Over the past year or so, fast food chains have been slowly increasing menu prices, mostly due to inflation and adjusting to an almost post-pandemic world. Customers started noticing the many sneaky extras and higher “surgical” prices at the big chains and completely ignored them.
In September, the cost of fast food rose 8.5% from a year ago, reports the National Restaurant Association. No matter how big of a fan of fast food chains you are, it’s frustrating to see Domino’s Mix & Match deal go from $5.99 to $6.99 and now to $7.99. And it’s not madness that there’s chaos around burger prices at Shack Shake going up 7%.
Inflation is in the air, sure, but how much more can our wallets handle? These 4 fast food chains won’t be taking a break anytime soon, as prices rise, and so do complaints.
Little Caesars began serving $5 Hot n’ Ready pizzas to its loyal customers in 1959, but times have changed and so have the chain’s prices. For the first time in 25 years, the pizzeria raised the price of legendary inexpensive pizzas by 11% at the start of 2022. While fans love the classic pepperoni pie and the must-have Crazy Bread from Little Caesars, many took notice the increased costs of visiting the pizzeria – and they are really not happy about it.
The chain announced that the Hot n’ Ready price would increase to $5.55, saying it would represent pies loaded with 33% more pepperoni. That being said, there have been numerous complaints on social media and Reddit from customers finding the prices significantly higher in many places and causing even more frustration.
A customer took to Tik Tok to say that after decades of $5 pizza, Little Caesars is now selling its classic pies for $7.49, The daily point reported.
While Little Caesars gets an A for effort for adding more pepperoni, it’s not good enough for fans, according to a Redditor: “It was $9.99 where I am and a double pepperoni d ‘a place more dedicated to quality pizza and not cheap n-go worth the few bucks difference at this point.“
“If I pick up two and collect them myself, Dominos is $5.99. $6.99 for delivery,” another Redditor added, “Why should I get the carton that’s Little Caesar’s when I can get two Dominos for the same price?”
For a long time, Five Guys has been considered one of the most expensive options for burger chains in gaming. they come to the point of no return.
A viral Tik Tok showed a meal for two at Five Guys – including two bacon cheeseburgers, two fries and two drinks – for an unimaginable fast food total of $70. “It wasn’t a gourmet meal, just fries and burgers,” said Australian Tik Toker, Dani.stevens02, as well as “I’m never going to Five Guys again.”
Customers think that in terms of average American fast food, Five Guys doesn’t offer a lot of cheap items at all. The smallest fries sell for $5.09 and a bacon cheeseburger costs over $12.
There are tons of daily tweets of how Five Guys has become overpriced. Some patrons will say it’s a plus that workers usually throw extra fries in the bag, but the overall quality of this burger joint hasn’t increased with the higher prices.
Golden Arches may be losing fast food gold status. Last year, McDonald’s fans were furious that the price of a Big Mac had risen nearly 40% over the past decade, and now costs an average of $6.05 in the United States.
As for the rest of McDonald’s menu, customers are fully aware that their favorites are going to cost more than ever. All item prices have increased by 6% and many nationally recognized low value offers are being removed to make way for more personalized customer offers and a smaller version of the menu worth $1 2 $3$.
After stopping for a quick snack of a small fry and a large sweet tea, a customer was not happy when he saw his total on the screen.
Not only angry customers spoken on social media, but McDonald’s employees reportedly said the price hikes also caused an increase in customer harassment in stores. It’s now as if customers find “it’s okay to emotionally abuse workers and leave a mess,” a McDonald’s cashier told Insider, after a 10-cent row with a customer over a cup of coffee.
Chipotle has been under fire all year and the number one reason – a simple bowl of burrito costs 20% more than it was in 2020. A medium bowl of chicken was around $7.25 in 2019, and about $7.65 in 2020but today, customers are increasingly frustrated that their bowl at Chipotle costs more than $10 (regardless of protein choice).
While the fast-casual Mexican food chain has always had an extremely loyal fanbase, that may not last long. CNN reported that customers visit Chipotle less frequently and when they do visit, they downgrade their order to the lower priced menu items.
A single bowl of steak with all the must-have trimmings came out at $20.99 for Fayez Beshay, whose angry Tik Tok viral of him shouting at Chipotle for answers exploded late last year. Another disgruntled Chipotle fan said in the comments “Chipotle pisses me off with these price increases. And the quality is hit or miss.” While others claim, “I’d rather go home now! Literally for 2 bowls with fries and drinks like $45”
America’s leading coffee chain continues to squeeze every penny from its customers. The Starbucks menu has become more expensive item-by-item overall, plus an additional price increase on add-ons and extras.
Major complaints emerged as livid customers poked holes in the higher prices of the chain’s products, after they were able to report that profits had risen 31% in 2022 and the CEO of Starbucks had received a raise of 39% to reach $20.4 million. “Corporations are doing a great job of rebranding corporate greed as ‘inflation'” Dan PriceCEO of the financial company Gravity Payments, wrote in a Tweet “And the rich get richer thanks to the work of the staff and the savings of the customers”, another customer replied.
Starbucks customers also chime into the conversation on Reddit saying things like “I discounted my Starbucks. Not because I can’t afford it, but because the prices are too high.” Plus, “It’s just too expensive. If I have to spend $6-8 on a treat for myself, it’s going to be from a local cafe that really cares about what it serves. Not too expensive and overrated fast food- shitty level.”
As for Starbucks, in its latest earnings call, chain executives said it won’t offer a discount because, despite the prices, people are still shelling out money to sip its drinks.
A version of this story was originally published on November 10, 2022. It has been updated to include new information.
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