No one has been immune to 2022's wave of inflation — not even multibillion-dollar corporations and fast-food giants. Reeling from job cuts, faltering supply chains, and a stagnant post-COVID economy, the food industry has been one of the most affected. Compounded by fears of a looming global recession, fast-food joints face the challenge of covering overheard costs while trying to turn profits while not turning customers away.
Though you'd imagine big names such as McDonald's and Burger King would be recession-proof given the millions of people eating there every day (Mickey D's serves a staggering 69 million customers daily), the fast-food industry has been struggling.
As of October, the cost of fast food was up 8.5% compared with a year earlier, a study by the National Restaurant Association found.
The price of fast food in the U.S. rose 8% last year, the biggest jump in more than 20 years, according to government data. As wages and the cost of ingredients rise, restaurants are quietly bumping prices. https://t.co/9hqgzuXFyj— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 24, 2022
The next time you crave some easy grub, keep in mind that it will likely cost you a few extra bucks.
These are the fast-food restaurants that have increased prices in 2022, according to PriceListo:
- Dunkin' Donuts — Average price hike per item: 1.94%
- KFC — 0.94%
- McDonald's — 0.66%
- Taco Bell — 0.62%
- Wendy's — 0.58%
- Burger King — 0.51%
- Chipotle — 0.40%
- Chick-fil-A — 0.39%
- Starbucks — 0.26%
- Subway — 0.07%
The items that have gone up the most are Burger King's Chicken Fries — now costing $4.64, as opposed to $3.97 in 2021, and Chick-Fil-A's Grilled Chicken Sandwich, up 10% to reach $7.23, compared with $6.57 a year ago.
The study also finds that Wendy’s has become the most expensive fast-food chain in 2022, overtaking Burger King. With an average price of $6.63 per menu item, the Ohio-based company has seen the largest increase (35%) from last year.
Though at Dunkin' Donuts the average item price is lower than Wendy's at $4.27, regulars may still feel the pinch of its 1.94% inflationary increases.
If you're watching your dollars carefully, don't miss the relatively tiny increase at the sandwich chain Subway. A meal there is up only 0.07% from last year.
What are your thoughts on fast-food restaurants raising prices? Let us know in the comments.