Burger King’s answer to the national “Let’s Move” campaign to fight obesity? Let’s don’t.
The chain is somewhat stealthily rolling out delivery service in select markets, with the latest addition being New York City, according to Business Insider. So presuming you just leave the door unlocked and holler “It’s open!” when your order shows up, you may soon be able to fulfill yet another of those gratuitously twisted American fantasies: pigging out on your double Whopper and fries without ever leaving your couch.
(See also “marathon episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras while downing a whole box of wine” or “Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace in Vegas.”)
Having slid to the number three slot on the list of America’s top fast-food burger joints (overtaken by Wendy’s, no less), Burger King is either getting ingenious or desperate, depending on your point of view. To a certain degree, it makes business sense: there seems no logical reason to cede to pizza the expanding market of fast-food junkies too lazy to leave home.
In addition to the Big Apple, Burger King has already launched BK Delivery in Washington, D.C., Houston and Miami. Why not just hit the entire country all at once? According to Time.com: “Delivery is much harder than it sounds.… A fast-food kitchen is usually pressed to capacity between in-house customers and drive-through customers; to add delivery customers, and the manpower to take care of them, won’t be easy.”
Of course, “taking care of them” here is strictly about getting the meat into the customer’s pie hole a.s.a.p. It’s not in the sense of, “Hmmm…maybe, just maybe, it’s not the most responsible thing to do to start hauling these saturated-fat bombs door to door when almost 70 percent of the country is already either obese or overweight.”
Yes, 70 percent. And among children―who account for much of fast food restaurants' target audience―almost 50 percent are obese. According to a recent independent study, as long as the U.S. continues its dietary detruction―for example, by making it unecessary to even stand up and leave your home in order to ingest fast food―we can expect to see diabetes skyrocket to 7.9 million new cases per year, in addition to rising rates of heart disease and stroke. Worse, the price for all this obesity-related healthcare will soon run us in the neighborhood of $3 trillion annually.
Yes, BK Delivery lets you pay by credit card; yes, if you order online, you can repeat orders with just a click; and yes, if you enroll in the BK Loyalty Program, you can get a free extra Whopper with every fourth delivery. “Because after all,” Burger King says on its website, “isn’t everything better when it’s brought directly to you?”
Do you expect to take advantage of BK Delivery? Let us know what you think of fast food delivery in the Comments.
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Jason Best has worked for Gourmet and the Natural Resources Defense Council. He writes about food, sustainability and the environment.