Will The McD Double Cheeseburger Lose Its Cheese? Or Go Off The Dollar Menu Completely?

The fate of the $1 double cheeseburger seems sealed. McDonald’s has already announced that it will be looking for ways to cut costs or increase revenue from the popular dollar menu item – even if it means taking the double cheeseburger off the menu completely. Now the Wall Street Journal says that McDonald’s is testing different versions of the burger, and that it may lose some or all of its cheese.

In an interview, Don Thompson, president of McDonald’s U.S. business, said the company has tested ways to make the burger less expensive to make. Some restaurants are selling it with one slice of cheese instead of two, and billing it as a “double hamburger with cheese.” Others are offering a double hamburger without cheese. Some are selling the traditional double cheeseburger at prices ranging from $1.09 to $1.19.

Will you eat a cheeseless Double Cheeseburger?


McDonald’s Tests Changes
In $1 Burger As Costs Rise
[WSJ] (Thanks, Orlando!)
(Photo: Paxton Holley )

Comments

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  1. Why don’t they just make it a double burger with cheese. Cutting it down to one slice would save a good chunk of cash.

  2. gopher646 says:

    cheeseless cheeseburger = hamburger.

    One of my biggest pet peeves is when I order a hamburger at a restaurant and I’m asked, “would you like cheese on it?” If I want cheese on it, I’ll order a cheeseburger!

  3. othertim says:

    Sometimes I request double cheeseburgers without cheese and get confused looks, so I’m totally in favor of the double hamburger on the dollar menu.

  4. R3PUBLIC0N says:

    At least they’re being straightforward about it.

  5. howie_in_az says:

    If McDonalds switched to soy products instead of ’100% beef’ they could save even more money. It’s not like their taste isn’t manufactured in New Jersey already; most of their customers wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

  6. Typically, the McD’s double-cheesburger is my fast-food fix and coming in at $1 is pretty sweet. I’ve always wondered why they sell them so cheap so this isn’t a surprise.

    I believe BK’s are either $1.49 or $1.89, depending on location.

  7. ptkdude says:

    One of the stores in downtown Atlanta (Peachtree Center) sells it for over $2, and has for quite some time.

  8. Tmoney02 says:

    Darn it Someone beet me to the punch. I sent this tip in 15 minutes ago, Should have sent it in this morning, heres hoping my other tip gets picked up!

    As for the topic, If they were to do any changing around I would ask they just make the regular cheese burger a $1 and raise the price for the double to 1.25 or 1.50, rather than messing around with such things as “Double hamburger with cheese”.

  9. B says:

    A burger without cheese is like a day without sunshine. Sure, they exist, but what’s the point?

  10. GMFish says:

    “Will you eat a cheeseless Double Cheeseburger?”

    To me the double cheese is the glorious gloop that makes the Double Cheeseburger so great. I’d more likely order a dollar burger with a single patty of meat with two slices of cheese (top and bottom) than a double patty burger with no cheese.

  11. fostina1 says:

    first they lose the $1 chicken biscuit. now the double cheesburger. guess im switching to wendy’s. ill save .01 anyway.

  12. BriandaBrain says:

    Aside from the fact that I don’t eat at McDonald’s ever, it does cross my mind to ask when companies are going to stop making consumers pay for lost profits. McDonald’s loses some money because the cost of materials goes up, but that doesn’t mean they’re in the red. They’re still making ridiculous profits, just a little less so than before. As unacceptable as less profits is, they feel the need to make customers pay more (or lower the quality of the food even more, which would almost seem to be impossible) to maintain gross levels of profits.

    … The same thing could be said about the oil industry, but that’s neither here nor there…

  13. OmniZero says:

    Would they really do this from a marketing standpoint? I bet they will find a way to still call it a “Double Cheeseburger” while reducing the size of it overall. Beef quantity will decrease, along with bun size and amount of toppings. Ketchup as extra?

  14. snoop-blog says:

    Here’s how retarded the MD’s in my area is…

    double cheese burger- $1

    regular cheeseburger- $.99

    WTF?

  15. CountryJustice says:

    I voted for the more expensive double cheeseburger, but I’d also approve of a $1 double hamburger with a single slice of cheese.

