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Fast Food Desert

The United States is a country littered with fast food restaurants. From McDonald’s and Taco Bell to Subway and Captain D’s, we are inundated with places to get a quick bite.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise to find out that West Point doesn’t have a single one.

To be sure, West Point has a bunch of great sit-down restaurants. With the likes of Johnny’s and Pokey’s, you can always get something good there, though the specialty in these establishments is not quick service.

For some time now it has looked like the Valley area has been split into three distinct food areas: specialized eateries in West Point, small, family run restaurants in Lanett and fast food options in Valley.

In an effort for each community to attract a large swath of newcomers, each should consider broadening the number and type of food locations available. More small, niche, sit-down places in Valley, something similar to Sue’s Chic Café, would be a good place to start.

O’Charley’s or Outback Steakhouse in Lanett would go a long way, as would a McDonald’s in West Point. After all, everyone enjoys a Big Mac every once in a while.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy fix.

Cities are not in the restaurant business, people are. All a city can do is pass legislation incentivizing people to open up shop, but that’s not a guarantee.

Added to this is the fact that most chains have certain parameters that have to be met before they will okay expansion into a new area. One of those parameters is they can’t be built too close to an existing franchise unless there is a certain population density.

There is a workaround, bring in a franchise unique to the area. Bring in places like Quiznos, Chipotle, Whataburger and Panda Express.

Diversifying our available eateries is a possibility, it just takes a plan and the drive to see it through.