Fast food. Convenient, delicious and cheap. These days, more and more fast food chains and franchise stores are opening up, leading to a much larger fast-food culture in the U.K. than ever before. The temptations of fast food are obvious; no need to wait 15 minutes for your meal to be prepared, hop into KFC or McDonald’s and you could be done with your food in minutes. One downside of fast food, is something the media loves to talk about very much: the health aspect of it. Something we don’t consider; on the other hand, is how these fast food franchises affect real restaurants and lure their customers away, tempting them with half or even a third of the prices for a full meal. Recently, in Hounslow High Street, two new fast food franchises have opened up: a KFC, and a McDonald’s.

After speaking to Samek, the manager of a local Indian restaurant, it became clear that he was adamant in his belief that the “type of people who eat at [his] restaurant are very different to the type of people who like eating at fast food shops”. It could certainly be said, that the age demographic of people who enjoy fast food is younger on the whole, but fast food is of course not exclusively for the youth. It could also be true that the arrival of these two new shops is too recent to have had a noticeable effect on his business and maybe it will be felt in the near future.

For now though, after a little consideration, it seems that although the increase in the number of fast food shops should lead to restaurants having fewer customers, this effect has not been felt by this particular restaurant. Whether it will in the near future, remains to be seen.

Farhan Hussain, Hampton School.