ELI5: Why are fast food companies spending millions of dollars upgrading the look and decor or their restaurants and not spending the money on upgrading the quality of their food?

Why don't they just pay local farmers? There's a lot of land around here not being used. If McDonald's created this massive opportunity for someone to make a killing on eggplant, I think the market could adjust. It would create jobs in the community and people would go out of there way to eat that gross eggplant. Or blackberries or whatever. I'd buy two a day. And we'd be cutting out the middle man and all the infrastructure required to support massive distribution centers.

They say there all about supporting community and stuff, why do I think they would make exclusive contracts with massive centralized distributors (where "good friends" work), use there extreme purchasing power to dominate and control the changed market, instead of buying ...maybe the word is investing, locally? I just read this, not sure if it's legit:

*McDonald's used to buy from over 100 regional ground-beef suppliers. But as McDonald's got bigger and bigger, they reduced that number to five. So this had the impact of creating bigger and bigger meatpacking companies to supply the fast-food chains. And in a very short period of time, we got a very concentrated meatpacking industry.

If you were to go back to 1970, the top four firms controlled 20-plus percent of the market. And today, the top four firms control about 85 percent of the market. So we've gotten bigger slaughterhouses, bigger processing facilities, and really, really big meatpacking companies.*

Isn't this really the problem with everything? These massive companies exerting there resources to control everything around them to make shareholder's cash. Am I correct when I say they have the option of changing there strategy to building up a community, getting fresh, local, and quality ingredients, which benefits a large number of people from new inspector positions to accountants and lawyers, but they choose to run the game a different way?

I guess I wouldn't complain so much if I could cash in a sack of stocks that I inherited, or got big ol' McDividend checks. But I can't so holler if this slanging eggplant's thing get's off the ground.

/r/explainlikeimfive Thread