No. Note that I am in Canada, and I speak about the Canadian experience.
“Fast food” used to be just what the name implied – it was faster than a sit-down restaurant. However, today, fast food has been replaced by instant food. You order it, and it’s there before you know it because it has been cooked ahead of time.
Once upon a time, they cooked it to order. The important thing is that it was actually cooked for you after you asked for it. What do you get now? An instant burger that when you take it over to eat it, you find that the cheese isn’t even melted. Half the time, it’s only luke-warm.
And what if it wasn’t totally cooked when they stuck it in that plastic warming drawer? Can you say “e coli”? It’s a crap shoot sometimes – literally. About once in every twelve trips to McDonalds, I usually come down with food poisoning.
(BTW, pulling out prevously cooked meat and assembling a burger isn’t “cooked to order”; “cooked to order” means cooked in response to an order, not just merely assembled from previously cooked product.)
The quality is appalling. Yes, a Big Mac is still a Big Mac, but doesn’t it seem to have gotten smaller over time?
Lest anyone think I am picking only on McDonald’s, there is also the case of A&W. Note that A&W only shares the same name with the American chain of the same name, but that is where the similarity ends. The product line is nowhere near the same, other than the root beer, that is.
I cooked in an A&W back in the early 80s – and I’m sure I could make their burgers in my sleep, even still, today. The ones they push out these days are nothing like they used to be, and they’re nowhere near as tasty.
KFC is another one that seems to have lost a lot of the flavour they formerly had. The breading today seems saltier than it used to be, and the gravy is horrid. The only real improvement has to do with the fries, which seem to have gotten better, but that must be the Taco Bell influence since the merger of the two by Pepsico.
On the pizza front, if it ain’t cooked in a pizza oven, it’s not pizza.
Pizza Hut in Canada has always sucked – they’ve always been skimpy with the toppings here, unlike in the US where the pie was absolutely covered in toppings. I say “was” though, because I haven’t eaten at a US Pizza Hut in years. For all I know, they’ve gotten skimpy with the toppings too.
So, no, it hasn’t gotten better. More products, sure, but if they’re all just rewarmed crap, why bother?