Inflation is coming for the Big Mac

Rising prices are hitting Americans where it hurts: the drive-thru.

Driving the news: Fast food menu prices rose 7.2% year over year, according to a report released this week by the National Restaurant Association. It’s the biggest leap since 1981.

  • Prices at full-service restaurants are even higher — they rose 8%, the biggest jump of any restaurant category.

Skyrocketing menu prices are driven by the rising cost of food and labor, according to the report.

  • It cites a 15.1% year-on-year increase in the Producer Price Index, which measures the cost of domestic goods, as well as a 12.1% increase in the average hourly wage of restaurant employees.

🍔 The Big Picture (Mac): McDonald’s did not respond to requests for comment, but data from the Big Mac Index — which measures the price of a Big Mac since the year the Oprah Winfrey Show launched – shows that the price of a Big Mac nationally has increased by 7% from 2020 to 2021.

  • Big Mac prices have risen 40% over the past 10 years, according to the index.

Enlarge: Menu prices vary across the country, and even within cities.

  • So we decided to create our own Big Mac Index, showing the price of McD’s flagship burger in all of our local Axios cities – the current 14 cities and our next 11, including mine.
  • And we compared those prices to each city’s minimum wage.

Details: Austin, Texas – where the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour – is home to the world’s cheapest Big Mac Axios Local at $3.75;

  • But 200 miles away in Dallas — with the same minimum wage — a Big Mac sells for $5.69.
  • Seattle, Washington — where the minimum wage is $17.27 an hour — has the most expensive Big Mac we’ve found, at $6.39.

And in the country’s most expensive cities:

  • A Big Mac in San Francisco, where the minimum wage is $16.32 an hour, costs $5.79
  • In New York, where the minimum wage is $15 an hour, you can find a Big Mac on Broadway for $4.95.
  • But in my town of Richmond, Virginia, where the minimum wage is $11 an hour, I pay $4.89 for a Big Mac, which is 10 cents less than New Yorkers. York. City. And I’m furious.

🍟 Reality check: These prices are for the burger only – no fries. So what’s the point?

🗞 This article is by Axios Richmond’s Karri Peifer! Subscribe to the Axios Richmond newsletter (launching May 31!).

Leave a Comment