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How Fast-Food Prices Have Escalated Dramatically Under Joe Biden Since 2020

Fast-food prices have surged under Biden, impacting affordability for many.

Fast-food prices have surged significantly since President Biden took office, transforming affordable meals into luxuries for many Americans.

Rising Fast-Food Costs Turn Dining Out into a Luxury for Many Americans

The most recent April inflation data revealed that the cost of eating out at restaurants has increased by approximately 22% since President Biden took office, as per Fox Business. However, fast food has been affected especially severely, with prices at the most prominent restaurant chains skyrocketing even before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Subway's $5 Footlong is also no longer available. Customers will pay $8.49 for a BLT Footlong in 2024, up from $5.50 in 2019. Prices may vary by location. Chipotle's popular chicken burrito, which cost $6.50 in 2019, now costs consumers $10.70.

Fast-food executives have cited rising wages and higher ingredient costs for menu price increases.

According to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, fast-food costs have risen faster than the average hourly wage for most fast-food employees. Fast-food costs have also exceeded inflation, climbing 41% since 2017, while the consumer price index has risen by 35.9%.

Customers are feeling squeezed. According to a recent LendingTree survey, 78% of consumers now consider fast food a "luxury" purchase due to the high cost of the meals.

Half of those polled indicated they consider fast food a luxury since they are struggling financially. This is especially true for Americans earning less than $30,000 per year (71%), parents with small children (58%), and Generation Z (58%).

Because of the financial burden, fewer individuals are using the drive-thru. According to the statistics, three out of every four Americans eat fast food once a week, yet 62% of respondents said they eat it less frequently because of the expense.

Some franchisees are reacting with temporary discounts. McDonald's will unveil a $5 value menu in June, and Wendy's has launched a $3 breakfast bargain for a limited time.

"Across almost all major markets, industry traffic is slowing," McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski told analysts in April. "We know our customers are looking for reliable everyday value now more than ever."

Fast-Food Chains Offer App-Exclusive Deals Amid Rising Costs and Economic Concerns

Many fast-food restaurants have also made unique bargains available to customers through their mobile applications and rewards schemes that reward loyal customers with free meals.

However, Americans recall when menu prices were cheaper, and rising food and gas prices have soured their economic outlook. That's why Biden keeps telling voters he's pushing for cheaper prices.

"I know many families are struggling, and that even though we’ve made progress we have a lot more to do. Inflation has fallen more than 60% from its peak, and core inflation fell to its lowest level in three years," President Biden said after the April consumer price index report showed a 0.3% increase, slightly lower than economists expected.

"Prices are still too high — so my agenda will give families breathing room by building two million new homes to lower housing costs, taking on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug prices, and calling on grocery chains making record profits to lower grocery prices for consumers."

Photo: Microsoft Bing

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