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THE INC. LIFE

The Painful Truth Behind McDonald’s New Dollar Menu (Clue: It’ll Probably Cost You More Than $1)

It seems that the fast-food chain is learning from airlines.

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 04 Jan 2018

The Painful Truth Behind McDonald's New Dollar Menu (Clue: It'll Probably Cost You More Than $1)

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

 

It looks to me as if you can't keep still.

You're fidgeting. You're shaking a little. And why is your lip quivering in multiple directions?

It must be because McDonald's Dollar Menu is being launched on Thursday and you simply can't wait.

The mere idea of giving your body sustenance for the price of a Starbucks tip is just too much for most American souls.

I worry.

You see, I have reason to believe that this isn't really a Dollar Menu at all.

I base this on the fact that this menu has items priced at $1, $2 and $3.

Yes, you can get a Sausage McMuffin with Egg for just $3. Which makes it three times the price of most dollar menus.

In essence, then, McDonald's is doing just what the airlines are when they offer you a Basic Economy -- aka Sub-Cattle Class -- ticket.

They want it to appear incredibly cheap.

But when you see what you get for that cheap price -- hullo, the, um, one-patty cheeseburger -- you'll want to trade up to something more exciting.

Conveniently, McDonald's has all these other items that are part of the Dollar Menu and are priced at not a dollar.

For further evidence, may I point to these words offered by McDonald's U.S. president Chris Kempczynski last year?

Speaking of the old Dollar Menu, one that quaintly priced everything at $1, he said: "As a result of it being one price point, it was fairly limited in terms of what you could put on it."

He added: " We've always known customers love the idea of value at McDonald's. That's never changed. What's evolved is they want more choice."

So here is McDonald's giving them more choice at prices that are different from $1.

One imagines this will be successful.

Humans are weak and susceptible to vast promises.

The problem, of course, is that all the burger chain's competitors will attempt to compete with similar offerings.

Why, only this morning I received an email from Wendy's lauding its 4 for $4 Bundle Deal.

"Customers can choose from eight entres -- paired with all-white meat chicken nuggets, a small fry and a drink to make a complete value meal -- all for just $4," the email breathlessly panted. (The bold letters are from Wendy's, naturally.)

Do you feel better now?

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