    Of course, this fails to consider that the dollar-menu co-habitator McChicken is my new crack, thereby rendering the point rather moot.

  16. It’s crucial that the double cheeseburger stays under $1, even if that means it loses the cheese, buns and meat.

  17. TVGenius says:

    Knowing the crook of a franchisee we have here, it’ll be $1.99 and cheeseless.

    I voted no cheese, since I don’t really need to be eating them anyway,

  18. Tmoney02 says:

    @snoop-blog: That pricing is about the same at pretty much every MCdonalds I have been to from Michigan to East Coast. from 95 – 99 Cents for the regular or basically get two cheeseburgers for $1. It always boggled my mind.

  19. meg9 says:

    Hasn’t this been on their dollar menu for like 10 years already? Prices go up, and I thought they were always losing money on the double cheeseburger.

  20. kaptainkk says:

    @meg9: The are not losing any money on the double cheeseburger, I’m sure of it. They just aren’t making as much as they used to on it.

  21. ekthesy says:

    Testing ways to make the burger less expensive, eh?

    Maybe they can stretch the definition of “100% beef” to include the less beefy parts of the cow.

    I certainly do not want cost-cutting when it comes to food. The extra 25 to 50 cents for the dbl cheezburger shouldn’t put anyone out.

  22. WasabiJoe says:

    I went to try some double cheeseburgers thanks to that other consumerist post. Not too bad for $1, I think one slice of cheese won’t make it too different.

  23. loganmo says:

    I had my first double cheesburger in about 2 years last week….oy…I think I lost about 3 lbs that night….

  24. shoelace414 says:

    Wendy’s got rid of the dollar menu, they have a “Value Menu” and all the good food is about $1.20

  25. GMFish says:

    “I thought they were always losing money on the double cheeseburger.”

    Until recently, the dollar menu was a huge source of profit for McDonalds. Here’s an article from 2006 about it.

    The enormous success of the Dollar Menu, where all items cost $1, has helped stimulate 36 consecutive months of sales growth at stores open at least a year. In three years, revenue has increased by 33 percent and its shares have rocketed 170 percent, a remarkable turnaround for a company that only four years ago seemed to be going nowhere.

  26. Etoiles says:

    @Tmoney02: Not only is the double / single cheeseburger pricing off, but they’ve always failed at McNugget math, too.

    I used to work retail across the street from a McDonald’s and we’d often pool cash and send one person over for food. A 4-piece McNuggets was on the dollar menu, but a 6-piece was $1.89. So 12 McNuggets from the dollar menu = $3, but two 6-piece = almost $4.

  27. Im still angry that the McDonalds near my office doesn’t honor the 2 for $3 chicken biscuit deal, and charges more. It’s ridiculous

  28. coren says:

    @meg9: They are, they usually make it back in spades on whatever drink you buy.

    @fostina1: If you mean the McChicken, it might just be a few McDonalds – if you mean something else, tell me more..I haven’t heard of this one

  29. Tmoney02 says:

    @kaptainkk: I am pretty sure they are losing money on it, especially if you paid by credit card. They sell the burgers for cheap but hope you buy a drink and fries (where all the profit is) that would more than offset their loss. Now with costs going up they can’t continue to absorb the cost of those people who buy only a bunch of burgers.

  30. snoop-blog says:

    @EtoilePB: They must promote from within. Okay a low blow I know, but I am a former mcd’s worker so it’s ok.

  31. snoop-blog says:

    @coren: not anymore- all of their drinks are now $1, no matter what size you order. I actually like it. If I want a #2, but only want a large drink (not large fries also) I can upgrade for no extra charge. But now that drinks are $1, what will they use to make their money back with?

  32. RonDiaz says:

    Double hamburger would be fine by me. I’m OK with a single slice of cheese too. I generally try to avoid McDonalds since leaving college anyways, but a buck is still a nice price point.

  33. lalaland13 says:

    Wouldn’t surprise me to see them eventually go the way of Wendy’s and have the “value menu” where it’s $1.29 or $1.39 or some other number ending in nine but starting with one.

