McDonalds In TROUBLE – Customers FURIOUS

Executives from one of the biggest restaurant chains in the world have been arguing with people on the Internet, which is never a good look. The social media excitement comes as Mcdonald’s recent price raises have gone viral on social media—one tweet on the X platform shows the price of a Big Mac meal sitting at $18. That’s a high price for what has long been considered America’s best “low cost” fast food option.

As you might expect, that tweet (which appears to report a real price) inspired a firestorm of commentary and outrage from all quarters, largely disconnected from fact or citations. Even the X account for the House Republicans got in on the mobbing action, which complained that Big Mac prices have at least doubled since the COVID debacle.

Financial commentators and MacDonald’s itself were quick to jump into the fray with comments of the dreaded “well actually” variety. Economist Paul Krugman said that since the Big Mac is only 21% more expensive than it was in 2019, and general inflation has been 23% while food prices have gone up 28%, and worker’s wages are up 28%, the price of a Big Mac is effectively Iower than it was just a few years ago.

Not to be outdone, Joe Erlinger, the president of MacDonald’s USA, released a statement attempting to soothe public outrage. He expressed worry and frustration that someone was charging $18 for a Big Mac meal, and even more worry that the public was taking this report as normative rather than as an exceptional case. He asserted that the price of a Big Mac is up 21% since 2019, not the widely-reported 100%. He then avowed the company’s intention to remain tightly focused on affordability and customer value.

One thing seems clear: Inflation has been severe enough and uneven enough across different economic sectors that everyone seems to be confused about what things cost now.