McDonald's To Raise Prices, Still Sell Crappy Burgers, In 2011

While McDonald’s may make the worst fast food burger on the market, the company still thinks it isn’t charging enough for them.

On Monday, the Golden Arches announced it plans to raise prices in the next calendar year to help pay for the projected increased costs of commodities like wheat and meat (who knew either of those were actually in a McDonald’s sandwich?).

If the chain, which didn’t give specific on price increases, goes through with its plan, this would be the first time in more than a year that McDonald’s jacked up its costs.

From Chicago Breaking News:

For the U.S., the higher prices will come after McDonald’s so far this year had refused to raise prices in order to take market share from rivals, such as Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc. and Burger King Holdings Inc. McDonald’s last raised prices at its U.S. stores in late 2009. Profits since then have been bolstered by the sales of higher-margin items such as the blended-ice smoothie and frappe drinks, allowing McDonald’s to withhold raising prices on other items.

We don’t know about you, but we’d probably pay a little more for McDonald’s if we could get items like the Cordon Bleu Burger or the McArabia stateside.

McDonald’s plans to raise prices in 2011 [ChicagoBreakingNews.com]

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  1. hewhoroams says:

    “…increased costs of commodities like wheat and meat (who knew either of those were actually in a McDonald’s sandwich?).”

    Well the bun contains 25% meat to stay fresh, and the patty contains 33% wheat in order to stay fluffy.

    • Burger19 says:

      “Well the bun contains 25% meat to stay fresh, and the patty contains 33% wheat in order to stay fluffy.”

      Where’s the beef, er uh proof on these claims?!

    • SerenityDan says:

      I used to work in one of the industrial bakeries that make their buns. I can assure you there is no meat in the bun.

  2. Darrone says:

    Funny, i feel like they have a most competition right now from other chains (5 guys, sonic, etc), that offer more at almost or the same price.

  3. brianisthegreatest says:

    mmm. now i’m hungry for… not mcdonalds

  4. cynical_reincarnation says:

    Still costs the same not to eat there!

  5. RickinStHelen says:

    Let’s see, we have had extended low infalation (near deflation), social security folks are getting no cost of living increase, and unemployment is hovering around 10%. Yep, time to raise prices.

    • Gulliver says:

      “extended low infalation (near deflation)” – Inflation is low in SOME items (housing) for 2010, but that does not mean their cost structures have not changed in commodity beef and wheat markets. McDonald’s is looking FORWARD, not waiting for the iceberg to hit. Here is what the USDA says

      “Although inflation has been relatively weak for most of 2009 and 2010, higher food commodity and energy prices are now exerting pressure on wholesale and retail food prices. Hence, food inflation is predicted to accelerate during the final months of 2010 and the first half of 2011, leading to a forecast of 2 to 3 percent food price inflation in 2011.”

      Here is what the USDA says specifically about beef prices: “Beef prices increased 0.3 percent in September and are 5.7 percent above last September, with steak prices up 4.8 percent and ground beef prices up 5.1 percent.”

      And here is the wheat forecast: ” Higher wheat commodity costs should begin to affect cereal and bakery product prices over the next few months, causing prices to rise 1 to 2 percent overall in 2010.”

      THIS is exactly what McDonalds SHOULD be doing.Senior citizens and unemployment have nothing to do with McDoanlds business decisions. In times of economic downturn, companies like McDonalds generally have growth. (People trade down from the Applebees style to fast food)

      • Bsamm09 says:

        Excellent Post.

      • jeff_the_snake says:

        then when all that stuff actually happens they’ll cite it as their reason for jacking costs again. a short time later all their competitors collectively shrug and say, “well mcdonalds got away with it”

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    That photo is all you need to show someone who asks why people think McDonald’s is gross. A good burger patty should not be that color. Cheese should not be that neon. Plus, McDonald’s cannot, under any circumstance, be called a real burger.