  34. coren says:

    @GMFish: Keep in mind that a lot of the hot sellers on said dollar menu are things like fries and drinks where mcdonalds makes tons of money, more than enough to offset a loss on a sandwich. Nevermind the bad consumer who gets the big drink instead of refilling their small a few times (ME).

    @shoelace414: Must be regional – I can still get a double stack/snack attack, Jr Bacon, Jr Cheeseburger, fries, frosty, small drink – all for .99 each

  35. MsClear says:

    1 slice of cheese means a little less fat, which I’m in favor of, for those times when I simply cannot resist McD’s.

  36. TVarmy says:

    Cut out the meat, and they might have something.

  37. @howie_in_az: True, they would save money by not having to pay any overhead after all their restaurants went out of business.

  38. GMFish says:

    Coren: “They are, they usually make it back in spades on whatever drink you buy.”

    Not true, read my comment above. The Dollar Menu was in and of itself highly profitable. Here’s another quote from the article.

    McDonald’s has attracted considerable attention in the last few years for introducing to its menu healthy food items like salads and fruit. Yet its turnaround has come not from greater sales of healthy foods but from selling more fast-food basics, like double cheeseburgers and fried chicken sandwiches, from the Dollar Menu.

  39. fostina1 says:

    @coren: they still have a mcchicken sandwich on a bun. but since the new southernstyle chicken came out, they wont put the mcchicken on a biscuit anymore.

  40. coren says:

    @snoop-blog: True enough, but I think that’s a limited time promotion/for the summer. And if I hear that guy making noises about his food commercial one more time, the radio is going through their drivethrough window.

  41. Coles_Law says:

    @snoop-blog: Where I worked, the cheeseburger was $1.09. People would come in and ask for “Double cheeseburger, lite meat” to save $0.09.

  42. GMFish says:

    Coren: “more than enough to offset a loss on a sandwich.”

    Once again, read the article. It specifically says that the double cheese burger is profitable.

  43. coren says:

    @fostina1: Huh, I didn’t know they did that – then again, I’ve always been a fan of getting lettuce and special sauce on my doublecheeseburger – slightly healthier big mac!

    @GMFish: The article doesn’t specifically say which items are profitable – rather that the menu itself drives profits. Look at the example of the girls who came in – buying fries and icecream too. Both of which are huge profit bringers for fast food.

  44. EBounding says:

    Why don’t they just shrink ray them? Wendy’s has done this with their value burgers.

  45. coren says:

    @GMFish: I’d already written both posts you responded to before you responded to either

  46. stevegoz says:

    @howie_in_az: I want to believe you — I loves me some Morningstar Farm Grillers — but a pound of ground beef can be had for three bucks at the supermarket while my Grillers are at least a buck each for a two-ounce patty. Or am I just getting jobbed by Big Ag?

  47. wcnghj says:

    I say keep it on the dollar menu and up the price of sodas 10 cents.

  48. drftjgoj says:

    I always figured items on the dollar menu were considered loss leaders. They might lose a little money on the double cheeseburger, but they’d make up for it on your $1.79 soda or large fries.

    Although if they only made the mcRib a full time menu item the profits from that would more than offset whatever losses from the dollar menu…

  49. silkyjumbo says:

    @ptkdude: i was just there last week. i was wondering why it’s not on the menu.

  50. GMFish says:

    Coren, “The article doesn’t specifically say which items are profitable”

    Once again, yes it does. I even italicized the relevant the portion for you up above. Here it is yet again:

    Yet its turnaround has come not from greater sales of healthy foods but from selling more fast-food basics, like double cheeseburgers and fried chicken sandwiches, from the Dollar Menu.

    In other words, back in 2006 McDonalds turned itself around to profitably by “selling… double cheeseburgers… from the Dollar Menu.” The article does not say anything about the Dollar Menu subsidizing more expensive items. Which is your argument. I don’t know why we’re even arguing about this. Why do you have a vested interesting in being wrong? It makes no sense.

