Pour a stiff drink, alcohol is coming to save fast food


Fast food restaurants are betting big on beer and booze.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably a least dabbled in the pleasures of fast food. Meaning, you maybe don’t think fast food needs saving, thank you very much. Still: It kind of does.

Fast casual restaurants like Panera may not be significantly healthier for you than fast food staples, but they do tend to offer more options and a different eating experience and they’re siphoning customers. Fast food, if it wants to keep up, most offer something new too.

Enter alcohol.

Burger King has recently announced that they are seeking a liquor license for a Seventh Avenue New York location so that they can offer the “burger and a beer” experience.

Last year, Chipotle began offering beer and margaritas to fully lean into the whole “Mexican restaurant” thing.

The year prior, 2015, Taco Bell started serving alcohol at a location in Chicago and has been slow-rolling out the concept of Taco Bell “cantinas” across the country.

Meanwhile, much like McDelivery, international outposts (specifically UK locations of Burger King) have been in the boozing game since 2014.

All of this is in an effort to get people to sit and stay in their restaurants and ultimately order more. Still, it requires liquor permits and many states don’t allow underage employees to handle or sell alcohol. Even the permit process is complex and time consuming – Burger King actually already sells beer at one New York location, but must go through the license application process again to add another location.

Another Big Mac sized caveat here is that a recent report suggested that people don’t actually want fast food places like McDonald’s to do anything differently. The premium menu and touch screen order stations are all well and good, but what’s really keeping customers coming back is those sweet, cheap deals.

Now, turn that McPick 2 into a drink special and you may be on to something.