A McDonalds ‘Deal’ Angers Customers, Users Blame Law

Recently, a TikTok video went viral, sparking an online debate about the increase in California’s minimum wage and its effects on fast-food prices. The video, shared by user @shannon_montipaya, showed a $25.39 McDonald’s “deal” for a 40-piece Chicken McNugget meal with two large orders of fries. The video quickly gained traction, amassing 2 million views and bringing thousands of TikTok users to the comments section.

Many viewers expressed nostalgia for past McDonald’s prices, with one comment stating, “Remember when 40 pieces nuggets were $5 and a large drink was $1?” Others shared their local McDonald’s prices, which varied drastically from California’s high prices.

Some social media users pointed to the recent legislation in California that increased the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $20 from $16, with one commenting, “Welcome to California.” However, others were unfazed by the price of the meal and felt the video was an overreaction. One user wrote, “12.50/person isn’t that crazy,” while another said, “You getting a good deal and you complaining.”

The increase in the minimum wage in California was set to go into effect on April 1, just four days after the TikTok video was posted. However, fast-food businesses had been preparing for the wage increase for months. Some establishments, such as MOD Pizza, even closed down multiple California locations before the wage increase took effect. Other fast-food chains, like Pizza Hut and Round Table Pizza, have reported laying off employees in recent months.

However, McDonald’s USA refutes the findings of a recent study by FinanceBuzz, which showed that prices at the fast-food chain have increased by 100% since 2014. In a statement to FOX Business, McDonald’s USA stated that the FinanceBuzz report is “not an accurate representation of pricing at McDonald’s restaurants.” They also stated that pricing is set by individual franchisees and varies by restaurant.

The statement continued, “This is not an accurate representation of historical or current pricing at McDonald’s restaurants, and the 2024 average prices listed are significantly inflated.” McDonald’s USA went on to emphasize their commitment to offering customers great value through everyday affordable pricing, as well as special offers and deals through their app and MyMcDonald’s Rewards program.

Despite McDonald’s refuting the FinanceBuzz study, the debate surrounding the increase in California’s minimum wage and its impact on fast-food prices remains ongoing. Many are concerned about the rising prices and the effects it may have on customers, while others argue that it’s a necessary step in providing fair wages for fast-food workers. With the wage increase now in effect, it remains to be seen how it will ultimately impact the prices at fast-food establishments across California.

One fact that cannot be denied is the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the fast-food industry, including McDonald’s. The pandemic caused a significant decrease in sales, and many establishments were forced to adapt to drive-thru and delivery-only options. This had a major impact on the way fast-food chains were able to operate and may have also impacted prices in some areas.

Additionally, the wage increase in California may have a ripple effect on the fast-food industry as a whole. With one of the largest economies in the country, California’s actions are often seen as a trendsetter for other states. This may lead to other states considering or implementing similar minimum wage increases, potentially impacting prices at fast-food establishments nationwide.

Another aspect to consider is the cost of living in California, which is significantly higher than in other parts of the country. With the cost of living already high, the increase in minimum wage may not have as much of an impact on prices as some may expect. However, for smaller businesses that may not be able to absorb the increase, it may lead to layoffs or closures.

Ultimately, the debate surrounding the increase in California’s minimum wage and its impact on fast-food prices shows no signs of slowing down. While some argue that it is necessary for fair wages and to keep up with the cost of living, others express concern about the rising prices and their effects on customers. As the fast-food industry continues to adapt to the ongoing pandemic and economic changes, the true impact of the minimum wage increase in California may not be fully realized for some time.


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