The Hungry Man Eats

McDonald’s Dollar Menu: A Closer Look

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Well, I wasn’t planning on writing about McDonald’s again but you never know what you stumble across that makes for a good post. If you eat much at McDonald’s or have just been following the food biz news much, you likely heard that McDonald’s revamped their dollar menu and are now calling it the Dollar Menu and More. This revamp includes not just more offerings, but also higher prices. I’m not really going to get on McDonald’s case for increasing the prices of some of their dollar menu offerings, it has been over 11 years since the dollar menu debuted and prices for all kinds of food items have climbed a lot since then, but I am going to point out some of the interesting things they have done, and also point out some things that they may not want you to notice:

  • All the new items are sandwiches. Three of them are chicken and two of them are burgers, two of them are $1.00 and three of them are $2.00.
  • Those new $2.00 sandwiches, what do they all have in common? Bacon! Bacon has always been considered a premium style ingredient and to have bacon on these sandwiches (as well as cheese on two of them) makes it easier to be willing to pay the $2.00
  • The McDouble went up 19 cents and was likely the most popular dollar menu item over the years.
  • What is the difference between the McDouble and the Double Cheeseburger? The Double Cheeseburger has a second slice of cheese. You pay 30 cents more for that extra slice of cheese and tack on an extra 50 calories to your meal.
  • So about that $5.00 20 piece Chicken McNugget selection on the dollar menu? In my opinion, it is not there as a legitimate offering on the dollar and more menu but it is actually a menu decoy. What’s that? A menu decoy is a higher priced item on a menu used mainly to make the other surrounding offerings look more reasonably priced in comparison. It is not just the most expensive item on the dollar menu but it is three dollars more than the next highest set of items.
  • Did you notice what is missing now? Would you like fries with that dollar menu burger? Go ahead and order some, but you’re not going to get them from the dollar menu anymore, you will have to pay a bit more for some small fries off the regular menu.
  • Same deal with the beverage offering, you used to be able to get a small soft drink off of the dollar menu, but now your only choice is a large sweet tea.
  • That’s 32 ounces of sweet tea in a large, the tea mix must be even cheaper than the soda mix and soda has a reputation for being one of the highest profit margin items for any restaurant, not just fast food.
  • The two pies for a $1.00 have hit the road as well, but you can still have your cookies or an ice cream cone. The fruit and yogurt parfait is still on the menu as well which has a reputation for being a steal at just $1.00 considering what you get in it (fruit) and it’s fresher quality compared to some of the other dessert selections.

I will have to get out and do some field research to see how good these new dollar menu sandwiches actually are.

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