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Fast Food Companies Investing in Healthy Choices

Fast food is making a push to get healthier — and also more upscale. Fast food joints like McDonald’s and Burger King have already added some healthier options to their menus, while national chains like Panera are gaining market share as the population leans toward healthier food choices.

Panera has been swift to accommodate to changing consumer trends and demands. The café-style chain offers healthy, organic, gluten-free options comprised of deli-type sandwiches, soups, salads and, more recently, pasta dishes. It has eliminated artificial ingredients and sweeteners in its meals.

After its rise in popularity, Panera experienced a new problem: Long lines. In response, the company invested in technology that includes in-store kiosks where consumers can place their order and pay without standing in line. You can even grab a booth and order from your own laptop or tablet. Many of the newer, stand-alone buildings also have a drive-through. The company is also investing to expand its catering presence.

There are currently more than 200,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S., which generated a combined $200 billion in revenue in 2015. The industry employs more than 4 million people, and restaurant franchises added 200,000 jobs last year.

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Danielle Christensen


Danielle is dedicated to serving clients to achieve their retirement goals. As a Paraplanner, Danielle helps the advisors with the administrative side of preparing and documenting meetings. She is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict, with a degree in Business Administration and began working with Secured Retirement in May of 2023.

Danielle is a lifelong Minnesotan and currently resides in Farmington with her boyfriend and their senior rescue pittie/American Bulldog mix, Tukka.  In her free time, Danielle enjoys attending concerts and traveling. She is also an avid fan of the Minnesota Wild and loves to be at as many games as possible during the season!