Put almost anything new in a bag or a box and you’ll find a YouTuber eager to show off its contents in front of a camera. In this way, Fast Food on YouTube is not all that different from most retail experiences showcased on the platform. Yet, with the (literal) immediacy of the product, Fast Food on YouTube is unique from other food-related footage in that you often witness the ordering, purchasing, and the eating all in the same video. In other words, if the food is fast, so is the experience.
Energetic and lively, oftentimes occurring in a running automobile, Fast Food (also known as Quick Service Restaurants, or QSRs) is one of the more fascinating subsets of the foodie culture captured on YouTube. Franchises both large and small would be wise to familiarize themselves with the growing variety of Fast Foodie footage and target their media buys to engage this enthusiastic and growing community.
Running the gamut from simple meal reviews all the way to vintage toy finds, here we showcase eight sub-genres of particular interest.
Fast Food reviews usually consist of a vlogger eating and reviewing Fast Food items in their car. Like the food itself, these personalities are available in different sizes, depending on your appetite.
Small: This (remarkably skinny) guy is committed to a Fast Food review schedule and style, sometimes including a receipt graphic and bag check, making certain he’s received the right items, straw included. He has less than 300 subscribers and under 15,000 views so he falls into the “small” Fast Food reviewer category.
Medium: KBDProductionsTV is a great example of a growing channel, and “medium” Fast Food reviewer. With some higher production value, on-screen graphics, and nutrition information, these Canadian charmers also like to boast a little about their relationship with the drive-thru staff, sometimes resulting in free food.
Large: Daym Drops is one the most popular Fast Food reviewers on YouTube. He has over 300,000 subscribers, and more than 30 million channel views. Like the other Fast Food reviewers, his style of video is almost exclusively food reviews from the comfort of his own car.
Knowing about the secret menu at any given Fast Food joint is the ultimate sign of insider status. YouTube has allowed more people to gain access to these exclusive clubs by quickly spreading the word about new secret menu items.
While the video below indicates in the title that it is about a secret menu item, it’s actually about creating one item out of two separate items. Chipotle doesn’t actually serve the item featured in the video, and if you ask for it by name, the servers aren’t guaranteed to know what you’re talking about. This is a growing trend in the world of QSRs on YouTube.
While a brand might not consider a prank as necessarily positive, the huge views this genre attracts allows the more playful and good-spirited tricksters to be considered franchise ambassadors. After all, they’re still buying the food and generating widespread (and free) exposure.
One remarkably widespread trend (and still growing) features drive-thru customers rapping their orders to unsuspecting Fast Food employees. Not considered a prank, exactly, the raps often feature complex rhymes and lyrics featuring favorite menu items. The videos have a celebratory spirit that any franchise would encourage, even if it comes at the expense of the drive-thru attendant’s patience.
VINTAGE TELEVISION ADS
Brands often get extra exposure from fan-uploaded vintage television commercials, especially Fast Food franchises. Nostalgia among YouTube’s demographic has inspired them to go searching for commercials that aired during the ‘70s through the ‘90s, with the McDonald’s “Nothing But Net” spot featuring Larry Bird and Michael Jordan pulling in nearly 6 million views 21 years since its original air date.
Tourists sometimes like to visit their favorite Fast Food joint while overseas, curious to spot the difference from their local franchise. With YouTube’s global reach, this experience can be shared via video, informing Fast Food enthusiasts about items from around the world. If someone was going to go on a trip and wanted to see what to expect at a McDonald’s in India, with YouTube, they can:
Dig even deeper into the world of Fast Food on YouTube and you’ll eventually find toy reviews. While this technically doesn’t involve food, the restaurants still garner a lot of attention. Not limited to only the most recent kid’s meal toys, collectors seek out older sets, like this 1994 NASA one from Subway.