    • apd09 says:

      I would argue that a White Castle slider ends up being that color because it is steamed, so they have excuse, McDonald’s supposedly fries them on a griddle so no it should not be Grey.

      Some meat can be Grey and be quite delectable.

    • Dave on bass says:

      Jeez. It’s effing beef and it’s smooshed into a patty. Technically that’s a burger. Nobody qualified it as a “good” burger. (though IMHO super tasty, I definitely wouldn’t call it high quality.)

  7. AI says:

    Ah, McDick’s is trying the Burger King plan. Good luck with that.

  8. Alvis says:

    I want discounts for no condiments!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Mr. Pi hates pickles and always has to pick them off whenever we have to go to Wendy’s or McDonald’s because the employees never remember to leave off the pickles, and then the sandwich still has the pickle taste. We don’t have to do that at Chick-Fil-A because the employees make some of the sandwiches without pickles at all and mark the bag. We don’t get a discount for not wanting pickles, but we actually get what we want, which is more than I can say for other places.

      • Murph1908 says:

        I share Mr. Pi’s irritation. I hate pickles, and the juice seeps into the bread and fries. It makes the dish completely inedible for me, and I have to send it back.

        • Conformist138 says:

          Ditto for mustard. Oh god, you can’t even pick away the bread that touched it, the smell of mustard alone is enough to taste it.

    • diagoro says:

      Yes! I hate the way workers in all these chains look at you when you ask for extra catsup, etc. It’s as though you asked for a free burger. Especially when you order a large combo, only to get one or two sauce packets….if that!……not to mention one oil soaked napkin on top of the fries (this description is actually making me question eating there in the first place…..)

  9. ITDEFX says:

    Dollar menu items are slowly shrinking… Taco bell had a great under a dollar menu but that didn’t last too long :(

  10. RogerX says:

    “increased costs of commodities like wheat and meat (who knew either of those were actually in a McDonald’s sandwich?).”

    Wow, that’s snarky even for this site. But yeah, you’ve been able to get ingredient lists for McDonalds’ food for a couple of decades now, and both of those things ARE in several of their products.

    /More of a Five Guys burger person myself

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      ..You don’t understand the nature of snark, do you?

      • apd09 says:

        snark is acceptable from commenters, but when writing the condensed stories of an article the people who post them should try to refrain from taking shots those companies. Report the stories, report the facts, but injecting opinion into factual reporting should not be done and if it is done it should be in a tactful manner and not just ripping the product. If you want to rip it then write an opinion based piece but do not hold yourself up to the high standards of journalistic integrity when trying to do factual reporting.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Am I the only one who just read it as simple snark, and thought it was obvious that no one (especially by now) should actually think that there is absolutely no wheat or meat in McDonald’s food? I mean, it’s popular opinion that McDonald’s meat patties more closely resemble cafeteria mystery meat than high-quality ground beef, but I don’t think anyone actually believes that there is NO beef in a McDonald’s burger patty or that there is NO wheat in a McDonald’s burger bun. I just don’t see how the fact that McDonald’s does have these two ingredients is something that needs to be clarified.

        • RogerX says:

          +1 to you, apd09. Mrs Pi, I understand and appreciate snark in the comments. Heck, even if Chris wanted to make the snarky comment *in the comments*, I probably would have chuckled. But as apd09 pointed out, when reporting a storty, it’s a big difference between “professional website journalist” and “snarky random blogger guy.” There’s a place for the latter, I’m of the opinion that place is not here.

  11. RoadDogg says:

    What they really need to do is make their menu more consistent. Being able to buy 5 mcdoubles for less then a double quarter pounder for three 4 piece mcnuggets for less then a single 12 piece is a stupid business model.

    • deejmer says:

      Works for me….when I go to mcdonalds (a true rarity) I can eat two mcdoubles a small fry and a water. just over $3 with tax. F their two cheeseburger meal for over $4.

    • Griking says:

      That it kind of silly. I usually order 2 four pieces of nuggets for less then they charge for a six piece.

