2016) http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2016/12/05/less-than-half-us-hotel-rooms-now-have-bibles.html
- Gibbs, Alexandra. "Netflix and kill: Is streaming hurting movie theaters?" CNBC. Sept. 15, 2016. (Dec. 15, 2016) http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/15/netflix-and-kill-is-streaming-hurting-movie-theaters.html
- Info Please. "Marriages and Divorces, 1900-2012." (Dec. 9, 2016) http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005044.html
- Johnson, Hollis. "Fast food workers are becoming obsolete." Business Insider. May 16, 2016. (Dec. 19, 2016) http://www.businessinsider.com/self-service-kiosks-are-replacing-workers-2016-5
- Martin, Hugo. "More hotels are checking out of the Bible business." Los Angeles Times. Dec. 4, 2016. (Dec. 13, 2016) http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hotel-bibles-20161204-story.html
- Media Kix. "10 Statistics Illustrating The Inevitable Decline Of TV Advertising." Oct. 25, 2016. (Dec. 19, 2016) http://mediakix.com/2016/10/top-10-tv-advertising-statistics-showing-decline/#gs.LM4pTLU
- Miller, Bruce Joshua. "The world still needs its dictionaries, but how define them is changing." Chicago Tribune. Dec. 12, 2014. (Dec. 16, 2016) http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-prj-dictionary-in-digital-age-20141212-story.html
- Newport, Frank and Joy Wilke. "Most in U.S. Want Marriage, but Its Importance Has Dropped." Gallup. Aug. 2, 2013. (Dec. 9, 2016) http://www.gallup.com/poll/163802/marriage-importance-dropped.aspx
- NPR. "CDC Report Reveals Decline In American Smokers." May 24, 2016. (Dec. 6, 2016) http://www.npr.org/2016/05/24/479349619/cdc-report-reveals-decline-in-american-smokers
- Richter, Felix. "Landline Phones Are a Dying Breed." Statista. Feb. 24, 2015. (Dec. 7, 2016) https://www.statista.com/chart/2072/landline-phones-in-the-united-states/
- Rossolillo, Nicholas. "Fast-Casual Isn't the Only Thing Killing Fast Food." The Motley Fool. May 17, 2016. (Dec. 19, 2016) http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/05/17/fast-casual-isnt-the-only-thing-killing-fast-food.aspx
- Saad, Lydia. "U.S. Smoking Rate Still Coming Down." Gallup. July 24, 2008. (Dec. 6, 2016) http://www.gallup.com/poll/109048/us-smoking-rate-still-coming-down.aspx
- Statista. "Fast-food and fast-casual restaurant visitation in the United States as of July 2014, by generation." (Dec. 19, 2016) https://www.statista.com/statistics/322280/fast-food-and-fast-casual-restaurant-visitation-by-generation-us/
- Stein, Scott. "Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: The photographer's phone." C Net. Nov. 23, 2016. (Dec. 8, 2016) https://www.cnet.com/products/apple-iphone-7-plus/review/
- Steinberg, Brian. "If The 30-Second TV Ad Is Dying, TV Networks Are Helping To Kill It." Variety. Jan. 19, 2016. (Dec. 19, 2016) http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/tv-advertising-tv-networks-kill-commercials-1201682729/
- Stewart, Scott. "Buying music is becoming a thing of the past." The Daily Nonpareil. June 23, 2014. (Dec. 12, 2016) http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/local/buying-music-is-becoming-a-thing-of-the-past/article_22a7f8b4-f8af-11e3-82e9-0019bb2963f4.html
- Wagner, Gina. "The Slow Extinction of the American Landline." Good. Oct. 22, 2015. (Dec. 7, 2016) https://www.good.is/articles/landlines-are-dead-long-live-landlines
- Yeung, Ken. "Smartphone cameras have killed the point-and-shoot, but not the dSLR." The Next Web. Sept. 4, 2013. (Dec. 8, 2016) http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/09/05/smartphone-cameras-have-killed-the-point-and-shoot-but-not-the-dslr/
HowStuffWorks travels to England to find out just how fried fish and chips got together and became so beloved in the U.K.