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The extra tax dollars could help close budget gaps and fund public welfare programs that might otherwise shut down. Small business owners selling fast food products should be prepared for the fluctuating demand that higher product prices would cause in the market.
Lower Product Demand In basic economic terms, demand lowers as the price for a product increases. Since a higher sales tax rate for fast food would increase the price consumers must pay, product demand would lower in correspondence to the price hike.
As demand lowers, businesses bring in less revenue because fewer consumers are purchasing goods from each fast food location.
Change in Pricing An owner of a small restaurant facing a new higher sales tax rate could elect to lower prices in an effort to halt the decline of demand for products. The business owner would have to accept a lower percentage of profit from the sale of food products, though the lowered prices might work to stimulate sales growth in spite of the tax increase -- if advertising was used to notify the public of the price change.
This could allow the business owner to turn a profit through sheer sales volume as opposed to making a larger profit on each individual purchase. Unfortunately, if profit margins are already thin, this strategy may not be an option for many small food service businesses. Change Fast Food Culture The pace of the modern business world leaves little time for a formal lunch break.
Many employees must eat on the run, in cars or at a desk while engaged in work activities. This leads to an increase in consumption of fast foods and prepackaged meals.
An increase in sales tax on fast food purchases could begin to change the cultural idea that fast food is a suitable component of an everyday diet. Facing a large enough tax, Wise Bread columnist and advertising specialist Paul Michael suggests, budget-conscious consumers could start to view fast food as a monthly treat, rather than a daily ritual.
This change in consumer behavior would have a great impact on small businesses that serve foods falling under the tax. Fast Food Addicts The high-fat, high-calorie diet of consistent fast food customers could result in a kind of addiction.
According to a March study published by "Nature Neuroscience," a high-fat diet produced addiction-like behavior -- similar to heroin or cocaine -- in lab animals.
If this phenomenon occurs in humans, fast food customers may not be able to stop purchasing and eat the food no matter how high the sales tax rises. A business owner could continue to see strong sales -- even if it is through customers with over-stimulated pleasure centers.#McFail!
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An increase in sales tax on fast food purchases could begin to change the cultural idea that fast food is a suitable component of an everyday diet.
Facing a large enough tax, Wise Bread columnist.