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These Popular Fast Food Chains Have Secretly Raised Delivery Prices

You might've not even realized the slight uptick from these beloved chains.
McDonalds bag

It' safe to say that during the last few months, more and more people have turned to food delivery as a way to support the restaurants they know and love. Sometimes you just really need to get your McDonald's French fry fix! But it's important to keep in mind that many of the beloved fast-food chains you've been ordering from have actually, rather quietly, raised menu prices for delivery orders.

That's right, satisfying your fast food fix might just cost you a bit more than it used to, and that's before you factor in delivery fees and a tip for the driver bringing you the meal.

How much is the increase you may be asking?

Well, according to Gordon Haskett analysis, fast-food chains—including McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and Starbucks—actually list menu prices that, on average, are 15.3% higher for delivery orders when compared to pick-up orders.

Basically, you may just find yourself paying more than $1 more per chicken sandwich or burger if you're having it delivered to you than if you picked up the food yourself from the chain restaurant. If you happen to order quite often from these chains, you might not have even realized that prices are higher on the delivery menu. (And if you're looking for more helpful tips, your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here to help!)

Where exactly will you notice this price uptick? Of the 25 chains analyzed by Gordon Haskett, Chick-fil-A has the highest delivery pricing with menu prices that are 29.8% higher for delivery compared to pick-up prices. Next up is Starbucks, which has delivery menu prices that are 20.3% higher than pick-up, followed by McDonald's, which has delivery menu prices that are 19.6% higher.

If you're wondering why this price increase even is a thing, it mostly comes down to the fact that these fast-food chains have partnerships with third-party delivery companies that result in a cut into their earnings. So when you order from DoorDash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats, for example, the actual restaurants aren't making as much money per order and could actually lose money. This results in a price increase of the menu items in order to make up for the difference. And especially during a time like right now when deliveries have skyrocketed as a result of the pandemic, it's easy to see why these chains are doing all they can in order to make a profit and keep their doors open.

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more