Not too long ago, many of the most popular fast-food restaurants looked different than they do today. Things have changed quite a bit in recent years, from the foods they serve to their interior décor.
The things you don’t see anymore at fast food restaurants might surprise you or make you feel older than you are.
One of the first things you might notice missing from today’s fast-food landscape are outdoor playgrounds. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it was not uncommon to see a McDonald’s or Burger King with an attached garden.
These playgrounds were often filled with children while their parents enjoyed a meal inside the restaurant. However, outdoor playgrounds have become increasingly rare at fast-food restaurants. This change is likely due to concerns about liability and the increased popularity of indoor play areas.
While outdoor playgrounds are becoming less common, you can still find some indoor playground areas. However, even these have changed quite a bit over the years. One of the most notable examples is the removal of ball pits.
For those too young to remember, commercial plastic ball pits were large sections filled with colorful plastic balls. They were often near the indoor playground.
However, in recent years, ball pits have disappeared from most restaurants. Restaurants are just putting in more tables now as customers demand more seating.
Souvenir Cups With Characters on Them
In the past, it was not uncommon to receive a fast-food meal in a plastic or Styrofoam container with a character on it. For example, McDonald’s once served their Happy Meals in containers featuring characters from popular movies and TV shows.
Nowadays, you’re less likely to find a fast-food meal served in a character-themed container. This change could have happened because of the increase in recycling and the rise of digital media.
We don’t see character-themed containers anymore. Instead, we get the more generic (and often more environmentally friendly) options.
Everyone wanted a birthday party at McDonald’s when they were a kid. McDonald’s provided a fun environment with plenty of entertainment for kids. Plus, there was always the chance of getting a visit from Ronald McDonald himself!
However, birthday parties at fast food establishments are becoming less common. McDonald’s no longer offers birthday parties at their restaurants. We don’t see this as a bad thing, as there are now plenty of other great places to have a birthday party.
Lots of things have changed at fast-food restaurants over the years. While some of these changes are for the better, others might make you nostalgic for the good old days. There’s nothing wrong with that—after all, change is inevitable. But it’s always interesting to look back and see how things have changed.