Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Socio-Economic Justifications of Fast Food Ordering

One evening while we were sitting up on the 7th floor outdoor lounge, two of my friends came back with food from Hungry Jack's, which is exactly like Burger King. What I mean by this is that when Burger King tried to expand into Australia, there was already a restaurant here named "Burger King". So to avoid legal conflict, Burger King as we known it had to go by a different name in the land down under.

Anyways, it was Julian and Antony that came back with varying amounts of food from the same locale. Julian bought two smaller burgers from the value menu, while Antony had a large whopper with fries and a coke. When I asked them how much their meals cost, Julian said each of his burgers costed around $2, though Antony said he was quite hungry and therefore was willing to pay more for his meal, which costed around $12. As they both silently munched on their food, another question crossed my mind.

"So what's the difference between your two burgers" I asked. "I mean, other than size, Antony's must be of higher quality, given the cost."

After a long sip of coke, Antony responded in his natural British accent, "No... I think they're more or less the same... I guess I just wanted a bigger burger."

I'm no economist, but this whole scene reminded me of a cost-benefit analysis I've always had about fast food restaurants regarding their value menus. "Well, you said you were quite hungry, right? If you think about it, you could have ordered 5 or 6 of the same burgers Julian got for the same price as you originally paid for the large meal. As long as you don't mind bringing your own drink from your room and skipping the fries, this seems to be the more valuable choice, doesn't it?"

Antony paused from eating and thought about this for several seconds. After considering his own justifications, he finally said quite flatly, "Well... I guess I don't like to think that I just ate 5 burgers."

Fair enough.

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