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Op-Ed: Fast Food Restaurants are Doing Nothing Positive

One Half Moon Bay resident's opinion on Taco Bell opening a restaurant in town.

Tace Bell is opening next to New Leaf in June.
Tace Bell is opening next to New Leaf in June.
— By Alyssa Bretz—

As I walked into my local grocery store today I became very disappointed when I noticed a Taco Bell sign in the front window of the old Longboard Liquors spot. At first I thought it was a joke, thinking to myself, no way is Half Moon Bay allowing another fast-food chain in our community, no way is it 2013 and people still eat that crap and no way is it going right next door to an organic health foods store! But then I stopped and considered, this could actually be happening. I am not sure who is behind this happening or who is in support of this, but people in this community need to understand the following: 

Happy Taco, a family-owned and operated local business for over the last 20 years is literally 250 feet away. Respect needs to be had for these tenants who have been providing great food, friendly service and legitimate business ethic for the last 23 years and counting. While Taco Bell’s quality does not even compare to Happy Taco’s, it is important to realize they will still be in competition with one another due to the fact they both offer similar food items. Locals love Happy Taco and the other great Mexican Restaurants such as: Tres Amigos, Spanishtown and La Taqueria. There is no reason why Half Moon Bay needs another Mexican Restaurant, especially a fake Mexican Restaurant chain.  

Happy Taco and their fellow small business competitors do not deserve this big business invasion and neither do the current generation of children struggling with health and weight issues. Taco Bell lacks proper nutrition and has had multiple law suits against their meat. They treat their employees like dirt, but claim to “care about each other and the planet”. If taco bell "cared about each other and the planet" than they would not use preservatives, harmful food additives, and blue #1 food dye in their menu as these are known health risks and environmental destroyers. They would also not open up right next to a family owned local business that has been there for over 20 years.  

Popeyes another fast food restaurant, serving fried chicken, is also only several feet away. When Popeyes opened up, it was already a downgrade for our community as their food also lacks proper nutrition, their tacky décor can be seen by all tourists travelling on hwy 92, and their greasy fried food smell wafts throughout the intersection combining with the greasy food wafts of Burger King and McDonalds creating a rather disgusting aroma.  

What is happening to Half Moon Bay? Are we letting go of our local values? Are we letting go of respect for our hard working local businesses? Are we losing respect for our bodies and our minds? Are we forgetting about the local farmers this community was built upon? Taco Bell, Popeyes, McDonald's, Burger King and the other fast food restaurants are doing nothing positive for our bodies, our minds, our community, our children, our schools, or this country. They are destroying local businesses and our health one restaurant at a time and we are allowing them to do the same to our community. Please do not support this behavior and instead support the local farms and local businesses keeping this community and our children going.
Nancy Beeson-Hurley May 23, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Surely the writer is not suggesting that the liquor store was better for the community then Taco Bell ? Have you seen the kind of people any liquor store attracts ? Taco Bell will provide jobs to local teens .It is not going to hurt the businesses as you state .If one wants a sit down lunch ,one will still go to the other establishments .The other fast food chains you mention need the competition frankly .I am sure Happy Taco will still survive .Tres Amigos is bad at customer service imo so maybe this will be good for them .IF one wants to dine ,everyone knows main street ,etc. As to nutrition ,that should be left up to the individual as this is still america and we are free to choose what and where we eat .I think if you dont want to eat what you call "junk " you are free not to go as well .
Kendall Baldwin Flint May 26, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a HUGE slow-food supporter, lover of all things organic and a promoter of everything that comes from our local farmers. That said, I also believe in a business' right to locate anywhere local zoning laws allow for that use. Half Moon Bay has more than a dozen places serving some form of Mexican/Latin food and each has its own devotees. We also have more that our fair share of italian places with fans for each. Good businesses serving good food thrive. Those with poor service and poor food fail. It is not the right of the City to dictate what kind of eatery is "right" and which one is "wrong" for our comunity - we decide that with our pocketbooks. Taco Bell does have healthy choices on its menu (though I will never understand some of the calorie-laden-Doritos-wrapped options!) I doubt that Happy Taco fans (and I'm one!) will prefer the menu there. On the upside? Maybe one of the fast-food minions will step into New Leaf and discover the hot food bar THERE is a much healthier, tastier value! I welcome any business that provides jobs and revenue to our community. (For the record - I am ashamed to admit that I love Popeyes's chicken. It's a guilty pleasure a couple times a year. I'm so ashamed....)
greg May 26, 2013 at 02:09 PM
The ultimate junk food juxtaposed to organic leaning New Leaf, is it possible. BTW, I'm a Peet's fan. It will never be the same.
Kristina Minem May 27, 2013 at 02:12 AM
I'm with Kendall- It's not for the government to decide what is right and wrong regarding our restaurant choices. And while I am anti-fast food and Pro- Happy Taco, I find it hard to stand behind this op-ed when it provides no evidence to back it's findings and seems to be entirely emotionally driven. What evidence do you have that Taco Bell does nothing for it's communities? Do they really not give anything to charities? How is it, exactly, do they treat their employees like dirt? How is it, specifically that they have been documented as 'destroying' local businesses? And what constitutes them as a fake Mexican restaurant over a real one? I'm not asking to pick a fight, I'm asking for clarification on these allegations. In the meantime, the best thing locals can do is continue to patronize Happy Taco, give them great reviews on Social Media sites and recommend them to tourists who stop and ask where a good place to go for Mexican Food is. I do strongly agree, however, that who ever is the franchise owner or manager that chose to open up shop next to Happy Taco gives me a bad impression of their character. My judgement says they are money hungry and could care less about how they impact the local business families around them. It's unfortunate.

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