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McDonald's New $5 Deal Will Be a Major Bummer For Customers—Here's Why

The highly anticipated return of the chain's best deal may not be the good news diners were hoping for.

If the recent news that McDonald's epic $5 Meal Deal may be returning has you psyched, take a beat. The strategy to bring back customers who are ditching the drive-thru may tempt McDonald's lovers with a cheap meal, but there's a catch.

The $5 combo, which includes the choice of either a McDouble or McChicken sandwich, four chicken McNuggets, a small fries, and a small soft drink, will only return to select locations for a limited time. Despite constant speculation about the $5 Meal Deal's return, McDonald's is letting the official news about the drop linger. But a confidential source told CNBC that the meal will return on June 25 and will only stick around for about a month, contrary to popular belief. That's a pretty brief promo period considering inflation continues to affect American consumers.

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mcdonalds mcchicken sandwich

Additionally, it's unlikely the deal will be available everywhere. For franchisees, the deal may not be economical, especially if they operate restaurants in areas with high rents, higher minimum wage requirements, and other elevated operating costs. In fact, to make the summertime offering more appealing to individual restaurants, McDonald's partnered with Coca-Cola to chip into the marketing budget.

Of course, consumers are skeptical. On the r/Inflation subreddit, Redditors have shared that they're angry with or fed up with McDonald's and the pricing, and have turned to strategies like cooking at home to save money.

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"Grilling my own burgers and air-frying French fries tonight. I don't need this overpriced shit from McDonald's in my life," shared one user. "The only reason I used to go was a) it was cheap, and b) it was fast. Now it's expensive and inconvenient because they don't staff enough people to make the drive-through efficient. And if you dine in, you have to deal with the damn ordering kiosks instead of an actual human being. And don't get me started on having to use the app (at any fast food joint now) just to find a promo deal."

The alleged shrinkage of the quarter pounder is also an issue for frugal diners, though McDonald's claims the patties haven't, in fact, changed in size.

Those who want to take advantage of other deals at McDonald's can opt to visit on Fridays, when orders of $1 or more earn app users a free order of medium fries. Still, it's hard to even find a $1 item at McDonalds. The formerly ubiquitous Dollar Menu is now called the $1 $2 $3 menu, and often has nothing under $2 included in the deal.

We've been through a lot in the 2020s, just sell us our fast food on the cheap, like it should be!

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Melissa is a writer and recipe developer based in Brooklyn, where she lives with her wife and rescue dog. Read more about Melissa
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