Attention lazy Americans: You can now stuff more fast foods in your face than ever before without the taxing schlep of actually going to get those greasy treats.
So rejoice burger and burrito eaters, your food is only a phone call (for folks that still call to order like myself) or an online order away. Cardiologists could be welcoming the news as well, because less walking and more cholesterol might mean a heavier society, and therefore more trips to the doctor for Lipitor prescriptions.
For a while, burger joints and other options in the fast-food spectrum have faced competition from fast-casual options like Chipotle, Panera Bread and Shake Shack. These latter eateries occupy the middle ground between restaurant dining and food served on a plastic tray, and offering delivery is one way for the burger and taco joints to regain lost consumers.
Some diners have begun choosing fast-casual options for health reasons, the taste of the food or because the orders can be easily customized. The old model of fast food that every order is exactly the same no matter where in the world it is ordered has been surpassed by establishments that claim to offer more fresh ingredients.
Market researchers have estimated that food from fast-casual eateries can cost up tot 40 percent more than at a fast-food chain. The continued growth of fast casual options make clear that consumers are willing to pay for the higher quality.
The market leader in the burger business, McDonalds has sought to broaden its appeal with healthier options like salads, and in May, Mickey Dee’s also began offering delivery at several Manhattan locations. The chain made famous worldwide for its burgers and fries is also attempting to diversify with a new marketing method termed Experience of the Future,” which will test rollouts like breakfast served all day, greater menu choices and customized burgers.
The everything-cheese-topped/Mexican-imitator chain recently announced it will begin to deliver, not south of the border, but at more than 200 locations in California and Texas. In late May, the Taco Bell also announced that it will deliver to many college campuses to satiate student’s cravings for late-night tacos, burritos and quesadillas. And let’s not forget the Bell is also offering alcohol in one Chicago location, so it’ll be interesting to see how these two new features may change its footing in the fast-food space.
Burger chain Checkers, which also has sister franchises Rallys, offers delivery at two New York City locations. Many Checkers and Rallys restaurants around the country are drive-through only, but with delivery, the eateries will bring hot dogs, fries, milkshakes and burgers to customer’s doors without them even having to get in the car.
For almost three years, The Home of the Whopper has been bringing one of its signature sandwiches to customer’s front doors. But don’t get too excited just yet. The two Burger King locations in New York will only deliver if you live within the specified areas in Brooklyn or Queens.
Customers will no longer have to get on the subway (bus or ferry) to get a mediocre sandwich because several New York City locations, mostly in Manhattan, now offer delivery service. Unlike the former chains mentioned, Subway sandwiches are all customizable in-store, and customers can also make substitutions when ordering online for delivery. But since sandwiches are so personal, being on the other end of the call is probably pretty annoying, so remember to speak slowly and enunciate, “No onions!”
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Enjoy your new delivery options, America. But with the new convenience come some cautions as well. Remember to not get annoyed when the food doesnt arrive right away and to tip the delivery people decently. In case anyone needs a refresher, that’s at least 15 percent of the total bill.
Noah Zuss is a reporter for TheBlot Magazine.