Discussion: McDonald’s Burger Pricing
I can’t complain too much when it comes to McDonald’s prices, but sometimes I kind of scratch my head and wonder… What? Why? (case in point, the Daily Double). For the most part, fast food should be quick, easy and cheap in my opinion. To make myself clear right off the bat, for the most part McDonald’s does it right. Although McDonald’s still has me analyzing prices. One of those “scratch my head and wonder” moments struck me a long time ago and I figured it would have a place here at GrubGrade to share and discuss.
I’m sure some of you have thought about this exact topic. The least expensive burgers on the McDonald’s menu are the Hamburger, Cheeseburger, McDouble and Double Cheeseburger.
Less than 35-cents separate the four. Just a little pocket change between slices of cheese and burger patties. One of the best values in the quick-serve industry. Let’s get in-depth and take a closer look.
The McDonald’s Hamburger:
Always delicious. Juicy 100% beef patty, tangy pickles, onions, ketchup and mustard all on a toasted bun.
In my area, the McDonald’s regular Hamburger is currently 95-cents. The simplest burger on the menu. Usually reserved for Happy Meals, the regular Hamburger is forgotten these days amongst so many other bigger burger choices.
The McDonald’s Cheeseburger:
A slice of melty American cheese on a juicy 100% beef patty, zippy pickles and onions, ketchup and mustard on a toasted bun.
One-up from the regular Hamburger is the Cheeseburger. The slice of American cheese upgrade is just 4-cents between the two. How much is a slice of cheese worth to you?
The McDonald’s McDouble:
Take two. A slice of melty American cheese between two 100% beef patties, topped with pickles, onions, ketchup and mustard on a toasted bun.
Formally reintroduced as a permanent menu item in late 2008, the McDouble kicked the Double Cheeseburger off the Dollar Menu. Simply the regular Cheeseburger with an extra burger patty… or one less slice of American cheese from the Double.
The McDonald’s Double Cheesebuger:
We make it like we always have: two slices of golden American cheese with two 100% all-beef patties, pickles, onions, ketchup and mustard on a toasted bun.
The old favorite of the Dollar Menu that once was. The Double Cheeseburger is still a steal at its current price. That extra slice of cheese really does make a taste difference. Now that the McDouble reigns supreme at just a buck, the sales on the Double Cheeseburger must have plunged dramatically.
If you break down the prices, here’s what you get. Some McMath:
- 95-cent Hamburger to 99-cent Cheeseburger: 4-cents for a slice of American cheese.
- 95-cent Hamburger to $1.00 McDouble: 5-cents for an extra burger patty and a slice of American cheese.
- 95-cent Hamburger to $1.29 Double Cheeseburger: 34-cents for an extra burger patty and two slices of American cheese.
- 99-cent Cheeseburger to $1.00 McDouble: 1-cent for an extra burger patty.
- 99-cent Cheeseburger to $1.29 Double Cheeseburger: 31-cents for an extra burger patty and extra slice of American cheese.
- $1.00 McDouble to $1.29 Double Cheeseburger: 29-cents just for an extra slice of American cheese.
Now let’s break it down by weight:
- McDonald’s Hamburger: Serving Size 3.5 oz (100 grams)
- McDonald’s Cheeseburger: Serving Size 4.0 oz (114 grams)
- McDonald’s McDouble: Serving Size 5.3 oz (151 grams)
- McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger: Serving Size 5.8 oz (165 grams)
How tempting can a Quarter Pounder with Cheese be? Over $3.00 for what? It’s 7.0 oz (198 grams) Sesame seed buns aren’t that much of a draw are they? Or how about we talk about the beloved Big Mac. It’s 7.5 oz (214 grams) and runs well over 3-bucks too. The extra weight comes in the form of more bread and some shredded lettuce. Pssst… that “special sauce” can be added to anything for a small upcharge. I found that sort of interesting. Many “bigger burgers” have taken over the McDonald’s menu board and across the whole realm of the quick-serve industry. Why pay $3.99 for an Angus Burger when for $4.23 you can have what I call the McValue Monster Burger…
(or just the Hamburger, Cheeseburger, McDouble and Double Cheeseburger stacked upon one another for the photo-op).
Lots of questions to ponder here and I’m far from an economist. I’m a simple consumer and in the end, I waste a lot of money on a lot of consumables. Will the spare change here and there really hurt my bottom-line? No, but when you break it all down, what’s it worth to you? Discuss!