What's up with McDonald's Pricing?

I was at Maccas this morning, waiting in Drive-Thru and attempting to put my order through the app, but the line moved quicker than I expected and I didn't get a chance to finish my order when i got to the speaker so decided to abandon the app order and just order the traditional way over the speaker.

I was shocked to discover that my order on the app came to $13.45, but the exact same order in person was only $9.55. That's almost a 30% a 40% increase (thanks blonky) in price for the exact same thing at the exact same store, just for choosing to order via app. This makes me wonder how many other times I've been ripped-off for choosing to order via the app instead of face-to-face.

I case you're wondering I ordered a Double Sausage & Egg Muffin meal (with small OJ).

I have also noticed that each store has different pricing too. This is easy to discover by entering your selection into the app and then changing stores. You will notice that the price of your cart changes each time you select a different store. Why can't they just have consistent pricing?

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McDonald's
McDonald's

Comments

  • +4 votes

    Different stores will have different operating costs. Usually the big price differences are between metro and suburban stores, no big suprises there. Also you have corporate and franchise owned stores, franchises owned stores will have a bit of leeway on pricing in their agreement.

    • +3 votes

      Not true in Adelaide, about 10 years ago it was a big story and the stores that mainly charged more were in low economic areas aka less operating costs.
      Elizabeth trainstation was the first store to famously change a extra $1-2 a meal, 20% unemployment

      • +1 vote

        The Maccas near the Train Station is pretty classy dining for Elizabeth.

      • +2 votes

        Staff being paid danger money in Elizabeth.

        •  

          I'm not saying it is dangerous but the Covid Protection screens in-store are Bullet Proof…

      •  

        I'm assuming they were franchise owned.

      • +2 votes

        Operating costs are only one side of the equation, low socioeconomic area's would likely have more people ordering the low margin items as opposed to the Angus range. Possible also less customers to spread the overheads across than somewhere like a busy CBD locations.
        You've also got area's with less competition so Macca's can charge more as there aren't as many alternatives.

        •  

          Yeah demand is also probably far more elastic in low socoeconomic areas due to less available options and less varied diets - their only real competitors are other fast food chains.

    •  

      I understand about the different stores thing, but to have such different pricing for the same thing at the same store for app vs traditional does not make sense to me.

  • +3 votes

    That's why they don't have prices on their website. But 30% difference seeks like a lot!

  •  

    Seems to depend on which team member serves you also.

    I've been charged different amounts for the same meal at the same Maccas by different team members.

    • +4 votes

      uh what, that's not how things work.

      I don't know what is happening with you guys but variable pricing isn't a thing at maccas. There's discounts, but I've never been charged more for something.

      •  

        You may know that, I may know that, but apparently team members at Maccas don't. (sad smile)

        •  

          If you ask for a big mac meal with a large frozen coke and then ask for an additional large coke (not frozen) you will pay more than if you get the meail with the large coke (not frozen) and then get a frozen coke for $1.

          That's not a crew member charging you differently that's just how you ordered it.

          It's literally impossible for crew members to change the pricing on the POS.

      • +8 votes

        once happened to me due to the way they key things, or even the way you place an order.

        eg. a big mac meal large + 6 chicken nuggets = 18.95
        or 6 chickien nuggets meal large + a big mac = 17.65

  • +3 votes

    I tested it in my app, and got $10.25, $10.40, $10.55 and $10.65 for the Maccas near me.

    • +6 votes

      Now do it again by going instore

  • +1 vote

    They've been charging more in the poorer suburbs for over a decade now.

    https://www.news.com.au/news/maccas-puts-bite-on-poorest/new...

  • +1 vote

    40% increase

    $13.45 is 40% greater than $9.55

    • +1 vote

      my bad, maths has never been my strongpoint. fixed now.

  •  

    which suburb?

  • +2 votes

    Really? What the heck I use the app all the time. Going to have to try and just order without it next time.

  •  

    Yes, different Maccas with different pricing is very annoying. The same item can be $0.50 different at another store - I know it doesn't sound like much, but it's just annoying.

    One thing that did happen to me in the past, which I haven't tried to redo, is I 'accidentally' placed an online order at McDonalds X but drove to McDonalds Y to claim it. McDonalds X has the lower priced items compared to Y, but order was fulfilled so I was chuffed.

    Mcdonalds (some of them) might be even inconsistent with their own store's pricing - One time they over charged me on an order and I told them that it was wrong. I pointed to the electronic menu behind them that had the prices, which were less then that at the till. Attendant said 'sorry, those prices shown are wrong - we haven't updated the system yet'.

    I didn't bother lecturing the 15 year old about the situation plus I had me young niece with me at the time so just finalised the transaction.

