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"RIP KFC": Public Perceptions of a Fast-Food Restaurant Closure.
Ecol Food Nutr. 2019 Mar-Apr; 58(2):120-141
Publication Type
Journal Article
Meghan Lynch
Lauren A Brooks-Cleator
Audrey R Giles
M Hope Rumford
Author Affiliation
a Dalla Lana School of Public Health , University of Toronto , Toronto , ON , Canada.
Ecol Food Nutr. 2019 Mar-Apr; 58(2):120-141
Publication Type
Journal Article
Fast Foods
Food Preferences
Mass Media
Public Opinion
Social Media
This paper used netnography and thematic analysis of the comments made in online news articles to understand better the public response to the closure of the only KFC restaurant in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, in 2015. While the popular media often cover fast-food restaurant closures, past academic research has not examined the public response to these closures. To begin to fill this gap, we examined the comments sections of five online news articles from the Canadian news outlet,, and reactions shared on Facebook. 239 commenters made 308 publicly available online comments addressing the closure. Key themes in commenter perceptions included pro-closure reactions, which were based on the perceived public health benefits of reduced fast-food consumption, and anti-closure reactions to such factors as the loss of a local landmark and a source of positive memories. The unfavorable reactions appeared to pose a significant barrier to public acceptance of the KFC closure. This paper argues that it is important to examine public perceptions of fast-food closures to understand better what these restaurants mean to individuals and communities. This information, in turn, can be used to promote healthier restaurant-eating in ways that will complement efforts to encourage healthier food choices.
PubMed ID
30688089 View in PubMed
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