Our world is fast paced with almost instant communication in most locales, world-wide shopping (Internet) at your fingertips and fast food obtainable in some of the strangest locations.
In a recent Meatingplace article, journalist Terri Johnston noted that the Subway restaurant-chain (first shop-1965 in Bridgeport, Connecticut) just opened its 40,000th shop (Ipswich, England) and since the start of 2013, have opened 1,761 new locations, making them the most prolific fast-food establishment in the industry; ahead of their nearest fast-food competitor by about 5,500 franchise-locations.
There are stand-alone Subway shops a well as outlets in gas stations, hospitals, health clubs, train stations, movie theatres and a few of the most unusual; a German riverboat, a Buffalo, NY church and a California car dealership.
Thankfully, nearly all franchise-stops feature several beef products on sandwich menu-boards (40,000 outlets equals many pounds of beef daily).
For a time we had two Subway outlets (also two Tim Hortons) in our fair city. Wow there is but one of each. In addition, there is McDonald’s (two outlets), A&W, Dairy Queen, Kentucky Fried Chicken, several pizza chains and numerous other independent restaurants that offer some type of fast-food. Yet, still folks complain about the lack of choice, wishing (variously) for an Arby’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, White Spot or others.
To those who bemoan the lack, hark back to the good old days (my youth) in Williams Lake where going out for fast food (a rare treat) meant either, a trip to the Corral Drive-In (near Signal Point) for chicken or a burger with fries in a basket, or going to the Tastee Freeze (where A&W is now) for a soft ice cream cone.
On a great day, both.
We thought we had the world by the tail then, never missing what was not here. What was the beef?
Lack of choice really did make things much more simple back then.
Liz Twan is a rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.