Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

SAN FRANCISCO - FEBRUARY 09: A sign stands outside of a McDonald's restaurant February 9, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Fast food chain restaurant McDonald's reported a 7.1 percent increase in same store sales for January as people look towards cheaper food alternatives in the weakening economy. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

McDonald’s Menu Prices Have Gone Bananas

This week a story went viral showing the difference in McDonald’s menu prices and how much they’ve risen in just over the past ten years. According to Business Insider prices for all fast food chains have risen dramatically over the past 10 years but McDonald’s has been particularly egregious. For instance, Wendy’s has gone up 55%. Taco Bell has gone up by 88%. But of all of the fast food restaurants on the list McDonald’s had them all beat at a whopping 100% price increase since 2014! That means the prices have literally doubled in just ten years. 

And before you shrug and say “Well that’s inflation for you.” No it isn’t. While yes inflation has led to a rise in costs across the board, overall inflation has only risen by 34% in ten years. That’s 66% lower than the price increase we should have from places like McDonald’s. Ironically, the only place close to being in-line with inflation is Starbucks whose prices have risen by 39%.  

Just to put that in terms of menu prices. In 2014 A Big Mac Meal cost $6.49 at 31% inflation that should be a price today of $9.09. Instead at the McDonald’s closest to me the price is $10.29! 

McDonald’s In The 90s

Now, like many of you, I associate McDonald’s with my childhood. Happy Meals, saving up to ride my bike down there and buying a quarter pounder with cheese. The thrill of going after a little league game . Birthday parties with Ronald McDonald. These were all treasured parts of growing up in the 80s and 90s. So to make the inflation story sting even more I decided to go back even further than 10 years. I wanted to know how much prices have increased since I was just a kid on a Huffy and a pocket full of change from mowing lawns, my mouth watering thinking about a 10 piece chicken McNugget meal. So I found a post with the prices from 1994 and using a CPI calculator looked at the cost then, the cost now, and what the cost would be in a just world. 

The answer is sad. 

 

WELL ALMOST

There is one meal on here that is surprisingly below inflation and as a parent I hate to tell you what it is…

 

But, before we get to that here are the overly inflated prices

  • Big Mac Meal

    1994: $2.99

    Now: $10.29

    Price Difference: $7.30

    What the Price SHOULD Be: $6.39

    Over Inflation: $3.89

    via GIPHY

  • Quarter Pounder With Cheese Meal

    1994: $2.99

    Now: $10.49

    Price Difference: $7.50

    What the Price SHOULD Be With Inflation: $6.39

    Over Inflation: $4.09

    via GIPHY

  • Double Quarter Pounder Meal

    1994: $3.99

    Now: $11.89

    Price Difference: $7.90

    What the Price SHOULD Be: $8.54

    Over Inflation: $3.35

    via GIPHY

  • 2 Cheeseburger Meal

    1994: $2.99

    Now: $9.19

    Price Difference: $6.20

    What the Price SHOULD Be: $6.39

    Over Inflation: $2.79

    via GIPHY

  • Pretty depressing right?

    via GIPHY

    I agree this is really sad. All of these items now cost THREE TIMES more than they did in 1994. But like I said there is ONE menu item that is actually MUCH cheaper than it should be. And while that may seem like good news, for parents it is not because that one item is….

  • Happy Meals

    1994: $2.36

    Now: $4.49

    Price Difference: $2.13

    What the Price SHOULD Be: $7.19

    Under Inflation: -$2.70

    via GIPHY

  • That's right Happy Meals are WAY cheaper than they should be

    Why? Maybe because they know the Happy Meal is a loss leader. Parents will take their kids to McDonald’s knowing that they can get their kids a cheap meal and a toy, and while they’re they they just might pick up something for themselves.

    Or maybe Happy Meals were overpriced in the 90s? I mean if an adult meal was 2.99 it’s pretty crazy that a meal with much less meat and fries cost only 50c less.

    Regardless, parents can no longer say:

    It’s more like “Do you have Mcdonald’s money for me?” 

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