  51. likefunbutnot says:

    McDonald’s corporate restaurants sell the Double cheeseburger for $1. Franchisees are free to set the price at whatever point they want (usually $2 or $2.29). Many people order them and pay the price they’re told when they expect them to be $1, but I actually had it explained to me when I questioned my bill, once upon a time.

    Anyway, McDonald’s cheese is completely disgusting and I order everything I can without it, so I’d be very happy to see a Double Hamburger for $1.

  52. RabbitDinner says:

    I’m happy without cheese, make it a Double Hamburger

  53. The_Gas_Man says:

    Double cheeseburger is now $1.29 at the McDonald’s in Madisonville, TN. McChicken is $1.29 too. :-(

  54. bria says:

    @howie_in_az:
    Lots of people are allergic to soy- how to solve that problem?

  55. coren says:

    @GMFish: It doesn’t say “these things were profitable” it says their sales drove the turnaround. Read the article where it says two girls come in and buy icecream and fries to go with their burgers. Both are highly profitable items that cost McDonalds little to produce. Nowhere does it say that a double cheeseburger is profitable, not in a single one of the quotes you’ve made. The closest the article says is “revenue” from the double cheeseburger, which still isn’t profit.

  56. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I wonder if I could pay them Tuesday for a Double Cheeseburger today.

  57. snoop-blog says:

    @Applekid: WIN!

  58. failurate says:

    I figured the .99 was too good to last. I’d go for the .99 double burger, then charge .15 per slice of cheese. Thus a $1.30 double cheeseburger.

  59. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Wasn’t McDonald’s, long ago, the chain that advertised “change back from your dollar?” Assuming you ordered a hamburger, fries, and a Coke, that is. And it was more than 30 years ago. But still.

  60. Ilikenumbers says:

    Not to be a dick, GMFish, but since you were, I will:

    What, do you not know the difference between revenues and profits? Here’s a hint, profit is whats leftover after you take cost of goods sold out of the gross reciepts.

  61. GMFish says:

    coren:

    Let me back up a bit. Someone posted the myth that the McDonalds Dollar Menus is a loss leader. I can understand why someone would think that because a double cheese burger for a buck is pretty cheap. But because I’ve read the newspaper every day since high school back in the 70s, I pick up weird bits and pieces of news that other people might miss. Once such bit was the profitably of the Dollar Menu.

    Remembering that story I googled it and quickly found an article saying exactly that, the Dollar Menu, in and of itself, is profitable. (That’s what “turning around a company” means. It means the company goes from not being profitable to being profitable. I thought everyone knew that, but apparently some people more ignorant than others.)

    For some reason you want to deny that. I’m not entirely sure why your unsupported belief that McDonalds sells loss leaders makes you happy, but it apparently fills you with great joy.

    Because I would never want to interfere with a person’s happiness, and because it never makes sense to argue with a dogmatist, I’ll drop out of this pointless argument with you. Be happy!

  62. elgringoguapo says:

    @fostina1:

    Have you been to Wendy’s lately ? The chicken and burgers on the 99 cent value menu are like 50% smaller. They are on the road to Krystallization (making tiny burgers Kystal Burger size).

    I thought it was one Wendy’s so I tried another, same thing. Its been over 6 months now since I went to Wendy’s. At least admit you shrunk your food.

  63. Ilikenumbers says:

    @GMfish

    Dude, you continue to miss the point: virtually every meat bearing item on the dollar menu is a loss-leader. Even if you were to only count the food costs of the burger (and not the proper overhead applications, bags, wrappers, etc), the burger itself doesn’t draw profit. It does, however, mean more people buy more stuff they otherwise might skimp on.

  64. elgringoguapo says:

    @ekthesy:

    An extra .25 cents can make a huge difference. Took at 20 oz coke bottles. The extra .25 cents is hurting them and 20 oz sales are dropping. I have not bought a 20 oz in 2 years since the price increase.

    I enjoyed ordering 3 double cheese burgers back in the day. If the cost goes up .25 per sandwich that difference plus the tax is almost as much as an additional burger, small fry, or small drink.

    I’ll stick to Fazolli’s with the free unlimited breadsticks. Who knows how long that will last.

