Fast food in Russia is more than just food – News – IQ: Research and Training Portal – School of Economics National Research University

Russian employees are the main customers of fast food restaurants in the country. Those who work full time or in two or more vacancies visit these facilities more often, but the efficiency and benefits are on the side of corporate canteens. A few years ago, the link between work and fast food was identified at the Public Sector Economic Research Laboratory (LIOS) at the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University. The results were recently published in the journal Economics & Biology of Manare still in demand. IQ.HSE explains why.

Ambulance and two-person

It’s not a luxury, but a means of transportation – it’s not just about cars. Burgers, pizza, sushi, hot dogs, sandwiches, french fries and other fast food are the norm for modern life at high speeds, a conscious choice of the constantly busy and a “needle” that is so easy to hook.

fast food menu quickly – fast and food – food) is multifaceted. On the one hand, “factory” semi-finished products with chemical food additives, on the other hand, harmless and healthy products (vegetables, fruit dishes, natural drinks, etc.).

In the mass consciousness, it rightly outweighs the harm (there are few vitamins in fast food, but there are many calories and fats) and the consequences of an unhealthy diet are becoming the subject of interest to scientists. Including economists, who, it seems, do not have time for fast food.

But really, before. As for the benefits: fast food is a gain in time and time is money. The same is true in terms of threats: irritation with such food leads to obesity, obesity leads to financial losses from excessive deaths and diseases caused by it.

Interest in fast food

Ancient Rome is the first place in the world where ready-made food was sold in hot shops (from Greek. hot – hot and I sell – I sell).

Medieval Europe (and not the United States, as is commonly believed) is the birthplace of the hamburger.

The first automated restaurant (automatic restaurant without waiters, queues and tips) appeared in Berlin in 1896.

A hamburger in the first fast food costs five cents white castle (“White Castle”), opened in 1921 in Kansas. The price did not change until 1946 despite the Great Depression, World War II and inflation.

12 kilos of overweight, damaged liver, decreased sexual desire, increased cholesterol levels and the shooting of the popular movie “Double Portion” – the results of an experiment of the American documentary Morgan Spurlock, who ate exclusively at McDonalds.

Pay attention to costs

“When we, as economists, look at the problems of nutrition, we calculate how much it’s costing society that people live less than they could,” said Lyudmila Zasimova, head of the Center for Public Sector Economic Research Laboratory (LEIOS) at the Center. Basic Research at the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University. – We consider such an indicator as the reduction of the working capacity of the population. An overweight person is less active and resilient, as a rule, and works less efficiently. This is a loss for him (as evidenced by the pay gap) and for employers hiring low-paid employees.

Occasional visits to fast food restaurants are not a problem, there are costs if the trips are made regularly, explained the expert in the web seminar of HSE Master “Economic Analysis”. How this regularity relates to employment is one of the questions in a new article by Lyudmila Zasimova in the magazine Economics & Biology of Man and scientific work of the Laboratory on the data of a survey of 4008 Russian adults conducted in 2017.

The interest in workers is not accidental – fast food in Russia is usually consumed by them. But why? What drives you to snack “on the run” and vice versa – can you wean them? The patterns unearthed remain relative. Even now, after the industry has “sickened” from the pandemic and is being rebuilt due to the closure of foreign networks.

Amazing close up

The most important thing for the possibility and regularity of eating fast food was the place of residence. Moscow and St. Petersburg are ahead, as the size of the settlement decreases, the indicators decrease.

There is nothing unexpected in this. As with the influence of a literate dietary attitude: those who pay attention to product labeling (reading labels and studying product composition) are less likely to be drawn to fast food.

What is surprising is the positive relationship between consumption and education. Usually educated people, realizing the dubious usefulness of fast food, stay away from it, in Russia – the situation is quite the opposite – the presence of a university degree does not reduce the regularity of consumption.

It must be the result of income. As such dishes are not so cheap and available here, highly educated Russians can choose them more often due to their relatively better pay.

The domestic audience of “fast” restaurants is not poor. Basically – a conditional middle class, those who buy durable goods, but are limited to buying expensive things.

“When people are in this income group, their chances of fast food increase and when they move to the rich group (they can afford a car, an apartment, expensive holidays), the frequency of visits to such stores decreases,” he says. Lyudmila Zasimova.

Canteens against restaurants

All this concerns the employees as well. Among adult fast food consumers, it is almost 80%. Those who work longer and full time are more likely to choose fast food and less likely to be turned down by part-time workers.

Having a second job is not the way to fast food in the first place, but if it is available and someone goes to these restaurants, then they will go more often than those who have a workplace. Obviously because of the greater availability of money and less time.

Dining areas near offices are particularly attractive. However, they can not compete with corporate canteens.

Canteens at work provide easy access to healthy food. If so, the likelihood of regular and frequent unhealthy consumption is reduced by more than 2%.

The conclusion is a note to employers that they understand the value of health workers who are not undermined by fast food. And – in the state, for whose interests and opportunities to subsidize or organize full hot meals in business.

Predictions and – dot

“Adults generally spend most of their lives at work, so taking into account employment-related characteristics is important for promoting health and promoting quality nutrition,” says Lyudmila Zasimova.

This once again confirms the relevance of the study results. Under the current circumstances, it is not those who are being tested for survival, but the market forecasts heard from various sources.

Prior to the 2020 pandemic year, Russians’ spending on “fast” facilities increased as spending on traditional restaurants fell. Fast food orders are declining in 2020 due to Covid restrictions – estimated BusinessStatat 1.88 billion compared to 2.16 billion in 2019.

However, improving delivery services and developing customer service has done its job. Fast food restaurants, according to analysts, were better than others in selling and delivering food during the lockdown.

Consumption has shifted significantly to apartments and offices. In January-October 2020, they removed 35% of orders, in 2021 – already 53%, and in several years (2017-2021) the volume of deliveries in the country increased by 2.6 times: from 161.7 to 417 , 5 million orders.

Finally, a serious figure of 73.8 million. This is the number of fast food consumers in Russia. By 2026, 78.1 million are expected. In four years we will check, although it is clear without this: there is no shortage of customers for fast food.

There would be restaurants. But there is no reason to be afraid of the deficit. Withdrawals of sanctions do not invalidate the principle that a sanctuary is never empty. Thus, institutions that left Russia McDonalds from June 12, began to open under the name “Vkusno i – dot.” By the end of June, the new owners of one of the largest (850 companies) fast food chains in the Russian Federation promise to “rescue” about 200 restaurants in the capital and then up to 100 weekly in the rest.

Study author:

Lyudmila Zasimova, Deputy Dean of International Affairs at the School of Economics, Deputy Head of the Department of Applied Economics at the HSE School of Economics, Head of the Laboratory of Economic Research at the University of Athens

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