McDonald's Says It's Becoming More Affordable After Backlash Over High Prices

uk daily life 2024
The Cost Of McDonald's In Every State, RankedNathan Stirk - Getty Images

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Whether you order a McFlurry, a Big Mac, or something off the value menu, you’ve probably noticed that McDonald’s prices are going up. And your eyes (and wallet) aren’t deceiving you—fast food is getting increasingly more expensive.

McDonald’s revenue has surged beyond initial predictions, with the chain making a whopping $6.69 billion in Q3 of last year. McDonald’s executives have credited “strategic menu price increases” for their high profits.

And customers are not having it. Over the past year, there's been a swelling backlash over the chain's price increases. A post on X from July 2023 shared photos of a McDonald’s menu in Darien, Connecticut, where a Big Mac meal cost nearly $18, leading to customer outrage. And just this week, as a response to the backlash, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said the chain will focus on affordability in 2024.

But not every drive-thru is experiencing the same skyrocketing prices. In fact, one research firm calculated that some McDonald’s locations in some states charge far less than the national average for the same exact same food items.

Research firm NetCredit used online data from GrubHub to determine the cost of the same meal in every state: a Big Mac, an order of French fries, and a 10-piece order of Chicken McNuggets. Using these figures, NetCredit calculated the national average price, then compared that to the cost in each individual state to find the "percentage premium."

And the results were honestly staggering. Factors like the average cost of living, accessibility, and transportation all play a role in how much a McDonald’s meal costs. But we also noticed a few unique patterns that prompted some questions.

Why is McDonald's so much cheaper in the South? Why do neighboring states (like North and South Carolina) have menu prices that are so different from each other? Why does McDonald's in Massachusetts cost over 20 percent more than the national average?

We may never receive answers to our questions, but now we know that sometimes it's worth crossing state lines to get a cheaper burger. Want to see how expensive it is to eat McDonald's in your state? We took NetCredit's data and ranked each state's McDonald's prices from most to least expensive.

Data sourced from NetCreditAlison Dominguez

1. Alaska

2. Massachusetts

3. Vermont

4. California

5. New York

6. Hawaii

7. Washington

8. New Jersey

9. Pennsylvania

10. Rhode Island

11. New Hampshire

12. Connecticut

13. Oregon

14. Colorado

15. Kansas

16. Delaware

17. Maryland

18. Minnesota

19. Nebraska

20. Arizona

21. New Mexico

22. South Carolina

23. North Dakota


25. Maine

26. Nevada

27. Missouri

28. Michigan

29. West Virginia

30. Ohio

31. Florida

32. Oklahoma

33. Arkansas

34. South Dakota

35. Tennessee

36. Illinois

37. Louisiana

38. Mississippi

39. Montana

40. Iowa

41. Wisconsin

42. Alabama

43. Idaho

44. Indiana

45. Utah

46. North Carolina

47. Georgia

48. Virginia

49. Texas

50. Wyoming

Are you surprised by where your home state falls on this list? Let us know in the comments.

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