  65. RickinStHelen says:

    One of my biggest pet peeves has to do with cheese on hamburgers. Way back when, you used to have to ask for cheese, and they added about a dime to the price. Somewhere along the way, they made cheese standard, and now you must request no cheese, and they do not reduce the price. So in effect, I subsidize all the cheese-eaters. Even worse, about one out four times when I order no cheese, I still get a cheeseburger.

    If you need to cut costs, McDonalds, how about charging extra for cheese!

  66. riverstyxxx says:

    What about Big Kahuna? Isn’t that a hawaiian joint? I hear they got a tasty burger :)

  67. Cheese has calories, right? Take off the second slice of cheese, call it the “new, improved, reduced-calorie Double Cheeseburger” and pretend it’s healthy. Most McDonald’s customers would fall for that.

  68. coren says:

    @GMFish: The Dollar menu has more than things like the double cheeseburger. One of them is the dollar soda, another is the dollar fry. McDonalds makes a killing on those. Parfaits are pretty damn cheap for them to make too. The article says the turnaround was caused by the dollar menu, which features the double cheeseburger, yes. I know that means it increased profits – I never said otherwise, but hey, build yourself up a straw man to throw some insults at. But the article doesn’t say those were profitable items. It says they drove the turnaround. And that’s not necessarily from direct profits (which the article doesn’t discuss, it discusses revenue…400 double burgers at a buck apiece, versus 80 salads at 4 bucks apiece. The doublecheeseburger brings in 400 bucks, but maybe that’s at a 5 cent loss per burger, whereas the salad brings in 320 bucks, even if it’s only a one cent profit per salad, it’s more profitable than the burger). Maybe people who buy that burger are more likely to buy a drink, which McDonalds makes a killing on, or fries, or whatever. That doesn’t make the double cheeseburger a profitable item, especially not over two years since that article came out.

  69. FLConsumer says:

    “Diet” Double Cheeseburger

  70. arthurat says:

    @riverstyxxx: LOL!!

  71. Ben Popken says:

    It used to be a loss leader: [www.marketwatch.com]

  72. howie_in_az says:

    @stevegoz: Yay for subsidized industries, right? :)

    I’d think that McDonalds would either buy in bulk or manufacture it themselves. Either way they wouldn’t be paying anywhere near what mere mortals pay for things.

  73. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Is there someone out there that works at McDonald’s?
    Do you have access to the waste sheet?
    That’s the amount that’s lost when a sandwich has to be tossed away because it either sat out too long or was incorrectly made & the customer returned it to have them make it correctly.
    That happens all the time with me as I order the double hamburger & they almost always bring to me with cheese!
    If so, what’s the waste price of the double cheeseburger?

    I did see the waste sheet about 18 months ago at a McDonald’s, but the only one I could read was the Big Mac.
    The menu price of a Big Mac at that time was $2.49, but the waste sheet listed its value at 51¢.

    Since the double cheeseburger is a Big Mac without the lettuce, middle bun or special sauce, its waste value will be much lower than a Big Mac, even with inflation!

  74. Marshfield says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik:

    Dang it Greasy Thumb Guzik. Now you got me hankerin’ for a Big Mac.

  75. chocogray says:

    @BrianDaBrain: BrianDaBRAIN doesn’t realize that while McDonald’s “the Corporation” may be making windfall profits, there Owner/Operators are not, and they have to make price increases so that when the cost of goods needed to make the food goes up they still have some money left over to pay their franchising fees (which also adjust over time), and other required franchising payments.

  76. chocogray says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: The food cost of a double cheese burger is about $0.48, the problem is you haven’t accounted for a lot of other things that go into that burger actually reaching the customer. When you throw all that in, having a double cheeseburger on the menu becomes a nightmare. In addition, if the majority of your customers buy solely from the $1 menu it can easily impact your sales 15-20% losses. It was a bad strategy only because like the bush administration, they have no exit plan.

  77. arl84 says:

    Is this really what we’re worried about? Cheese on the dollar menu at McDonalds? How fat are we America!?!!

  78. ohyeahright says:

    @snoop-blog:

    I recently realized that, and of course got the double cheeseburger for a higher value. Never again. Those things are vomitous.

