What facts surprised you most in the essay?

Some of the facts that I’ve found surprising to read are as follows:

It is devastating to note that fast food has become so ingrained in the American lifestyle that they are spending more money on hamburgers than any other thing.

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It has become more like a routine and is much embedded into their daily lives that, one quarter of the U. S population ends up consuming fast food for their meals.
The fast food industry has not only transformed the diet but subsequently the culture, economy, workforce and the society at large.
McDonald’s contributes a major share in the provision of jobs.

It is responsible for 90% of the country’s new jobs.

It has more retail outlets than any other merchant in the U. S.
McDonald’s is now the nation’s largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes. It is the second-largest purchaser of chicken in the U. S.
The golden arches are now more widely recognized than the Christian cross.

In paragraph 4 what parallels does he draw between the growth of fast food industry and fundamental changes in American society?
Answer: The writers make an attempt to highlight the reasons for changes in workforce demographics during the early 70’s and their after effect on the American society.
Owing to the decline of wages, starting from the mid 70’s, the American economy experienced profound changes that had a direct impact on the overall economy, society and consequently the typical American household. During this period more and more women had to come out of their homes in order to meet their household expenses. As a result, in order to meet the demands of the fast-paced life, the traditional home cooking gave way to fast food culture. The shift from domestic cooking to fast-food restaurant meals is one of the factors responsible for the rapid growth of fast-food industry.
What does he have to say about standardization, uniformity, conformity at the one hand, and non-conformist entrepreneurs on the other?
Answer: The fast food business has a very dominating influence on the American culture, business and economy. Some big names as like McDonald’s have gained tremendous control over the market share and have made and devastating impact on the food processing systems in the United States that has actually created a system of standardization for the rest to follow. The basic systems have become the operating systems of the fast food industry.
The concept of uniformity is well taken by many all around the world. The customer’s confidence is based on the premise that they will get the same quality, no matter where they are in the world. The feeling of reassurance from the customer’s side underlies the trust that they have in the company, and this is one the key areas that these companies never compromise on. The concept of conformance is one of the core key success factors that have enabled McDonald’s and other to expand globally with winning returns. It is one the fundamental secret to their success.
They have very intelligently blended conformity with innovation and creativity. The industry is on the verge of constant innovation and comes up with new ideas every now and then. They thrive to conform to the standards set by them and instill the franchise owner to abide by them. The non-conformists have no place to stand if they plan to venture into such conformist driven enterprises. They consider conformance is their basic principle of success, no matter where they operate in the world.
What final facts does he conclude with? How do they lend a dramatic end to his conclusion?
Answer: In the end, the writer turns a critical eye and discusses the pros and cons, the positives and negatives that this massively grown industry has brought with it. He makes an attempt to draw a very critical analysis starting from the inception of the fast food industry, how it progressed through the decades and its effects on the American culture, society, and economy. It is indeed very interesting to see that the progress of this industry has defied all odds.
It was founded by people who were self-made and had no formal education in business. And yet, they were the ones who took all the risks and came up with innovative ideas all the way. Although this sector holds the crown of being the largest private employer and has been providing lots of jobs, but the wages offered are very low with no benefits attached. The workers move from one job to another with no skill enhancement. Very few are fortunate enough to make to the top. Majority of the workers remain within the low wage category throughout their lives with very bleak chances of progression.
Moreover, the working conditions for low waged workers are also not favourable and can be lethal at times. In order to attain maximum profit, the fast food corporations have gained much control over the production side of various food items in the United States. They have taken over the place of the family-run farms. Hence, despite the positive and negative aspects, it is noteworthy to mention that these corporate giants have taken a great degree of control on the American economy and society. They have now become part of the structure and are a major contributor in the industrialization of the American system.

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