Fast food culture slowing down, classing up to compete

There’s been a shift in the culture at the counter of U.S. fast food restaurants.

To compete with fast casual restaurants – such as Firehouse Subs, Chipotle and Smashburger – fast food joints across the country are upgrading their atmosphere with warmer, more welcoming remodels.

For the past two to three years, major fast food chains have been spending significantly less on opening new stores and reinvesting that revenue in remodeling their existing restaurants, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of food industry analysis group Technomic.

“To grow their interior sales – those not coming from drive-thru sales – quick-service restaurants are trying to maximize the use of space inside the restaurants,” Tristano said.

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