National Fast Food Day

National Fast Food Day is an unofficial holiday which is observed annually on the 16th of November. The purpose of this holiday is to celebrate quintessential American cuisine, the fast food restaurant. On this day, millions of people all over the U.S will be going through their favorite drive-in or stopping by their favorite fast food restaurant to pick up a burger, burrito, chicken nuggets or some other tasty treat. In the United States alone there are over three-hundred thousand fast food restaurants just waiting to serve you your favorite dish – all wrapped in paper or in a cardboard box and discreetly placed in a paper bag.

The History of National Fast Food Day

After searching long and hard, we were unable to determine when National Fast Food Day was first celebrated. The only thing that we know is that this holiday hasn’t been celebrated for too long and is a relatively new holiday.

The History of Fast Food

The first fast food restaurant to open up in the United States was White Castle. This company was found by Walter Anderson and Billy Ingram in Wichita, Kansas in 1921. This restaurant was considered to be ahead of its time for several different reasons. One, they sold hamburgers for a nickel each. Two, this restaurant allowed customers to see how their food was being prepared, and three, the food was served quickly and efficiently. These three factors made the company very successful and several competitors try to copy their model. Evidently, 1921 was an important year for fast food, because this is also the year that the drive-in was invented. However, it wasn’t invented by White Castle. It was instead invented by the Pig Stand in Dallas, Texas. And it was started, according to the owners, because “people with cars are lazy and they don’t want to get out of them.” Truer words than that have never been spoken.

The next big innovation to hit the fast food industry was the introduction of the assembly line. While cars had been using assembling lines for years prior to the invention of the fast food industry, it wasn’t until the McDonald brother revamped their San Bernardino, California drive-in in 1948 that the assembling line met the fast-food hamburger. And McDonald’s was really good at running at top efficiency. At one point in time, they could churn out a hamburger, an order of fries and a shake in under 20 seconds. Now, that’s fast. While McDonald’s concentrated on maximum efficiency, Burger King came up with a different approach when they opened in 1953. Keith J. Kramer and Matthew Burns opened the restaurant in Miami, Florida that year and they decided to cater to picky eaters. So they came up with the “Have it your way” way of operating the business. And they are still operating it this way to this very day.

Over the years, a variety of different fast food restaurants opened up in the U.S. Some of the more popular ones today include McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, White Castle, Pizza Hut, KFC, Chick-Fil-A, Sonic, Dominos, Jack in the Box, Arby’s, Hardees, Church’s and Steak N’ Shake.

Quick Fast Food Facts

  • In 1970, Americans spent approximately $6-billion dollars on fast food
  • In 2017, Americans spent over $208-billion on fast food
  • In 2021, It’s estimated that Americans will spend over $225-billion a year
  • 90% of American children will visit a McDonald’s restaurant in any given month
  • 5% of America’s potato crop goes to make McDonald’s french fries
  • McDonald’s is Brazil’s largest employer
  • There are over 300,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S alone

Celebrating National Fast Food Day

The easiest way to celebrate National Fast Food Day is to go to your favorite fast food restaurant and grab yourself a meal. In the U.S., you have a variety of different foods to choose from including burgers, fries, pizza, tator tots, burritos, tacos, chicken and just about anything else you can think of. So grab your favorite meal and eat it. If you want to let everyone know that you’re celebrating this holiday, then use the hashtag #NationalFastFoodDay on social media and be sure to include pictures of the meal you picked up.

Where is National Fast Food Day celebrated?

There is no specific location where this holiday is celebrated.