McDonald's Ex-Chef Says The Chain's Prices Will Keep Going Up

McDonald's burgers, fries, drink
McDonald's burgers, fries, drink - Patcharaporn Puttipon4289/Shutterstock

McDonald's has long been one of the world's most popular chain restaurants. Home of the famous Big Mac, it's best known for its burgers, but through the years, it's added plenty of other items to the menu. Now, though, the chain is adding more than just food -- it's adding dollars and cents. During both 2022 and 2023, McDonald's increased its prices by 10% throughout the year, marking two substantial price hikes in two years. Former corporate chef Mike Haracz says this most recent hike probably won't be the last.

The chef shared on TikTok that an "owner-operator," whose name Haracz did not reveal, said the chain is once again adding another 10% price increase sometime in the next year. McDonald's is reportedly blaming the increase on "rent, inflation, minimum wage costs, and all that," according to Haracz. However, Haracz also said he did "research" and found this owner-operator "on the interweb," so Daily Meal could not verify the full accuracy of the claim.

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McDonald's Menu Prices Could Keep Climbing

Person ordering McDonald's at kiosk
Person ordering McDonald's at kiosk - Sorbis/Shutterstock

Almost every restaurant in the United States has been impacted by rising food costs and fewer employees, both resulting in rising menu prices. Although McDonald's might have a different business model than a small local restaurant, it's still feeling the impact of both these factors. But in the process of raising its prices, the chain restaurant is seeing fewer lower-income customers. CEO Chris J. Kempczinski revealed during an earnings call that McDonald's saw a downturn in traffic among its US restaurants in Q3 2023, noting that it's likely because customers making less than $45,000 annually are now turning elsewhere for meals due to the chain's rising prices.

Despite losing customers, McDonald's isn't losing money. It's actually gaining higher-income customers, which has resulted in an 8.1% uptick in sales throughout 2023. Unfortunately, this isn't good news for anyone hoping the chain would stop with the price hikes. The price shift doesn't seem to be having a negative impact on long-term sales, though Kempczinski did say the chain would "keep a close eye on" the loss of lower-income consumers. It's uncertain how that might impact future price increases — only time will tell if Mike Haracz's prediction was right.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.