11 Fast-Food Faves That Used to Be Cheaper, According to Customers
Over the past couple of years, fast-food menu prices have crept up almost across the board, and these increases are the easiest to see (and perhaps the hardest to endure) when it comes to favorite fast-food classics. Chances are good that your go-to fast-food comfort order will be more expensive than it was last year.
Gone are deals like Subway's $5 Footlong and tacos for less than a dollar at Taco Bell. With inflation on the rise in general, everything has gone up in cost recently, but fast-food price hikes began before the recent trend of inflation and, when you look at the price increases of fast-food menus in recent years (not to be confused with the Big Mac index economists use to track currency rates—and yes, that's a thing), you'll see the prices really have gone up a lot—as much as 50% since 2002, in fact, per Yahoo!.
We scoured the web and identifies eight particular beloved fast-food orders that cost customers much more these days than in days past.
McDonald's Big Mac
As of mid-2022, the price of the McDonald's Big Mac had shot up 40% over the average price in the several years prior, per a Reddit thread filled with angst, ennui, and anger. The anger part of that comes from the fact that, per several economically savvy posters, that price increase is double the amount the larger CPI (consumer price index) had increased based on inflation.
Burger King Whopper Meal
BK's classic Whopper Meal is a contender for the dubious distinction of having had the largest and fastest fast-food price hike. Per a Reddit thread, as recently as the summer of 2022 a customer could get a Whopper Meal for $5 when ordering via the app. Today, well under a year later at the time of this writing, that same meal costs $7 even when ordered via the very same app.
Remember in the early 2000s when you could get a McChicken sandwich for $1 from that thing called the Dollar Menu? Well, no more. Prices on this beloved sandwich have doubled in many places, with many commenters on a Reddit thread saying it costs $2 in their area. Others are paying closer to $3.
Subway Footlong Sandwiches
Of course, the price varies based on which sandwich you get at a Subway, but what does not vary is the fact that all Subway sandwiches are significantly more expensive today than they were in recent years. One Redditor lamented: "Remember 5$ footlongs at subway? Cost me 11$ for the same sandwich now." Another added: "Subway has definitely reached the 'I'll just make a sandwich at home' prices."
Taco Bell Tacos
The namesake foodstuff of Taco Bell, the taco itself, used to cost less than a dollar. It cost 89 cents for a hard or soft Taco Bell taco at most locations for many, many years. Today, the price has all but doubled. One deflated Reddit user said: "A Taco Bell soft taco is $1.79. Unless I need to eat at 2 am, there's just not a reason to go there."
Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
The flagship item of Chick-fil-A, the chain's original Chicken Sandwich itself, got notably more expensive in the space of just one year. Per The Takeout, compared to the prices would have paid for the said sandwich in 2021, by late 2022 you were paying 10.2% more, which amounts to a 51-cent actual price increase.
Sonic Drive-In Mozzarella Sticks
There was a time not too long ago when Sonic sold its Mozzarella Sticks for 99 cents on any and every day of the year. Now, according to Reddit, you'll be lucky to find these fried, gooey favorite bites for $1.49 on a day the chain is running a promotion. The standard menu price these days is $3.59 for a six-piece order and $2.49 for four.
Jack in the Box Cluck Sandwich
The Jack in the Box Cluck was only $5 a little more than a year ago, but is now $6.69 at most locations, per a Reddit commenter. (We found it for even more, at $6.99, as well.) And on top of elevated prices across most of the menu at Jack in the Box, the chain has also been offering fewer deals and promotions in recent months.
Burger King Chicken Fries
Fans of Burger King's unique tube-shaped chicken fries could not have helped but notice the precipitous price increase of the chain's Chicken Fries in the past two years. Per The Takeout, in 2021, the average price for a typical portion of said "fries" was $3.97. By the close of 2022, it was $4.64, which marks a hefty 16% price hike.
McDonald's Filet-O-Fish Meal
In a Reddit thread, one poster said: "I remember when filet-o-fish was one of the least expensive menu items on the [McDonald's] menu." But that was in years past, because last year another commenter said: "I paid over $9 for a filet-o-fish meal. Last time I'll ever do that."
Raising Cane's Sandwich
In the days before the COVID-19 pandemic—and we mean literally just before—the flagship chicken sandwich meal at Raising Cane's cost $8 at most locations. Today, per one incensed Redditor whose comment drew dozens of upvotes, the cost is $10.50 at most Raising Cane's restaurants