  • +7 votes

    Maccas is an exorbitant rip off for what you get, app or not

    • +5 votes

      i agree. the $ increase of the years is insane compared to KFC and Hungry Jacks.

      • +2 votes

        I remember when soft serves were 15c each… now? Like 70c or something. Crazy.

  •  

    Didn’t realise pricing was different. I live between 2 maccas, almost equal distance to each of them … now I know which one to go to!

    • +4 votes

      Yeah, neither.

  •  

    One time I ordered via the app, and when I arrived my order wasn't ready. I was a bit pissed and told them what I ordered and they sorted it asap. When I left I checked the app and realised I hadn't clicked all the way though and paid. You win some you lose some.

  • +2 votes

    Wowee I never knew this. Just changed locations between two orders and got a few dollars difference. I’m very interested to see how much cheaper it is in store now.

  •  

    Should have posted the receipt.

    •  

      Good point. Maccas don’t automatically give you a receipt and I didn’t think to ask for a receipt at the time so I didn’t get one, but I have now uploaded my bank statement as well as a screenshot of the app. Note my bank statement shows $10.55 because they gave me the option of an extra hash brown for $1, which I accepted. Note when I add an extra hash brown in the app, the app price is $2.35. So it’s even more price difference.
      Bank Statement: https://ibb.co/Lp0DKC1 $10.55 total
      App screenshot: https://ibb.co/mNNw5fH $15.80 total

  •  

    Assume head office takes a cut for using the app.

  • +2 votes

    I honestly never knew this was a thing! No wonder the app keeps giving me 20+% discounts they probably bring up the price to cover it.. I rarely eat maccas but since covid have attended drive thru more often..

  • +1 vote

    You guys are gonna get fat trying to figure this out.

  • +1 vote

    The ultimate in economics is to be able to charge each individual their own price, and to set that price as high as possible. Ordinarily this is not possible, but having and app and paying by the app sounds like one way for McDonald's to accomplish this.

    •  

      You mean like airlines? When you use an iPhone or Android to search pricing you get different pricing. If you go back and review pricing, if uses your cookies to realise to change it further closer to the date.

  • +1 vote

    Has anyone actually validated this? I eat at Maccas a lot and find it hard to believe.

    Yes, there are differences in prices between stores. But I do not believe there are any pricing differences whether you order via the app, in person or drive thru at a particular store.

    Can anyone evidence otherwise?

    •  

      I eat maccas a fair bit and yes different stores different prices but the app has the same price as the actual same stores drive thru , unless obviously they offer you a discounted apple pie at the drive thru but apart from that ive found my maccas around me are no different in app prices

    •  

      I’m not lying. This legit happened. I don’t know for sure if this happens with all items at all stores, but it def happened to me with the breakfast meal that I stated.

      Try it next time you go to Maccas and report back what you find.

  •  

    I've actually found the app to be cheaper. I did a similar thing to the OP and started an order while in the queue but didn't get to finish it. My in person order was $3 more than the app.

  • +3 votes

    I have been making my own "big mac" at home for a while now and its working out well.

    Couple of things, season your mince and let it sit for an hour or overnight, it helps bind it.

    sauce is super easy to make but I have used the costco and coles burger sauce, but its as simple as mayo and relish/chopped gherkins.

    the cheese is the hardest to replicate unless you buy from costco in bulk but I have found most strong cheeses work

    Mine work out to be a 90% copy but somehow taste so much better

    •  

      oh the fries, just thin cut fries from woolies, less the $2 per kg. Fry them dont bother baking

      • +2 votes

        Where do you buy your bun with the middle bit?

  •  

    The only thing that's not changing is the $5 small double beef and bacon meal

  •  

    Maccas pricing is unbelievable, app or not. Two coffee and two hash browns is nearly $20 a small cheeseburger meal is like $7. Who eats there?

    •  

      How do u get nearly $20? Two large cappuccinos and two hash browns cost $14.80. My local maccas has small Cheeseburger meal for $6.10.

      But I agree it ain't what it used to be. In general the quieter maccas I find charge more than busier ones.

      •  

        It was large almond milks. I paid 7.10 for the small meal a few days ago. They’re actually my only times in 15 years. I do like dirty bird occasionally so I’m not trying to say something

  • +1 vote

    Had a Macca's rewards for a McFlurry, $2.50 on the app.
    Choice of Oreo or M&Ms.

    Add to cart, think it's a a good deal, cause it shows normal price as being $5.65

    Good deal, I think to myself.

    Begin looking through the app menu….to find a McFlurry is only $4 ordering normally.

    I can't help with any info on Macca's pricing unfortunately.

  •  

    Variable Maccers pricing along with the petrol price cycle are a uniquely Australian things that seem to be generally accepted for some reason.