Ever since I can remember, I’ve always eaten in fast food restaurants whenever I’d travel abroad. From my point of view, it was always normal to do this, if not beneficial. But then travellers like me have encountered naysayers online who say that we’re only wasting our money if we spend on fast food in a foreign country. Why don’t we just try affordable local cuisine? That way, we can savour the different culture and experience.
Well, that’s a strong point, but then again, why can’t we do both? Fast food restaurants have something to offer for travellers too, if you just give them a chance. These are the reasons why you shouldn’t be ashamed of eating in fast food restaurants abroad.
Also read: Why We Have To Stop Travel Shaming
1. Localised branches may be different from that of your country’s
If you’re expecting the menu of Austria’s McDonald’s to be the same as the one we have in the Philippines, you’re in for a rude awakening. Fast food chains like to localise not only the menu but the ingredients of their food according to the country they’re in. McDonald’s, for example, serves bigger and way more food in the USA than in the Philippines. It also serves fresher burgers in its European branches than in other countries. Imagine how diverse other fast food chains are all over the world, with all the different suppliers and resources for the ingredients and dishes. At this rate, why wouldn’t we try fast food restaurants abroad?
2. You’ll learn more about fast food chains the more you try them overseas
I’ve always enjoyed eating KFC, so it was definitely a must-try when my friend and I travelled to Taiwan and I saw that there was a branch near our hotel. When our orders were served, the chicken didn’t come with utensils and gravy. We thought we had to ask for them. As it turns out, they don’t serve KFC chicken with utensils and gravy. In fact, KFC doesn’t usually serve it with these things at all, compared to when you eat KFC chicken in the Philippines. It was only then that I realised that adding gravy is something that KFC simply localised in the Philippines and that KFC chicken is customarily eaten by hand. No wonder it’s finger lickin’ good.
3. You give yourself an INFORMED RIGHT to compare
Everyone has the right to compare fast food branches from all over the world. But what good is a comparison if you don’t try the different versions of these fast food restaurants when you’re overseas in the first place? You can’t just assume that they’re all the same. Eating in these places can only give your opinion of fast food restaurants more validation. Your opinion will be coming from a more informed place because you’ve actually tried the restaurant in different countries. So when your friends ask for your opinion on this subject, don’t you want to sound more legit?
4. It’s still part of the travel experience, believe it or not
Regardless of where or what you eat when you’re travelling abroad, you charge it to experience. A gastronomical experience is never a waste. Whether you like what you’re eating or not, you still get fed, taste different flavours, smell new scents, and form your own opinion on it. These experiences are what makes travel exciting in the first place.
5. It’ll help budget-friendly itineraries greatly
Yes, we all know that fast food restaurants are heaven sent for people travelling on a budget. And you should never be ashamed to be travelling on a budget because it only proves how resourceful you are. If eating in fast food restaurants will help your cause, why not?
6. We have different tastes
At the end of the day, no one should really judge another person for preferring a kind of food over another, regardless if it’s fast food or fancy cuisine. We all have different tastes. Let others eat. Simple as that.
7. Sometimes we look for familiar flavours
When you finally get homesick while you’re overseas, sometimes the best cure is to eat something that reminds you of home. And if that’s a fast food restaurant, so be it! Though the versions of fast food restaurants around the world may be different in some aspects, there remain many delicious flavours similar to the ones back home you can always look forward to eating.
8. It’s a quick fix when you’re travelling with kids who are picky eaters
Sometimes, bringing your kids to a fast food restaurant is the only way they’ll eat. It’s no different when you’re abroad. Actually, this may seem even more evident when you’re abroad. Kids may not adapt to a new environment and culture as quickly as adults, and they might be ten times pickier when it comes to food. Bring them to a fast food restaurant that they usually love to eat in back home. That will solve it!
You know what else is bucket-list worthy? Trying different versions of your favourite fast food chains across the globe! Let your love for fast food follow you on your travels.