  79. TVarmy says:

    @stevegoz: There’s a big difference there. It’s all in the processing. See, Morning Star has scientists working as hard as they can to figure out what mix of soy products and flavorings will make the best faux-meat. Meanwhile, the meat packing plant has immigrants making sub-minimum wage push scraps of cow meat into a huge grinder. There is much less overhead for the meat plant.

    However, if you were to buy the soy products, they’d be dirt cheap. It’s all the processing that drives up the cost, as well as the fact that their main market is vegetarian people, which is a niche market made up of people who won’t switch to meat just for economic reasons. McDonald’s already pays for a ton of processing on their food, but they make up the overhead in sheer volume. They could easily make a cheaper soy burger, but they’d probably have to drop their 100% Beef claims. I imagine they could probably do a 60% tofu 40% beef blend and get away with it, if their goal is to just cut costs.

  80. jmessick says:

    I love the double-cheeseburger (DON’T watch Fastfood Nation). I should eat ‘healthier’ by leaving the cheese off, so I voted for a $1 hamburger instead of a more expensive cheeseburger.

  81. ianmac47 says:

    Don’t double cheeseburgers already cost between $1.59 to $1.89?

  82. Onouris says:

    They’ll probably do the US equivalent of they did in the UK and scrap the Dollar menu altogether and make it the “Dollar Saver” menu (read: everything costs more than a dollar).

  83. Jesse in Japan says:

    I’ve got it! They can put two slices of cheese on one slice of meat and still technically call it a “double cheeseburger!”

  84. desterion says:

    When i go to Mcdonalds the double cheeseburger is usually what I get. Over the last 2 months or so though, I’ve noticed that the meat quality doesn’t seem to be where it used to be. Anyone else notice this?

  85. technopimp says:

    Consumer spending down? Raise your prices. Brilliant!

  86. Double Quarter Pounder WITHOUT Cheese. Hmmmm. I visit so often the drive thru clerk knows my name.

    Yes, by all means offer a double hamburger. I hate that crappy over processed fake American cheese that is used by fast food joints.

  87. @elgringoguapo:

    Yum, Fazolli’s. But their portions are two farking small. I have to order two meals just to have enough, and of course two meals is just way too much food. Thank god for doggie bags and 3PM snacks.

  88. Meathamper says:

    I would pay for the Double Cheesebuger if it cost a little more. I would even be willing to pay about $1.50 to around $1.75, not just $1.19.

  89. IdahoBrewersFan says:

    Here in Idaho, MickeyD’s is offering us a $1.00 double hamburger and has raised the price of the gloriously salty and delicious double cheeseburger to $1.29. Given that the double cheeseburger is a dietary indulgence for most people anyway, I can’t see the price difference persuading many customers to forgo the sweet bun/salty cheese ying/yang in order to save a few cents. Long live the double cheese!

  90. @RickinStHelen:

    Right on. I hate the cheese, so why should I be paying for it? Over at Wendy’s when I order a Classic Double with no cheese I get a price reduction. HOw about it McD’s?

  91. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @chocogray:
    No, I’m pretty sure the waste price includes the cost of making it.
    That means the labor, grilling cost & the paper wrapper.

    Now when I make a burger at home, if I made it exactly the same as McD it would be: the bun costs 17¢ from Costco, the meat, 1/5 of a lb., 91% lean at $1.99 per lb. that I paid for at Food-4-Less = 40¢. Generic cheese is currently on sale for $1 for 16 slices or 12.5¢ for 2 slices, plus 2¢ for the pickles, mustard & ketchup.
    That’s a total of 72.5¢ for the total food ingredients at retail prices.
    Cooking & wrapping it can’t be more than 15¢ which gives us a total price 87.5¢.

    Since McD gets vastly lower prices due to their huge buying power & they are using a lower grade of beef than I bought, their cost, even at the inflated prices of the last few months can’t be more than 75¢.

    But I don’t eat cheese, so when I get it, their cost is about 63¢.

    There’s no way in hell they’re losing money on the double burger!
    They’re just not making as much on the double as they were a year ago.

