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Chain restaurants rip away authenticity of a meal

Mark Anbinder, opinion editor

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In April 1955, in Des Plaines Illinois, the first official McDonald’s franchise was opened by company founder Ray Kroc. This action started the fast food movement and jump started fast food into what we know it as today. Today’s fast food is focused on getting you a cheap meal at a hurried pace, in more or less decent quality.

However, one overlooked aspect of this style of eatery is that they are just too uniform to feel like a genuine restaurant should. Going to McDonald’s or Burger King as a child felt like a magical experience that created a short moment of joy that would stay with us for the rest of the day. However, as we grow up and our standards climb higher and higher, one might start to notice the transparency of the fast food business.

Once past that certain point in life, that revelation serves nothing but to bore us of the food we once so enthusiastically yearned for. Not only has fast food taken up this trend, but casual sit-down places has also seen an increase in uniformity across the nation in the past couple decades. Restaurants like Chili’s, Red Robin, Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Cheesecake Factory among many others all share the same uniform traits as fast food in the form of a chain, the only difference being that you actually sit down and are expecting to be served fully cooked meals in an actual restaurant environment.

Due to the friendly first impressions, most patrons don’t even realize how unauthentic and fabricated their experience is. Chains focus on purely profit and expansion, they find efficient and quick ways to buy, cook and sell food to increase that profit. However, the focus the public has shifted on chains and their food is creating turmoil in the restaurant business. Just like Walmart, chain restaurants are slowly killing their “mom and pop” counter parts.

Local and one of a kind restaurants don’t get the recognition they deserve nowadays. When going to a place to eat, one doesn’t seem to consider many options other than chains because many people have forgotten about the genuine and hardworking restaurants that actually try to produce a quality meal that’ll get you to come back again. These types of businesses don’t rely on their widespread name and ease of access to bring you through their doors, they rely on the quality of their food, atmosphere and staff. It’s time for people to focus more on authenticity when going out to eat and settle less for mediocrity when served.

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Chain restaurants rip away authenticity of a meal