Years ago, the hot trend in fast food was dollar menus. As 2016 begins, the new hotness is $4 meal deals, or other packages that offer good value and get new and old customers in the door, but also require them to pay more than a buck total for their meal. Now Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, the bicoastal power couple of chain fast food, are putting out their own version of a $4 meal that’s… pretty much the same as everyone else’s.
Let’s review the current crop of package meal deals: the outliers are McDonald’s, which has a discount menu offering two items for $2, and Pizza Hut will sell you items from a set menu for $5 each as long as you buy at least two. Wendy’s is offering a $4 meal where you get a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink.
At Burger King, the deal is remarkably similar to Wendy’s, but your cheeseburger has no bacon, and the meal includes a cookie instead. (The question, “Would you rather have a chocolate chip cookie or bacon?” inspired holy wars around the Consumerist office.)
Now Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are joining the $4 meal wars. Their version is slightly different, adding a chicken sandwich instead of nuggets, and their double cheeseburger has no bacon. The fries and drink remain the same. The deal is a limited time offer.