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The concept of fast food developed in early 20th-century southern California in the context of economic and demographic growth, increasing dependency on cars, employment outside the home, and appreciation of novelties and convenience. Also important was the American society's admiration of technological “progress” and entrepreneurship, which began to support a centralized, homogenized chain of food processing. The model spread rapidly in the latter half of the century with the strengthening U.S. leadership in world politics, economics, and popular culture. The largest fast food corporations, such as McDonald's and Burger King, now have thousands of hamburger restaurants worldwide.

The typical location of a corporate fast food restaurant reflects its origins and logic. The search for “synergy” has led to collaboration between fast food companies, gas stations, major ...

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