  92. macdude22 says:

    Our Double Cheeseburgers in Grinnell IA went up to 1.59 in March. I was actuall astounded when I went to another mcdonalds a bit back and found out that the DC was still on the Dollar Menu. I just assumed that MCDs corporate had raised the price. I rarely go in to MCDs so I was not in the loop for some time.

  93. BrianDaBrain says:

    @chocogray: Yet it is not the franchise owners who ultimately make decisions like whether or not the DCB stays on the dollar menu. If McD corporate decides it’s not on, then it’s not on. If corporate says no cheese, then there’s no cheese. I’d completely agree with you if it was a decision left up to each individual franchise, but it is not. Sure, the franchises may see some benefit out of it, but who really reaps the rewards here… the same folks who made the decision in the first place, McD corporate.

  94. @desterion: Meat quality? You know we’re talking about McDonald’s here, right?

  95. ChuckECheese says:

    @GMFish: I’m going to back you up on this in another way. Y’all don’t realize just how cheap food is, particularly when you’re producing it commodity-style like McDonald’s does. They’re paying far less for groceries than you are. A couple 2-oz patties, a couple slices of ch?ese, and a bun doesn’t cost them much of anything. They have their own cattle-raisers, butchers and processors. They have their own Mexicans picking iceberg lettuce in the El Centro sun, and they have dedicated bakeries grinding the wheat into flour, pumping them full of helium, and baking them in their dedicated ovens 24/7.

    They aren’t paying for middlemen and then again for retail markups like you and me. They have vast economies of scale that will blow your mind worse than that time in the 7th grade your older sister’s boyfriend let you take a puff on his joint (kids: just say no to drugs and read “Fast Food Nation” instead). That double cheeseburger probably doesn’t actually cost McD’s more than about 15¢. The rest is for slave wages and maintenance on Ray Kroc’s liquid-nitrogen suspended animation tank in North Scottsdale.

    Now that that’s out of the way, why is ch?ese suddenly such a precious thing? 2 laser-thin slices of processed analog is tipping over the profitability of McD’s? Did the cows join a union or something? Tonight my pizza was noticeably skimpy on the cheese. These fast-food people better stop ripping off customers, or people will start buying Kraft pizza kits like they did back in 1976.

  96. Trojan69 says:

    Here in the SFV of L.A., the Double Cheeseburger is still 99 cents at nearly all McDonalds. The one I go to most often is a franchisee.

    A good friend is a manager at a Burger King very close to that particular McDonalds. They price matched their Double Cheeseburger for several months late last year and early this year. With more meat per patty/sandwich, his food cost was 61 cents.

    The Wendys here just raised their prices approx. three percent. This is the third such increase in nine months. Their value menu is up, as well.

  97. RichardSS says:

    The company that owns all the McDonalds in my area is very scandalous when it comes to Double Cheeseburgers. It’s been years since they were $1.00 on the Dollar menu. Over the past two years they came off the dollar menu to sell for $1.29, then $1.39, and a couple of days ago they jumped to the ridiculous price of $1.49! WTF?!! I rather now just go to Jack in the Box and get a big cheeseburger for $1.29. I’m starting to hate franchises, at least fast food corporations are consistent from restaurant to restaurant.

  98. campredeye says:

    I had a friend that worked at a McDonalds and told us howto order a custom burger from hell.

    Plain Bun
    3 Beef Pattys
    3 Shots of Ketchup
    2 Shots of Big Mac Sauce
    1 Shot of Mustard
    4 Pickles
    Onion on each patty

    Took them about 3 minutes of button pushing on the register, I only did it once, though.

  99. 6809er says:

    Thank goodness a simple hamburger might reappear on the menu. I find it just silly to have to order a quarter pounder with cheese without cheese because a plain quarter pounder isn’t listed anywhere.

  100. NYGal81 says:

    @Tmoney02: Same thing with the delish pies–2 for $1 (maybe not anymore, but definitely in the recent past), or one for 89 cents. It’s no different than any other “Buy 3 at X discounted price; Single items, price as marked.” If you really only wanted one pie, but you got hooked by the 2fer pricing, McD’s gets extra money in pocket. I’m sure it only works well on very low production cost items. If McD’s wasn’t still turning a profit on the pies, they wouldn’t sell them at 2 for $1. However, everything they sell costs so little to make, and they sell so many of them worldwide everyday, even if they are selling for break-even, they’re making up the money in Coke, “premium” sandiwches, and other things with a huge food-cost upcharge.

