Many McDonald's Prices Have Doubled in the Past Decade

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One way McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) has made money in the past decade is by going beyond increasing its store count. A new study shows that, over the past 10 years, it has raised the prices of some of its most popular menu items at a rate substantially outpacing inflation.

A new study by FinanceBuzz examined menu prices at McDonald’s, Popeyes, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, Subway, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Arby’s, and Burger King, along with several smaller fast-food companies, over the past decade. The authors wrote, “The restaurants we evaluated raised prices by 60% on average between 2014 and 2024. That means they’ve raised prices at a rate nearly double the national rate of inflation.”

The rate at which McDonald’s raised prices was three times the pace of inflation over the period. And, in many cases, it doubled the price of menu items. (See which is the most popular fast-food chain in each state.)

Among McDonald’s most popular food and drinks, the price of medium fries rose 138% to $3.97. Another example is the price of a Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal, which rose 122% to $11.99.

What the study does not show is the rate at which prices for ingredients for menu items grew. The consumer price index for the past three years was driven, in some cases, by food prices.

The study does show McDonald’s pricing power. Its revenue has continued to rise over the past decade. And the company has remained profitable.

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