  12. Arcaeris says:

    I used to like McDonalds (as a company, not as a food) because of the consistency they offered. Like, you could get the same nice Big Mac anywhere there was a McDonalds.

    But even that’s gone now. The food quality and presentation ranges from “trashed” to “beat as f*&^” no matter which one you go to. I guess “constitently crappy and variable” is still consistent.

    • Arcaeris says:

      You think I could spell consistently right twice in the same post. I’m as consistent as McDonalds.

      • nybiker says:

        At least you caught your typo. RoadDogg (the comment above yours) hasn’t caught his yet.
        “less then a single 12″ –> “less than…”

  13. Dr.Wang says:

    Stopped eating there in 1975, haven’t been back since. Never took me kids either. Don’t eat simulated food!

  14. El_Fez says:

    Not that I need another excuse to not eat McShit, but there you go. Thanks for making it that much easier to stay the hell away!

  15. Blueskylaw says:

    I think I will try their nearest competitor, McDarrels.

  16. Kanjimari says:

    There’s a semi-local chain here in Michigan called Hot N Now. Their burgers are just over 80 cents, AND they have buns that are toasted on the edges like real burgers at a restaurant. They’re delicious.

    So McDonalds can go die in a fire for all I care.

  17. the_Jenkins says:

    It’s the fries, that’s why we still go.

  18. buzz86us says:

    wow crappy food increased prices no wonder I don’t go to McDonalds very much anymore even though there’s one 3/10s of a mile from me. I prefer burger king there I can eat pretty cheap with 2x buck doubles. I used to go when they offered 39 cent ice cream cones but then that went up to 80 cents and I stopped going.

    I went when they had coupons for free frappes then that ended (good coffee drink but for $2.29 not worth it). I used to get an occasional McFlurry but then they started putting only one peanut butter cup in the reeses plus 50 cents for hot fudge so I bailed on getting those ever again. If the hot fudge sundae goes up they can say goodbye to having me as a customer ever again. The snack wraps are good but if they go above $1.50 then I won’t get them anymore.

    • Rommel says:

      Then you can pretty much stop now. I’m not referring (?) to the topic, I’m stating this as a general… er… statement.

      McArse is just raising prices on things that were not meant to be inflated. Dollar menu items: small things, pretty much a snake for a dollar. Raise prices, turn it into a full blown menu item. 2.29 for a coffee? I don’t care how good it is, I’ll spend 1.00 at school for a decent, if somewhat burnt (Starbucks) coffee. Their “snack wrap” will follow the same road; they will inflate the prices until no one gets it, then take it off the menu. After that, they’ll bring it out again under a different “McName”, and inflate that price until no one gets that either.

      Either way, getting McDumbarses is just the worst way to go. I’ll go get a couple BK doublestacks for around $2 + tax. Maybe a 60c fry, and a $1 small coke. (Just an example, I can’t eat 2 doublestacks in one sitting.)

  19. diagoro says:

    The worst thing for me, and this is for all fast food chains, is the shrinking item compared to the rising price. Two years ago they all raised their prices and cut the size of items claiming it was due to the extremely high gas price. Neither has changed since, even with gas going most of the way back.

    They also seem deceptive when presenting a new item. Taco Bell had a 99cent taco that was fairly large, a great deal. Two months in it shrunk by half and was the same price. Same can be said of Carl’s Jrs. $6 burgers, no where near what they used to be……

    I’m no longer one to glutton on fast food, having learned that lesson. But when I do go to one of these places, it’s galling to see how poor the food looks, etc compared to what we pay now.

    • jesusofcool says:

      I agree. The portions are smaller, the quality is the same and the prices are higher. No reason to go there when there are a bunch of other local places that offer lunch at a much higher quality for close to the same price.

  20. diagoro says:

    Cost seems to be dependent on where the restaurant (and I hesitate to use that term). I’ve seen some in ‘richer’ areas of Orange County that list their cheapest combo at $7, while others have it $2 cheaper.

