Your McDonald’s Meal Might Become a Little Cheaper Soon
The drive-thru hasn’t been immune from inflation so far this decade. The cost of McDonald’s meals has risen sharply since the beginning of 2022, and the company is now moving to tamp down some of those prices.
McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski addressed the forthcoming changes in a Feb. 5 earnings call. “I think what you’re going to see as you head into 2024 is probably more attention to what I would describe as affordability,” he said, per Entrepreneur. “Eating at home has become more affordable.” He added that the focus, then, is “certainly with that low-income consumer.”
Part of the issue lies with the fact that roughly 93 percent of McDonald’s locations are franchised, leaving franchisees to set prices based on the store’s location and customer demand for products. The affordability announcement follows a McDonald’s in Connecticut going viral in July 2023 for charging $18 for a Big Mac combo meal.
The move toward possible lower prices comes as McDonald’s “Best Burger” that it announced last year is now available at stores nationwide. “Our goal was to enhance the quality and the flavor and the overall eating experience of our core burgers, but we wanted to stay true to the tastes that everyone loves,” McDonald’s U.S. chief restaurant officer Mason Smoot said Feb. 5, according to CNBC. This includes using softer sandwich buns that are toasted golden brown and caramelizing onions during cooking rather than topping the patty with fresh slices after the fact.
Lower prices at the drive-thru would certainly make it harder to stick to that New Year’s resolution.