The Chain Gang

Look at All These Ridiculous Terms the Chains Now Use for ‘Fast Food’

Makers of agile victuals.
Makers of agile victuals.

Aware of the p.c. times, restaurant chains that prepare food rapidly, and serve it to clientele also in a rush, have decided they’ve about had it with society’s offensive use of that slur “fast food,” a lowly class of grub with a rap for being cheap, greasy, and generally very bad for you. So to enlighten everyone, here’s a rundown (that’s no doubt missing a few) of the preferred terms chains wish people would use instead. Get those memory neurons firing, because this is quite a list:

McDonald’s: A “modern, progressive burger company.”

Chipotle, Panera Bread, Five Guys: “Fast casual.”

Del Taco: “QSR-plus.” (In reference to an industrial acronym for “quick-service restaurant.”)

Dairy Queen: “Fan food.”

Shake Shack: “Fine casual.” (An entirely new “restaurant category” Shake Shack actually invented for its SEC filing: “Fine casual couples the ease, value and convenience of fast casual concepts,” it reads, “with the high standards of excellence in thoughtful ingredient sourcing, preparation, hospitality and quality grounded in fine dining.”)

In-N-Out Burger: “Quality you can taste.”

Arby’s: “Fast crafted.”

In an explanation to the AP, an Arby’s rep says “fast crafted” was the result of a meeting where employees were told to put all of the different chains in order from most “fast food”-y to most “fast casual”-y. Arby’s ended up “somewhere in the middle,” which the chain interpreted as sort of a Goldilocks sweet spot, the halfway point between the “convenience of fast food” and the “made-for-you care” that most people can’t help but associate with Arby’s line of meat sandwiches.


Ridiculous Terms Chains Use for ‘Fast Food’