On the Matter of Expensive Big Macs, McDonald’s Isn’t to Blame

Talmon Joseph Smith and Jordyn Holman of the New York Times recently reported that “Over the past year, a series of indignant McDonald’s customers took to social media and posted receipts of orders they feel were overpriced.” Adding the empirical to the emotional, Smith and Holman note that since 2019 the price of a Big Mac has risen 21 percent, from $4.39 to $5.29.

The tendency of late, from President Biden on down to social-media using everymen, is to blame McDonald’s for the prices on its menus. The criticism implies that McDonald’s goes out of its way to overcharge its customers in order to boost profits. The criticism is without merit.

To see the absurdity of it, it’s useful to simply start out with the basics. Ever eager to keep prices as low as possible, self-ordering kiosks can increasingly be found in McDonald’s stores. Consider what happens as the customer taps out the order desired. As each item is added, the bill increases. Of essential note, once the customer taps to complete the order, a final price comes up on the screen along with offers of other items for the customer to buy. Call this automated upselling.

Read the entire article at Forbes


  • John Tamny

    John Tamny is a popular speaker and author in the U.S. and around the world. His speech topics include "Government Barriers to Economic Growth," "Why Washington and Wall Street are Better Off Living Apart," and more.

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