As fast food dollar menus disappear, it's becoming harder for families to justify eating out. Popular burger chains like McDonald's have had to mitigate inflation and rising food costs by raising menu prices across the board. Casual customers and long-time fans are clutching their wallets in disappointment as their go-to haven for affordable, fast food abandons its low-cost business model.
Some customers on social media are comparing the cost of a single hash brown with that of three pounds of potatoes, citing that both cost around $3. One particularly extreme case can be found on the McDonald's menu in Darien, Connecticut, where a Big Mac meal costs a whopping $18 (via CNN). Meal options that were once praised for being budget-friendly now require families of four to fork over up to $100 at the Golden Arches. As diners navigate the ebb and flow of an ever-changing economy, rising costs have fans in a constant state of mourning for the McDonald's Dollar Menu.
Even after wiping its beloved Dollar Menu from existence in 2013, the fast food empire has still tried to offer value where it can. It rewards its loyal patrons through the McDonald's app with various discounts and rewards. Despite these few perks, the chain hopes to make some price adjustments this year to bolster its customer base.
McDonald's Has Discussed 2024 Price Adjustments As Inflation Decreases
While it's true that McDonald's prices have skyrocketed over the years, the fast-food giant has stressed its desire to better appeal to low-income, cost-conscious families in 2024. According to McDonald's chief financial officer, Ian Borden, the chain will strive to be more "thoughtful" with its franchise owners as they move forward this year. In a 2023 company earnings call, Borden stated, "We certainly know consumers are more weary or weary of pricing, and we're going to continue to be consumer-led in our pricing decisions as we kind of look forward to 2024 and knowing that the environment will continue to be competitive."
Last year, grocery costs increased by 1.3%, and restaurant prices shot up by 5.2%, but McDonald's surpassed that by upping its prices by a whole 10%. Thankfully, inflation is slowing down globally, although it's still above target as of February. Customers are adding fewer items to their orders to save their pockets from taking a bigger hit than necessary. Instead of cutting fan-favorite items from their menu in 2024, we hope McDonald's can lean into more affordable menu options that everyone can enjoy.
Read the original article on Mashed.