Fast food has been consistently popular all over the world for decades, for reasons that are pretty compelling — it’s tasty, it’s filling, and most of all, it’s cheap. Much has been made in recent years about the health impact of these foods, but it’s done little to keep customers away. After all, a typical fast-food restaurant allows a family of four to eat for $20, and in this economy that’s a likely source of repeat business, regardless of the health implications.
Still, would people be willing to pay more for fast food if it were made with better ingredients? Would they be willing to pay more for a hamburger made of high-quality beef? What if it was made from fresh Kobe beef from the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan and smothered in foie gras and black truffles, while perched atop a brioche truffle bun dotted with edible, 24-karat gold leaves? Would the average fast-food consumer be willing to part with a few extra bucks for such an experience?
Over the past few years, several businesses have tried to find the answer to this question by creating their own variations on fast food and giving them unnervingly high prices. Some were one-of-a-kind items with proceeds earmarked for charity, and others remain regular items on the menus of upscale restaurants. But what they all have in common is a price many times higher than anything normally found inside a Happy Meal.
— Dan Bukszpan, CNBC.com
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