What, exactly, is fast food?

How come Dunkin’ is fast food but not Starbucks? Both chains serve relatively affordable, caloric grub that’s mostly pre-cooked and designed to be scarfed down. It’s an existential question that Adam Chandler, a fast-food chronicler and former Atlantic writer, tries to address in the debut of his new column at Serious Eats. No spoilers, but it’s less about the food, and more about the presentation. Let’s just say Dunkin’ isn’t hand-writing your name down on a cup and curating Spotify playlists.

The Counter Stories by our editors.