McDonald’s $18 Big Mac Meal: An Exception, Not the Norm

mcdonald’s $18 big mac meal an exception, not the norm

A recent uproar over an $18 Big Mac meal has sparked widespread discussion about fast-food pricing and inflation. McDonald’s has stepped forward to clarify that this price point was an outlier and that the general narrative about its price increases has been overstated.

The Exceptional Case

Pricing Strategy

  • Franchisee Pricing: McDonald’s emphasized that 95% of its U.S. locations are owned and operated by franchisees who set their own prices. While franchisees have the autonomy to price items, they strive to keep price increases to a minimum to maintain customer loyalty.
  • Average Price: The average price of a Big Mac meal in the U.S. is currently $9.29. This meal typically includes a sandwich, fries, and a drink, offering a more reasonable price point for customers.

Inflation and Impact

  • Inflation Rates: Over the last five years, the average price of all McDonald’s menu items has risen by 40%. This increase mirrors the rising costs of labor, paper, and food, which have also surged by 40% during the same period.
  • Comparison with Consumer Prices: Despite these hikes, the overall consumer prices have increased by 21% since December 2019. McDonald’s price adjustments, while higher, reflect broader economic trends affecting the fast-food industry.

Keep On Reading

McDonald’s Commitment

  • Affordability Focus: McDonald’s and its franchisees are committed to maintaining value and affordability for their customers. Despite inflationary pressures, the company is dedicated to providing meals that are reasonably priced.
  • Upcoming Deals: To reinforce its commitment to affordability, McDonald’s plans to introduce a $5 meal deal across the U.S. This deal will include a sandwich, a four-piece McNugget, small fries, and a small drink, aiming to offer customers better value.


The $18 Big Mac meal represents a rare pricing anomaly rather than a trend. McDonald’s reassures customers that it remains dedicated to providing affordable meal options, despite the challenges posed by inflation. As the company rolls out new deals, it continues to prioritize customer satisfaction and value. This incident underscores McDonald’s ongoing efforts to balance cost pressures with its commitment to affordability.



Raven Ruma is a professional journalist with a keen eye on domestic and foreign situations. His favorite pastime is to keep the public informed about the current situation through his pen and he is fulfilling this responsibility through the platform of Arab News.

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