McInflation up the McAss

This is a true story. The facts have been verified by yours truly. There will be no histrionics or embellishment.

I know I shouldn’t eat at McDonald’s. It’s now been nine months since I went vegetarian. At some point, though, I figured an egg, a bit of butter, a slice of cheese and a biscuit wouldn’t be the end of the world. So I occasionally ate breakfast at McDonald’s. I try to limit my exposure to a few times a month when I’m running late and have nothing else to eat.

I documented earlier how I started by ordering the Egg McMuffin meal with no meat. McDondald’s happily charged me the full price for this little goodie. There’s no such thing as a vegetarian did-not-eat-the-meat discount. Not once did anyone at the store ever bother to mention there was a cheaper alternative for vegetarians.

The Egg and Cheese Biscuit meal is not on the menu. But you can ask for it. It’s a biscuit with a folded egg, butter and a slice of cheese. The combo meal comes with a hash brown and a small coffee.

In April 2012 I paid $2.50 for this meal. (These numbers are verified via my bank account records.)

In May I paid $2.69 for the Egg and Cheese Biscuit meal. That was an increase of 7.6 percent but I shrugged it off. It seemed a little high but not enough to really bother me. It did, however, prompt me to tweet:

Then, just the other day, in June, it jumped to $3.49. Two price increases in less than two months. For an additional increase of 29.74%. WTF?

Overall, that’s an increase of 39.6% on an item in less than two months. WOW!

When informed the price was $3.49 I spoke with two staff people and they assured me it was correct but I wasn’t sure so sure. They seemed convinced they were right but I suspected there had been some kind of mistake, like maybe their register had been programmed with the wrong price.

I talked with McDonald’s corporate and they were nice. But they also informed me that prices change “all the time” and that each restaurant sets their own prices, and they have no way of tracking what they are.

I explained that price increase percentages I had calculated and followed up with, “My wages certainly don’t go up 39.6 percent each year.” I thought that was a pretty damning argument.

All the rep was willing to say was that, “I can pass along your concerns to the store.” Game, set, match. I was now one of the billions that had been “served.”

A day later, though, the saga continued when I received an email response from the store. It read, in part: “Thank you for contacting us with regard to your recent complaint about price changes. To compensate to changes in […] minimum wage, we increased prices on several of our menu items.”

Oh really? I went back and calculated the rate of increase. It was about 3.5 percent. I call bullshiats! I replied to their email with the 3.5 percent figure regarding the increase in minimum wage and guess what? I never heard back.

Apparently McDonald’s does not appreciate a customer than can calculate their own maths. I’m also calculating that I won’t be back. I’ll either make something myself or go hungry. Now that I’m Out Of The Chair I’m sure I can handle a bit of hunger.

I’m shovin’ it.

10 responses

  1. I was just about to inquire whether McD’s was paying its employees more money.(Actually, I didn’t think they were, not unless both arms were twisted.) Is there some law in your area requiring an increase in minimum wage or possibly other benefits? It’s good when employees make more. Hope they receive all of the increase. I’m surprised that McD’s didn’t say they increased prices because of added fuel costs.

    Of course, when you and others stop eating there, they will have to cut their prices.
    McD stock price ten years ago was 29.93. The most recent price was 87.75.
    “McDonald’s may finally be feeling slowdown”


    1. I live in a state that sets a minimum wage higher than the federal amount. The minimum wage here went up 3.5 percent at the beginning of the year.

      I don’t care how you slice it, I don’t see how that fact could be remotely responsible for a 40 percent jump in pricing on a single food item. (Alas, I know nothing about the rest of their menu.)

      The answer they provided is logically bullshit. And apparently they are done with me.

      Like I said, I think the breakfast sandwich is probably the closest they come to providing real food, but I’m willing to go without if pushed. And they just gave me that push.


  2. Since their reply says “increased prices on several of our menu items,” I guess they’re saying that only a subset of their customers (Egg and Cheese Biscuit combo meal orderers, for example). It appears that you were being charged extra so that the Quarter Pounder orderers wouldn’t be.


    1. Don’t you live in a town that’s so classy all of the McDonald’s moved away due to a lack of business? 🙂

      Yeah, you may be right. I suspect the item may have been priced too low the whole time, and that they simply fixed the mistake. But that isn’t how they responded. They decided to feed me the pink slime of blaming in on minimum wage and that flies in the face of logic. And now they’re ignoring me.

      Winning is delicious (since it involves no longer eating there).


      1. It’s true we don’t have a McD’s here. I don’t know if that’s because of lack of business or if it’s because people fought their coming here in the first place. (Sounds like you might know better than me!

        It would be refreshing if businesses were completely honest. Or at least semi-honest.


  3. Apparently McDonald’s does not appreciate a customer than can calculate their own maths.

    I think there’s a very troubling truth in that.


    1. And I forgot their employees. They push buttons with pictures of food items and the computer tells them how much change to count.

      McDonald’s apparently hates anyone being able to do the maths. Except themselves, of course, when it comes to counting their 40 percent enhanced profits! 🙂


      1. I think you should start a vegetarian breakfast joint. Your slogan can be “Give Peas a Chance!”


  4. LOL! Well, yeah, humorous idea but I hate peas. As an adult I’ve grown to love or at least be able to force down most of the veggies I hated in my youth. But peas haven’t risen to that level, except snow peas, of course, but they’re not really peas.


  5. Hey, Random. You know what they call an honest business, right?


    I think there used to be one or maybe two McDonald’s in your town. The restaurants did so poorly they voluntarily closed up shop and moved away. I remember, by chance, reading a story about it once.


Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

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