The Fast Food Industry: Positioning and Competitive Advantage

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The Fast Food Industry: Positioning and Competitive Advantage

INTRODUCTION The fast food industry is an ever growing industry regardless of the concerns from many about the health and obesity risks. Despite these risks associated with fast food consumers continue to return indicating there is a high level of competition amongst several members of this industry. This paper will examine and discuss the five following major fast food restaurant chains: McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Sonic. The all intensive purpose of this paper is to focus on the fast food restaurant industry by exploring the above mentioned chains, the competitive factors in which encompass the industry, the company level factors that capture the firm’s
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Sonic is the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America. As a business, we continue to thrive, maintaining strong real sales growth, industry-leading customer frequency and high returns for our stockholders” (“Corporate Profile”). Each restaurant is significant to the industry in its own way. Some of the restaurants sell similar substitute products, while some restaurants such as Taco Bell sell a different product while implementing the ability to remain at the low fast food pricing.

All industries are given a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code. According to the United States Census (2012) the NAICS was developed “as the standard for use by the Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of statistical data describing the U.S. economy” ( The United States Census classifies the fast food industry with a NAICS number of 722211 under the Limited-Service Restaurant ( According to the United States Census definition a limited-service restaurant is described as “a U.S. industry comprising establishments primarily engaged in providing food services (except snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars) where patrons generally order or select items and pay before eating. Food and drink may be consumed on premises, taken out, or delivered to customers’ location. Some establishments in this industry may provide these food services in combination

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