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Abandoned McDonald's Menu Board Reveals How Much Prices Have Surged

Fast food just isn't what it used to be.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Amid customer outrage surrounding rising fast-food prices, one video of an old McDonald's menu board has recently captured the public's attention.

Photographer and YouTuber Chris Lockhardt previously shared a video of a McDonald's restaurant on the remote island of Adak, Alaska, noting that the restaurant, which closed in 1994, is located on an abandoned military base. The video pans over a seemingly untouched menu, which showcases McDonald's prices from a bygone era that will have you doing a double take.

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At this location, a six-piece order of Chicken McNuggets cost $2.35, a Big Mac went for $2.45, and French fries were either 99 cents or $1.28, depending on the size. Additionally, it sold Egg McMuffins for $1.95 and Big Mac meals with a large order of fries and a medium drink for $4.59. In 2024, by comparison, at my nearby McDonald's in Jersey City, NJ, I'd have to shell out $3.49 for a six-piece Chicken McNugget, $7.49 for a Big Mac, and $2.49 for a small order of fries, while a Big Mac Meal meal would cost me $11.59—plus tax.

Over the last year, McDonald's has been at the center of multiple viral social media posts related to its prices. At the end of January, Bespoke Investment Group posted an image of a receipt from a McDonald's location in Fairfield, Conn. The receipt showed two Egg McMuffins priced at $14.58—or $7.29 per breakfast sandwich. "What has the world come to??" the post reads.

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Similarly, last summer, the fast-food chain made headlines after a customer shared that one reststop location in Darien, Conn., sold a Big Mac combo meal for a whopping $17.59.

It's important to note that the cost of McDonald's menu items can vary by location, with 90 percent of the restaurants owned and operated by franchisees who can set their own prices, according to the chain's website.

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While the abandoned menu exemplifies how much prices have increased over time, several Instagram users in the comments section of Lockhardt's post pointed out that the menu items depicted weren't cheap for their time, attributing this to the restaurant's location.

"For 1990's those prices were crazy high. Being stationed at NSGA Adak, Alaska in the late 80's, having a McD's on the island was a huge treat," one Instagrammer wrote.

In 2023, McDonald's increased its prices by around 10%. During the chain's most recent earnings call, Ian Borden, McDonald's executive vice president and CFO, said the chain expects to lower its prices as inflation eases incrementally.

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna
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