That started me thinking about Taco Bell. Way back when, they had large pressure cookers and a deli style slicer. The ingredients that came in consisted of dry Pintos, heads of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onions etc. They did not open until 11:00, giving the morning crew a chance to prep for lunch. They would cook the meat, pressure cook the beans, slice the veggies and grate the cheese.
This is a far cry from the current fare. So what is the difference?
Fast food is a volume business. With minimum wage laws they need to up efficiency in order to stay viable. They are in a fight for every consumer. With a business model like this they have guys in cubicles crunching numbers and coming up with charts, graphs and figures to lower the cost of business. At the same time you have to maintain a uniformity and quality that makes people desire the product.
A factory that makes the items and a distribution system must make fiscal sense. Which makes fresh food a thing of the past. So more stuff to enhance the taste and degrade the waste.
Some places have bucked the trend; Subway, for instance. I wonder what the profit on a five dollar foot long is really?