With minimum wage increase and inflation, many classic value items like the Big Mac could see a big jump in prices. Some are even saying that could mean Big Macs will cost $15 for customers at McDonald’s around the country. Would you pay this much for a classic combo meal?
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How likely the $15 Big Mac is
Right now, the Big Mac costs around $5.29 on its own or $8.99 for a meal with fries and a drink. Last year, one location in Connecticut even charged $18 for a Big Mac combo, causing an uproar with customers. So, what are the chances this meal could soon cost $15? Depending on the labor cost and increase in minimum wage this year, it might be sooner than you think.
When could the cost increase?
Currently, these are just speculations from cost analysts. With California raising their minimum wage to $20 an hour this April, that higher-cost-of-living area will undoubtedly boost their food prices to match. A Big Mac already costs over $7 in Massachusetts, and that’s without the fries and drink as an extra.
What once was a value meal might now become a luxury for many bargain shoppers trying to get ahead financially, and customers might be turning to other fast food restaurants to avoid wasting money and satiate their need for a quick, affordable bite. So, it's important to keep an eye out and make your preference known to your local McDonald's. While the wage increases are great for workers, you might end up footing a portion of that bill.
Big Macs vs. Other fast-food burgers
McDonald’s has seen an increase in competition over the years, and now Arby’s has even rolled out its own burgers to compete in this market. With the prices as they are now, you’re likely still getting the most bang for your buck at McDonald’s.
A comparable burger at Burger King, the Double Whopper, costs $6.79 or $11.29 with a medium drink and fries, while a SuperSonic Double Cheeseburger from Sonic is $6.69 or $9.99 with tater tots and a drink. While the Big Mac is competitive with these prices now, it isn't likely to be in any market if it climbs to $15 each.
Though the increase in minimum wage won’t go into effect for many states for some months, brands like McDonald’s are trying to stay ahead of the curve with higher prices on their menu items. Grabbing your favorite fast food meal now while the prices are lower might just be a good idea, especially since other chains are a bit pricey in comparison.
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