    Didn’t McDonalds break ground by creating a highly integrated chain of suppliers and farms, etc? In that case, you’d think that any increase would be minimal, or the chain would look elsewhere…..

  21. kataisa says:

    McD’s must be losing business if they’re going to raise prices. The one near my office isn’t nearly as busy during lunch as it used to be a few months ago. Might have something to do with the fact that Chick-fil-A opened nearby earlier.

  22. Blious says:

    Gave up on McDonalds long ago

  23. samonela says:

    In related news…Disney will follow suit with their own price increases citing “General Principle” as a root cause.

  24. Ayanami says:

    As long as McDoubles stay a buck I don’t care. McDoubles are easily one of the best values in prepared food. The weight of food that you get for a dollar cannot be beat. I must be the only person that reads this site that thinks the taste is okay. Seriously, I do. Back to the point though, I can spend 2 bucks and feel full until dinnertime. can’t really do that anywhere else.

    • samonela says:

      You can buy a 10 lbs bag of rice and beans from Smart and Final for like $10 for both. That should keep you fed for at least 15 days.

      • BanzaiBrittany says:

        And it would also be totally disgusting and flavourless, because you aren’t counting in the cost of any seasonings or soup stocks. Spices have gone up quite a bit over the past few years. One spice can cost as much as five McDoubles or more. Multiple spices are typically used in one dish, so…and factor in the time it takes to cook dry beans and rice, compared to instant McDonald’s…mmm.

        But I agree with the above poster. McDonald’s is delicious. I’ve eaten at some of the nicest restaurants in multiple countries, and I still love a McD’s double cheeseburger.

    • prizgrizbiz says:

      Go to Burger King. Get the Buck Double. Compare.

  25. BillyDeeCT says:

    Other than treating myself to a McRib, something I hadn’t seen since my childhood, I avoid McDonalds like the plague. Between the marginal horse-meat burgers (were they really using horse?), and the fact they sued the girl running a fundraiser using a name starting with “Mc” (her last name starts with Mc – do these McDonalds clowns think they own any word that starts with Mc ?).

    Rumor has it that McDonalds will actually cut costs on many of their burger products by introducing sawdust into their burgers to “stretch the meat” so your quarter pound burger may actually be a quarter pound – wood soaks up water, right? Yummy!

  26. Conformist138 says:

    I admit, sometimes I enjoy the guilty pleasure of a McDonald’s burger (tastes like the cardboard of my childhood!), but the ones located downtown in my city already have jacked up prices. $1 for a normal cheeseburger?? and nearly $2 for a mcdouble?? yeah, hell no. Now that those locations are the closest and most convenient to me, I stopped eating there entirely.

    So, really, there’s a good test: I saw slightly raised prices and went “well, I guess I don’t like this after all”. That might be what happens on…
    ok, I can’t finish this sentence without a “fat” pun: that’s what happens on a wider scale, to a chunk of their customers, to a wider number of people…

    McDonald’s is gonna lose money when they raise prices. There.

  27. StoicLion says:

    I raise my own beef and hand-grind my burgers. There, got that out of the way.

  28. Nap says:

    It’s easy for us to rag on the quality of McDonald’s burgers on the internet. Some of us genuinely dislike their food, for understandable reasons. However, they still remain the largest fast food chain in the world and so they must be doing something right (I think it’s the fries).

    I won’t pretend to be above McDonald’s. It’s cheap, and SOME of the food still tastes good. I like their coffee and even their new angus burgers aren’t bad. But most of all, they are conveniently located near everything and they are FAST.

  29. tiredoftakingit says:

    Our little McDonalds is already higher priced on food items than other McD’s in the surrounding communities. The building is a little more than 25 years old,there isn’t enough parking, and the service isn’t that good. Sometimes though they do get the order right.

  30. techphets says:

    I would be willing to pay more if I was guaranteed fresh food, especially the fries.