McDonald’s director in the United States denounces viral information on soaring prices – 05/29/2024 at 22:08

McDonald’s director in the United States denounces viral information on soaring prices – 05/29/2024 at 22:08
McDonald’s director in the United States denounces viral information on soaring prices – 05/29/2024 at 22:08

((Automated translation by Reuters, please see disclaimer https://bit.ly/rtrsauto)) by Waylon Cunningham

McDonald’s MCD.N’s top U.S. executive denounced viral reports about exorbitant Big Mac prices, saying they gave an inaccurate picture of the company, which has seen its profits jump by about a third since 2019 and is now preparing to launch $5 combo meals.

“I can tell you it frustrates and concerns me and many of our franchisees when I hear about an $18 Big Mac meal being sold,” McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger said in an open letter published Wednesday on the hamburger giant’s website.

“What’s more worrying, however, is when people believe this is the rule and not the exception, or when people start suggesting that the prices of a Big Mac have increased by 100% since 2019 .”

McDonald’s profits increased by almost a third between 2019 and 2023. McDonald’s gross profit in 2023 was slightly higher at $14.56 billion. In 2019, it was almost $11.18 billion.

In recent months, McDonald’s has emphasized that it is a value brand. This month, the company confirmed it would launch a $5 combo meal for a limited time this summer.

Prices at McDonald’s are set by franchisees, who operate 95% of the company’s more than 13,700 U.S. stores, according to the company. The widely-publicized $18 Big Mac was sold at a franchise store in Darien, Conn., a city where the median household income is more than $250,000, figures show. from the United States Census Bureau dating from 2021.

Erlinger said the average price of a Big Mac in the United States is $5.29, an increase of 21% since 2019, in contrast to much larger increases suggested by “poorly sourced” reports.

An infographic accompanying the letter cited “myths” attributed to, among other things, social media posts and an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.

Mr. Erlinger said McDonald’s has built its brand on the affordability of its products and is committed to upholding that heritage, especially at a time when our customers need it most

McDonald’s and other fast food outlets known for providing affordable meals to workers have recently been targeted by people complaining about inflation and “greedflation” in the United States.

In February, burger chain Wendy’s WEN.O ignited a social media storm after its chief executive said on an investor call that the chain would experiment with “dynamic pricing.” Critics interpreted this as comment as a dynamic pricing suggestion often associated with airlines and the Uber ride-sharing service UBER.N. Wendy’s said this interpretation was inaccurate.

Bank of America, in a note to investors, said it believes menu prices at McDonald’s “need to be moderated.” McDonald’s prices, which have risen 20% since 2022, have risen more than those of rivals such than Wendy’s (15%) and Burger King (16% at a franchisee).

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