McDonald's Pushes Back Against 'Viral Posts' on Prices

Company president says people have been telling whoppers about 100% Big Mac price hikes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2024 8:29 AM CDT
McDonald's: Reports of Price Hikes Were Exaggerated
"I still remember the excitement I felt as a kid when my parents turned in to a McDonald’s," Erlinger wrote.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

The president of McDonald's USA is pushing back against what he calls "viral social posts and poorly sourced reports" about price rises. In an open letter, Joe Erlinger said reports of price rises "significantly beyond inflationary rates" have been greatly exaggerated, CNN reports.

  • "I can tell you that it frustrates and worries me, and many of our franchisees, when I hear about an $18 Big Mac meal being sold—even if it was at one location in the US out of more than 13,700," Erlinger wrote. He was referring to a viral photo from last year that showed a $17.59 Big Mac combo at a Connecticut rest stop, the Daily Beast reports.

  • "More worrying, though, is when people believe that this is the rule and not the exception, or when folks start to suggest that the prices of a Big Mac have risen 100% since 2019," Erlinger said. He said that the average price of a Big Mac in 2019 was $4.39 in the US. Now, he said, the average cost is $5.29, an increase of just 21% "despite a global pandemic and historic rises in supply chain costs, wages and other inflationary pressures in the years that followed."
  • The company admitted some items had seen bigger price hikes, including medium fries, which are up 44% since 2019, with the average price going from $2.29 to $3.29, the AP reports. According to government figures, overall consumer prices are up 21% since the end of 2019.
  • Erlinger said the franchisees who operate more than 95% of McDonald's restaurants in the US "set menu prices for their restaurants, which account for the increased costs of running their businesses," and "work hard to minimize the impact of price increases on our fans."
  • McDonald's is expected to introduce a $5 meal deal across the US next month, reports the AP. Burger King says it will roll out a rival $5 deal first.
(More McDonald's stories.)

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