Remember when fast food also meant affordable? When you could take a family of 4 and feed them a decent meal for less than $15? I do. Guess what, you can't do that anymore. I'm not going to name names or get specific here because I'm not irked at any one particular franchise, they all seem to be raising their prices beyond what I call reasonable. The other day I went through a drive through and ordered two meals, one a medium, one a small, and an extra burger with no fries or drink. The total was $18.64... I damn near died! I had to check the receipt to make sure it was right. In another visit to a different establishment my son and I ordered off the "dollar menu" so we could get a couple of tasty ice-creamy beverages to go with the meal, plus an extra dollar menu burger for my wife who rarely orders fries of her own (why should she when she can snitch a few a mine?), and the bill is over $15! This is from the dollar menu?

Are you telling me that it costs almost $20 to feed three people now? Really? Look I'm not an idiot, I know the cost of goods has been going up, the cost of shipping those goods has been ridiculous for over two years now and those costs can only be absorbed for so long before the companies are forced to pass them along to the consumer, I get it.

But here's another thought:

What if, "fast food" restaurants were loosing the focus on who they are supposed to be serving? In the heat of competition they are working so hard to make their product taste better and look prettier than the other guy, that they are leaving behind the folks who put them in business and made them the powerhouses they are to begin with. The people who want to eat out, but due to those same "hard times", are on a budget, you know... you and me.

Speaking only for myself, but I suspect a few of you may be with me here, if it only costs a few dollars more for me to feed my family at Chillis as opposed to brand X fast food place... guess who's going to win that mental struggle every time?

In my mind a "fast food" place is supposed to be a reasonably-priced-tastes-pretty-good-quick-alternative to dragging out the pots and pans after a long day at work. When they stop fulfilling that mission, then I will start searching for a place that does. This being America, someone will come along and fill that role. I hope anyway, someone usually does.

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