Challenge 10 Write Up: The Future of “Healthy Fast Food”

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For this challenge, we are looking at the future of the “healthy fast food” industry, specifically considering the rise of new “farm to table” restaurants like b.good, Clover, and sweetgreen, and seeing how & why they are effective, especially compared to lower-priced, quicker, and “more fast food” options such as Chipotle. For our field visit, we visited four local locations: Clover, b.good, Sweetgreen, and Chipotle, and got insights via user interviews as well as speaking to some of the employees.

SOME MAIN TAKEAWAYS

• Many people go to these restaurants because they are perceived as healthier than normal fast food restaurants. While this is true, many menu items at all restaurants have fattening, unhealthy ingredients like cheeses. 

• Even though all of these restaurants emphasize the local, sustainable and transparent aspect of their production, the vast majority of patrons are not influenced by these factors when they choose to eat there. 

• Efficiency and knowing exactly how long their food will take is important for customers. 

• The multi-purpose nature of the spaces makes a big difference in how long people will spend at these places and how often they will come back: we found that people enjoyed going to Clover & sweetgreen more regularly because they knew they could connect to WiFi and sit there and do work while they enjoyed their food and drinks. Chipotle does not have this, which makes it less attractive for repeat customers.

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