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Remember when fast food would attract customers by offering a far cheaper alternative to traditional dining establishments?

Well, if you haven’t noticed – and you probably have – things have changed. A recent study showed that the biggest fast food restaurant in the world has been a leader in raising its prices.

Look. Inflation happens. There’s nothing any of us can do about it.

McDonald’s originally sold its hamburgers for 15 cents at its first location in 1940. Obviously that price was going to go up.

Later, McDonald’s had its “Dollar Menu.”

No more.

No More ‘Dollar Menu’

From Brobible, “Of course, anyone who remembers the glory days of the ‘Dollar Menu’ that McDonald’s initially introduced in 2002 likely pines for a bygone era when you could roll up to the drive-thru with a $5 bill and still eat like a king, and it’s been increasingly hard to ignore the sticker shock that comes with ordering a meal at The Golden Arches nowadays.”

The story continues:

As was the case with every restaurant chain, McDonald’s took a major hit during the pandemic but has seen its profits rise on a yearly basis since bouncing back. Hiking the prices of the items on its menu obviously isn’t the only factor that plays into that trend, but it’s pretty hard to argue it hasn’t had a central role.

If the numbers that FinanceBuzz compiled for a recent study are to be believed, McDonald’s has been the fast food industry’s most egregious offender when it comes to raising prices over the past decade based on a study that asserts they’ve gone up 100% (a.k.a. doubled) since 2014 (Popeyes is the second-worst at 86%, while Taco Bell takes the bronze with 81%).

The study says the McDouble would have set you back $1.19 a decade ago but now has an average cost of $3.19 (a 168% increase), while a medium fry has gone from $1.59 to $3.79 (up 138%) and the cost of a Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal is up 122% after going from $5.39 to $11.99.

Consumers Fire Back

Unfortunately for McDonald’s, however, social media users are hitting the brand with backlash over its rising prices.

“McDonald’s has a dollar menu right now without a single item that costs $1,” TikToker Anna Arroyo said with a grimace as she showed off items on the limited dollar menu at a McDonald’s in Niles, Ohio, where the least expensive foods were a McChicken and small French fries for $1.99 each.

Check out that viral video below.


McDonald’s pricing is getting out of hand. How are you gonna. All something a follar menu and put $1 $2 $3 right next to that when there are no $1 items? This isnt even a McDonald’s in a nice area. #foryoupage #trending #fyp #mcdonalds #capitalism #inflation

♬ original sound – Anna

I think that the title Dollar Menu is a misnomer,” Arroyo explained to Insider. “They are trying to capitalize on an old business model that no longer exists, and it just brings more attention to their inflated prices…I miss the days of being able to get a regular hamburger for 89¢ and a small fry for $1.”

Of course prices are going to go up. Of course inflation is a major factor.

But also, of course, fast food businesses are going to make as much money as they can by raising prices as much as their customers will tolerate those increases.

With McDonalds, apparently, leading the pack.

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