The fast food value menu has experienced quite the transformation over the past few years. Starting with the dollar menu, quick service chains used the low-price offering as a way to bring customers in the door, hoping they would purchase more items, or be upsold.
However, many restaurants noticed the dollar menu had a negative impact on sales, and instead began offering options like McDonald's Dollar Menu and More and Wendy's Right Price Right Size Menu. These options were unpopular, though, and in turn, chains transitioned to promotions like Wendy's 4 for $4 Meal, McDonald's McPick 2 menu and Burger King's 5 for $4 deal.
More recently, McDonald's and Taco Bell decided to retry the more traditional value menu model, with McDonald's launching a $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu in January 2018, and Taco Bell adding 20+ items to its existing dollar menu.
Taco Bell will add even more items to its dollar menu on April 5 and debut new items made exclusively for the value menu, including the Triple Melt Burrito and Triple Melt Nachos. It is also testing the $1 Crispy Chicken Taco in Oklahoma City, OK, and $1 Beefy Crunch Burrito in Chattanooga, TN. Depending on the success of the burrito, the chain may release it nationwide in 2019. Previously, the company released Nacho Fries as part of the company's value menu to commercial success.
As beverage chains like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts try to move more into food sales, this value menu model is becoming an attractive approach for the coffee sector as well. Dunkin' Donuts launched the Dunkin' Go2s value menu, which offers customers the option of two breakfast sandwiches for $2, $3 or $5, depending on the selection. The menu will feature only its most popular sandwiches, which are the Egg & Cheese Wake-up Wrap, the Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich and the Egg, Cheese & Bacon Breakfast Sandwich.
Following this news, it is likely that other brands in all sectors of the quick service industry will follow suit to compete in the value menu race.
[Editor's note: OFW Law Principal Attorney Michael J. O'Flaherty provided this blog piece regarding the need for federal oversight regarding the ongoing trend of class action lawsuits filed against food companies regarding product labeling.]read more
Jennette has been with The Food Institute since 2013. As Marketing Director, she is responsible for promoting all Food Institute books, seminars and webinars, as well as writing and editing the Food Institute’s annual publications. Additionally, she writes for and edits the daily news update, Today in Food, and contributes to the weekly Food Institute Report. She has a background in non-profit and environmental marketing, programming and writing, and graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a degree in Communication Studies.
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