Truth About Fast Food Prices

( – As figures have soared in the last decade, the cost of the once wallet-friendly option of fast food has doubled overall inflation figures to stand at 60%.

A FinanceBuzz study highlighted this sharp increase in cost in twelve chains to reveal McDonald’s as the leader with a staggering 100% price jump since 2014.

For instance, a meal that includes a Quarter Pounder with Cheese now averages $11.99, a significant leap from $5.39 a decade ago.

Other chains like Popeyes, Taco Bell, Chipotle and Jimmy John’s have also raised their prices to outpace inflation by a wide margin. On the flip side, Starbucks and Subway’s increases have stayed similar to the overall inflation rate.

These hikes have been partly driven by rising labor costs, which have skyrocketed over 30% at quick-service restaurants in the past four years.

In California, this issue is particularly remarkable as fast-food workers now earn at least $20 an hour due to new legislation.

According to the FinanceBuzz report, “McDonald’s franchisees are given a high level of autonomy in setting menu prices for individual locations, which can make it difficult to accurately source historical data to compare to the present.”

However, a spokesperson from McDonald’s said the study’s findings were not accurate, particularly the “significantly inflated” price figures for 2024. “As the report itself notes, pricing is set by individual franchisees and varies by restaurant.”

The rising costs have even affected former staples like the McChicken and McDouble, now around $3 each.

Similarly, Taco Bell’s Beefy 5-layer Burrito and Chalupa Supreme and Wendy’s small Frosty have doubled in price over the past ten years.

Despite these trends, some fast-food chains are trying to reintroduce affordability into their menus.

Recently, Wendy’s and Taco Bell have run promotions and launched value menus to ease the burden on consumers’ pockets.

This shift comes as McDonald’s and other chains claim that lower-income customers have decreased their visits, with McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempcinzski stating, “The battleground is certainly with that low-income consumer. And I think what you’re going to see as you head into 2024 is probably more attention to what I would describe as affordability.”

Copyright 2024,