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The Fast Food Dollar Menu – A thing of the past?


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#1 Toliver

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:47 PM

"McDonald's Sales Drop For First Time Since 2003"
This was an article pointing out the drop in McDonald's sales last October. They've since rebounded somewhat.

I thought this was interesting:

In the U.S., for example, the company is refocusing on the Dollar Menu, which was introduced about a decade ago. The move comes after an attempt to shift customers to an "Extra Value Menu," which charges slightly higher prices, fell flat.

They obviously felt the change away from the "Dollar Menu" was to blame for part of the sales drop. This explains the huge upswing in McDonald's "Dollar Menu" TV commercials I keep seeing.

And in this article "Wendy’s Doubles Down on Dollar Menu", with their "Right Price, Right Size" menu, it seems as if Wendy's is going down the route McDonald's abandoned...pricing "value" menu items more than a dollar. Will this work for Wendy's when it didn't work for McDonald's?

How much influence does a "Dollar Menu" have in driving customers to a fast food restaurant? Is it a determining factor or just one factor of many? What is it about breaking the dollar barrier that turns customers away, or in Wendy's case, hopes to keep drawing them in?

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


#2 DTBarton

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

I think for me the dollar menu is a driving factor. However, I'm probably not the best representative as I don't eat a lot of fast food and when I do, it's just a snack, so I don't get much.

As for the McDonald's dollar menu, I noticed they added a new item called a grilled onion cheddar burger. I tried one the other day and it is an improvement over the standard McDonald's fare. The onions were real, not dehydrated and the cheese had some flavor. A little ketchup and it was reminiscent of a cheese steak in a decent way.

Edited by DTBarton, 17 January 2013 - 01:35 PM.


#3 rotuts

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:56 PM

the key thing in these many fast food joints is to increase traffic. once you are in there, and hungry, the hope will be you will buy more than you planned.

the dollar menu appeals to a large population that has limited funds. they take their kids and the kids go nuts for this and that. That's the plan ..

this is economics at its basics: get them in the store, in this case hungry, with their ( ......... ) and you will have made a profit.

full disclosure:

locally the egg Mc Muffin sausage cheese breakfast item it 2 for 3.33 USD. eat two and beware! but Ive gotten these, and brought them home and nuked one for 30 sec: the muffin is never really krispy anyway, but this get the item really hot and melts the cheese ! some times you get a muffin with some char on it! Yum!

delicious enough that I try not to go two often. that second EMSC? let it cool, put it in the 'frig and you can mico it carefully for aanother AM.

:biggrin:

you can eat some organic Apples for lunch to make you feel better.

:huh:

Edited by rotuts, 17 January 2013 - 01:59 PM.


#4 radtek

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:38 PM

You could probably put a mcmuffin in a pannini-press!

#5 rotuts

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:24 AM

anyway to melt that cheese !

#6 Toliver

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

As for the McDonald's dollar menu, I noticed they added a new item called a grilled onion cheddar burger. I tried one the other day and it is an improvement over the standard McDonald's fare. The onions were real, not dehydrated and the cheese had some flavor. A little ketchup and it was reminiscent of a cheese steak in a decent way.

This Cheddar and Onion Burger used to be a yearly burger (like the McRib appears only once a year) in my area. Then it disappeared completely. It's good to see it back (if in a somewhat smaller form).

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


#7 tdo-ca

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:53 PM

Rambling rant: In my opinion the dollar menu is a source of chain malaise - going for low cost above all, sacrificing any vestigial quality, and driving customers away in the process - I wish it were good riddance and a return to quality, but those giant soft drinks=fat profits, which balance out rock bottom food prices...



#8 Toliver

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

Actually, my theory is the dollar/value menu is a loss leader used to get clients in the door (some on a repetitive basis) who will then buy regularly priced items in addition to the dollar/value menu items. It's an overall win for the restaurants.



“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”