All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Business Administration (MBA)


College of Business & Professional Studies

Degree Program

Master of Business Administration


Business Administration


burger, pizza, chicken, restaurants, advertising, franchise


The American fast food industry, a segment of the food industry in America, is one industrial sector that has grown enormously in the past 30 years. The fast food industry in America is composed of numerous national and regional chains located throughout the United States. In addition to these chains numerous independent fast food type restaurants can be found in many places. The majority of the leading chains came into the scene in the mid- 1950s when such big corporations as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Kentucky Fried Chicken appeared on the market. Over the years so many new names, such as Wendy’s, Hardees, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s, Rally’s, Domino’s Pizza, Little Caesar’s and many more, have been added to the list of fast food corporations and, as a result, competition has grown intensely. This competition has helped to keep the quality of food and service high and only the best have survived. Another area of the American fast food industry which the thesis will discuss is its ownership structure. Some restaurants are operated by the corporations, while others are operated by franchisees. In actual fact, there has been a shift towards franchising restaurants by many of the corporations. Most of the restaurants have claimed that a bulk of their revenue comes from the lease of equipment to independent operators and from franchise fees, which in most cases, is a certain percentage of monthly sales. Most of the growth of the industry has come from the franchise networks due to the low level of capital investment incurred by the parent corporations in franchise arrangements to gain market share. The most interesting development in the American fast food industry has been globalization. There are a number of reasons which have led the American fast food corporations to globalize, which will be examined in this thesis, as well as the hurdles which were met in the process. The globalization process dates back to the 1960s and as of now there is hardly a continent where one would not find a logo of an American fast food corporation. My thesis explores the globalization process of the American fast food industry. It also examines and tries to understand the impact of the American fast food industry on the global market.

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