I was having a conversation recently about what makes a restaurant “fast food.” This is basically a silly and irrelevant issue, but I had fun thinking about it. I feel like there are some places (McDonalds, Taco Bell, Subway, etc.) that are clearly fast food and self-identify as such, but then there are a lot of places that are sort of borderline cases, like some of the taquerias in my neighborhood, or places that only do takeout. My friend was even insisting that Five Guys somehow isn’t fast food because it’s higher-quality than McDonald’s.
We thought up a lot of of factors that could be evidence for or against, but I was trying to come up with a simple, hard-and-fast rule. The best I could do was that a restaurant that can’t give you your food on a plate (as opposed to a tray or bag or wrapper) is fast food, while a place with plates is not. What do you think? Is there some big flaw with my rule? Do you have a rule of your own?