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McDonald's Hugely Popular $5 Meal Deal Could Return Soon

The chain is laser-focused on affordability as customers look for cheaper alternatives.

McDonald's used to be a thrifty meal option, but recent and unpopular price increases can make a McDouble feel like a McSplurge.

Amidst complaints and social media backlash about the chain's elevated prices—increased by up to 10% in 2023—McDonald's most popular and affordable meal deal may be back on the menu! Bloomberg reported that the $5 Meal Deal, which includes a McChicken or a McDouble, plus a four-piece Chicken McNuggets, fries, and a drink, may return to some McDonald's restaurants across the country as the company attempts to lure customers back into its stores.

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McDonald's McDouble

The catch? Franchisees aren't bought into the cost-conscious value meal. A vote in late April revealed that restaurant operators don't want to offer that much product for just $5, a result that McDonald's leadership wasn't satisfied with. McDonald's looped in Coca-Cola for a financial partnership, to incentivize franchise owners to offer the meal, perhaps for discounts, rebates, or other financial benefits from the major beverage company.

With McDonald's sales declining and former guests opting to visit the grocery store instead of the drive-through, the brand is eager to increase traffic at the registers and continue churning out its fast-food goods to an American public trying to stay on budget.

"As consumers are more discriminating with every dollar that they spend, we will continue to earn their visits by delivering leading, reliable, everyday value and outstanding execution in our restaurants," said McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski in a recent earnings call for Q1 2024. "As we look to the rest of 2024 and beyond, we remain focused on leveraging the competitive advantages within our Accelerating the Arches plan and growing QSR market share to drive long-term growth."

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McDonald's is far from the only restaurant, at any price point, experiencing the challenges of running a food business in our current times. As of March 2024, the U.S. Consumer Price Index tracks food inflation at 2.2%, with food at home increased by 1.2% and food away from home at 4.2%. That's a huge difference when deciding whether to pop out the air fryer or place an order for McDelivery. The cost of labor, shipping, real estate, and more factors also make the expense of vending food higher than ever before.

The $5 value deal could certainly be one step in the right direction for a chain that is now "laser-focused on affordability." However, details on the timing of the return of the deal as well as what parts of the country it will be available in are still being kept under wraps.

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