Course Hero. (2017, November 10). Fast Food Nation Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fast-Food-Nation/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "Fast Food Nation Study Guide." November 10, 2017. Accessed November 21, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fast-Food-Nation/.
Course Hero, "Fast Food Nation Study Guide," November 10, 2017, accessed November 21, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fast-Food-Nation/.
Fast Food Nation |
Part 1, Chapter 1 : The American Way (The Founding Fathers) | Summary
Click to copy
This chapter depicts the rise of fast food restaurants through the "rags to riches" life story of entrepreneur Carl N. Karcher, founder of the Carl's Jr. restaurant chain.
The story leads to Southern California, where the emerging automobile culture and interstate highway systems helped change the American diet after World War II.
Individual cities transformed as well. Anaheim, California, changed from an agricultural county in the 1930s to a sprawling hub of retail development. Los Angeles became a "suburban metropolis of detached homes."
New reliance on automobiles meant people wanted to eat at drive-in restaurants.
Karcher found stiff competition from the McDonald brothers Richard and Maurice (Mac), whose burger restaurant, McDonald's, introduced a revolutionary "Speedee Service System." The system resembled a factory assembly line, bringing the principles of mass production and manufacturing to the restaurant business.
Copying the McDonald brothers' system, Karcher opened his own self-service restaurant and soon opened others near freeway exits.
Others followed, such as Dunkin' Donuts, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Domino's Pizza, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In an era of cultural experimentation, fast food came to represent a "clean and cheery" family friendly and all-American option.
The most successful chains were started by iconoclastic, optimistic businessmen (with little academic education) who often had backgrounds in sales.