McDonald’s plans $5 US meal deal this month to counter customer frustration over high prices

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. counter / ˈkaʊn tər / (v.) – to respond to something with an opposing action to prevent or lessen its negative effects

    The financial assistance program will help counter the effects of the pandemic on small businesses.

  2. authorize / ˈɔ θəˌraɪz / (v.) – to officially allow someone to do something

    The local government authorized the construction of a new bridge in the city.

  3. step up (something) / stɛp ʌp / (phrasal v.) – to increase the amount of an activity to make improvements in a situation

    The company will step up production to meet customers’ demands.

  4. traffic / ˈtræf ɪk / (n.) – (in marketing) the number of people who are buying things or using a service at a particular time

    The toy store only experiences heavy customer traffic during the holiday season.

  5. elevated / ˈɛl əˌveɪ tɪd / (adj.) – higher than what’s normal or reasonable

    Due to elevated levels of pollution, residents were advised to stay indoors.


Read the text below.

McDonald’s plans to introduce a $5 meal deal in the U.S. this month to counter slowing sales and customers’ frustration with high prices.

The deal would let customers get a four-piece McNugget, small fries, a small drink and either a McDouble burger or a McChicken sandwich for $5 in most areas, according to a person familiar with the deal who wasn’t authorized to discuss its details.

The month-long deal is scheduled to begin June 25 and will be advertised nationally. Some stores with higher costs, like those in California or Hawaii, may charge more, the person said.

McDonald’s didn’t confirm the upcoming deal when asked about it by The Associated Press. But the Chicago-based burger giant said last April that it was planning to step up deals to combat slowing customer traffic in some markets.

“We know how much it means to our customers when McDonald’s offers meaningful value and communicates it through national advertising,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

The meal deal would be a substantial discount from the list prices for the items that will be included in the limited-time deal. One McDonald’s location in Michigan charged $9.66 for the four items sold individually on May 16.

Fast food prices have risen dramatically in the last few years due to a variety of factors, including elevated costs for labor, food and paper products. Between the first quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2024, the amount spent per person per visit at a U.S. fast food restaurant rose 25%, from $12 to $15, according to Technomic, a restaurant data firm.

McDonald’s said earlier this year that it was seeing fewer U.S. visits and lower spending from customers earning less than $45,000 per year.

As grocery inflation has slowed, more people are choosing to eat at home, McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski said. In the first quarter, the company said fast food traffic was flat or down in many key markets, including the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • How do you think restaurants in your country cope with rising prices (ex. by reducing portion sizes, by creating new meal deals)? Do you think the meal deals in restaurants in your country are appealing? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think most advertising effectively communicates the value of meal deals and menu items? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • In the U.S., fast food prices have risen dramatically while grocery inflation has slowed. Is this trend also occurring in your country? Do you prefer eating out at fast food restaurants or buying groceries to cook at home? Why? Discuss.
  • What innovative ways do you think restaurants can do to attract and retain customers who might otherwise choose to cook at home due to grocery price drops (ex. introduce creative and unique dishes, have a loyalty program)? Do restaurants in your county do this? Discuss.