    And yes, I am a sucker for the 2fer pies and $1 dbl cheeseburgers. ;-)

  101. skehl says:

    I bought 2 yesterday for $1 each. My local McD’s is only placing 1 slice of cheese. I had not noticed it before. I wonder how long it has been going on.

  102. atavisticat says:

    It seems like they could easily make it a single, which people would still buy for a dollar. It could have a small aggregate impact on health and weight as well.

    I haven’t eaten McD’s in months but just reading this article makes me want one. Talk about deep-seated addiction!

  103. jojo319 says:

    Why don’t they just continue shrinking the patty like usual? I’d love to see a side by side comparison of the patty sizes over the years. On the same topic, I’ll bet they’re cursing themselves for naming the “Quarter Pounder” as such. The name pretty much insulates itself from the burger shrink-ray.

  104. morouxshi says:

    In Downtown Denver. 16th and Champa there is a McDonalds that has not had the double cheeseburger in its dollar menu for over 6 months now. They just have a normal cheeseburger. Take the light rail (1 block away) to Auraria campus and cross the street. (5 minutes tops) That McDonalds has the double cheeseburger in their dollar menu. Homeless people visit the downtown location more. I always thought it was a shady way to screw them over. Oh, and when you order the 20 piece nuggets, make sure they charge you for the 20 piece nuggets, not 2x 10 piece nuggets. Saves you about $1.30, I’m beggining to think they do it on purpose.

  105. Aresef says:

    God, it’s good to be a vegetarian.

  106. jessicat says:

    I honestly doubt that people would stop getting the double cheeseburger if the price went up slightly. You don’t haggle with your crack dealer when his prices go up, do you?

    The people who say they’ll stop going to McD’s if they change the burger or raise the price are the same people who say they’ll quit smoking if cigarettes go over $3, $4 etc…but are still smoking.

  107. balilanai says:

    What’s more important is your health bill when heart disease and cancer strike in your 40s and 50s after eating a $1 burger.

  108. flipx says:

    Keep the cheese but what if it was a round slice cheaper (no corners) Don’t laugh if you take a square slice of cheese x 3 slices and use a drinking glass to cut a circle in each of the 3 slices you get enough from around the edges for one more slice. Or just raise the price like everything else is going Greed Greed Greed.

  109. [www.mcdonalds.co.uk]

    Holy crap.

    You guys in the UK already pay over a freaking pound for most of this stuff. Which is 2 bucks or more last time I checked.

    So if I got a job offer in the UK, that means it needs to be roughly the same number of GBP as I’d need USD to live here in the US. Even though that would be twice as much “money,” it’d have the same buying power as an equal amount of dollars. Ridiculous.

    I think you guys are getting ripped off.

  110. coren says:

    @West Coast Secessionist: It doesn’t totally work out that way in the end, in talking to British friends, but close. The flipside is, if you can save money over there, and just live there for a few years, you’ll have loads to come back to the US with.

  111. portus says:

    Great news for Bagumpity! Re: The Art Of Ordering A McDonald’s 2 Cheeseburger Extra Value Meal With No Cheese. See – there is a silver lining! Congrats Bagunpty, Congrats!

  112. scamps says:

    If the double hamburger has only one slice of cheese, isn’t it still, errr, a cheeseburger?

  113. RabbitDinner says:

    Bring back the special 29 cent hamburger and 39 cent cheeseburger!

  114. CyGuy says:

    Victory for the lactose intolerant! Finally I’ll be able to get $1 double hamburger without having to ask for a double-cheeseburger without cheese. Which would typically get me responses from “we’re not allowed to do that” to “that will be $1.29, please.”

    @morouxshi: Is a 20 piece nuggets $5 or less, cause otherwise you could get five 4-piece from the Dollar Menu. I know three 4-piece nuggets is less than two 6-piece.