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McDonald's is considering a $5 value box to lure back customers. Here's what would be in it

The menu item is reportedly an effort to promote affordability to the shrinking amount of consumers choosing to eat out instead of at home.
McDonald's sign is shown.
Posted at 7:36 PM, May 13, 2024

The days of dollar menus, $5 foot-longs, four-for-$4 meals, etc. might seem like a faraway daydream amid rising food costs. But one fast-food giant is reportedly considering a return to its value-based beginnings to bring back inflation-weary customers.

During a recent earnings call with investors, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said the company must be "laser-focused on affordability" and adopt a nationwide approach to providing valuable options to customers, particularly as many are eating out less to save money. That approach could include adding a $5 value meal to the franchise's menu.

The meal could include a McChicken, McDouble, or four-piece McNuggets, plus fries and a drink, according to Bloomberg and CNBC. It's a large savings when compared to the items' separate prices, with recent data from FinanceBuzz noting average costs for a McDouble are $3.19, and $3.79 for a medium order of fries.

McDonald's restaurant signs are shown in in East Palestine, Ohio.


McDonald's has doubled its prices since 2014, data shows

Justin Boggs
1:48 PM, Apr 02, 2024

But the deal isn't set in stone. An anonymous source told Bloomberg that franchisees, who run about 95% of American McDonald's, rejected the idea out of fear of losing even more money, but that another proposal is in the works.

Deciding to cut costs as profits are already shrinking — with global sales growth slowing for a fourth-straight quarter — will be a tough call for McDonald's, but it's not alone in making it. Other chains like Starbucks, Wendy's, KFC and more have been trying to find the balance between betting on deals to increase foot traffic while also bringing revenue to what it once was.

"The consumer is certainly being very discriminating in how they spend their dollar," Kempczinski said during the investor call. "It may be more pronounced with lower-income consumers, but it's important to recognize that all income cohorts are seeking value."

FinanceBuzz's data shows McDonald's prices have doubled in the past decade, far outpacing inflation as well as its competitors' increases.