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5 Restaurant Chains That Just Got Cheaper

As restaurant menus get more expensive, these deals are a welcome sight.

If you hit up any restaurant during the pandemic, you already know that prices have soared over the past year, making affordable meals more difficult to find. Limited-service restaurant prices rose at twice the rate as full-service restaurants in 2020, according to Restaurant Business, likely due to demand and wages.

These menu price hikes reflect inflation rising at its fastest rate since 2008's recession. And demand is only increasing as people resume dining out and traveling. CBS News dug through the data and reports that "prices for food away from home climbed 4% in May compared to a year ago, with limited-service meals up 6.1% over that time period, according to labor data. Full-service meals climbed 4.1% over the last 12 months—the largest 12-month increase since the period ending October of 2008."

Because restaurants are in heavy competition for the diner's dollar, we're starting to see several of them come back down to earth with pricing in the form of menu updates and deals. Here are just a few to take advantage of (whereas these chains are guilty of raising their prices the most).

Outback Steakhouse

outback loaded bloomin onion topped with cheese fries and bacon
Outback Steakhouse / Twitter

In September, Outback Steakhouse debuted an updated menu that includes lower prices. Many of the steak options now come with a complimentary second side.

"We know value is important to our guests, especially now," Danielle Vona, Outback's CMO, said in a statement. "In addition to adding a second side to most entrees, we've lowered prices on some of our signature appetizers as well as some of our larger cuts of steak."

For example, the Bloomin' Onion is now only $7.99 and guests can go from a six-ounce center-cut sirloin to an eight-ounce for as little as $2.

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popeyes chicken sandwich
Courtesy of Popeyes

Now you can earn points towards more food items every time you order one of the chain's famous chicken sandwiches.

In June, the restaurant launched its very first loyalty program. The new Popeyes Rewards program promises, "exclusive access to deals, celebrations, member experiences, swag, the chance to earn and redeem points for menu items, and more."

This is good timing for Popeyes to solidify its customer loyalty. Everyone from Taco Bell to Arby's is trying to encroach on Popeyes famous chicken sandwich sales. With this new free rewards program, and the launch of chicken nuggets (yes, they are just now launching nuggs), Popeyes is making sure they are victorious in the chicken sandwich wars.

Popeyes says that customers will find deals like a "happy hour" with $1 regular size sides. Read here for more on their new rewards program.

White Castle

white castle chicken rings
White Castle

White Castle's popular chicken rings are currently available for a screaming deal. Customers can purchase a 12-piece order for just $2.99 or the 20-piece for $5.79. That isn't the only deal at the chain right now, reports Menu & Price. White Castle fans who prefer the signature sliders can snag the Share-A-Meal Pack #8 with 10 original sliders, 20-piece chicken rings and a sack of fries for $14.99.

Related: The Best & Worst Menu Items at White Castle

Burger King

burger king whopper
Lia Picard/Eat This, Not That!

Burger King just launched a new 2 For $5 Mix n' Match. According to Chew Boom, Royal Perks members can "Mix and Match" any two featured menu items, including: Whopper Sandwich, Original Chicken Sandwich, Big Fish Sandwich and Chicken Fries. BK's 2 For $5 Royal Perks deal is available at participating locations nationwide for a limited time.

Related: The #1 Worst Burger to Order at Burger King



Wendy's is offering a limited-time BOGO promotion that will get you food for just $1. Like most fast-food deals, you need to download the app first. When you order one of four different menu items, you can choose a second one for only $1. Delish dishes on the options, which include 10-piece spicy chicken nuggets, 10-piece crispy chicken nuggets, the spicy chicken sandwich, the classic chicken sandwich, or Dave's single—a quarter-pounder beef patty, American cheese, crisp lettuce, tomato, pickle, ketchup, mayo, and onion all put together on a toasted bun. The deal ends September 5.

For more, check out the Worst Fast-Food Breakfast Items in America in 2021.

Julien Perry
Julien Perry is a food and wine writer based in Seattle. Read more about Julien