You're Not Fooling Us With Your Value Menus

When does the value menu no longer feel valuable enough?

Remember when everything on the McDonald's Dollar Menu actually cost one dollar? Or when the dollar menu was actually called that and not the $1, $2, $3 menu or value menu? Those were great times, but times change and as customers many of us have had to accept that. The problem is that fast food chains have not.

What changes have fast food chains made to value menus?

McDonald's first introduced its Dollar Menu in 2002, but since then the prices and dishes have changed. And McDonald's isn't the only chain that's changed its "value" offerings over the years. For example, Taco Bell went from a Dollar Cravings Menu to Cravings Value Menu that included both dollar and $5 items. Taco Bell has made many of these changes on the sly, and it seems like its just the chain's way making people feel like they're still getting "valuable" deal.


Domino's took some value out of a popular deal ($7.99 for a three-topping pizza, oven-baked dips, and a 10-piece order of chicken wings) by actually reducing the number of wings included in the meal. And even more recently Burger King has made drastic changes to its $5 mix and match deal. The burger chain has decided to remove the Whopper, its most well-known offering, from the $5 promotion, reports Eat This, Not That.

My complaint isn't about inflation or even supply chain issues, but more that at some point along the way the value menu lost its value. Just let it be a deal of the week or regular menu item. The "value" menu legacy implies that you're getting the most bang for your buck and at the moment that just doesn't feel true.


Food prices are on the rise everywhere, and that sucks. But why try to convince people they're saving money on something when they aren't? Deals and bundle offerings are nice, but don't try to tell me that paying $2 for a McDouble now feels the same as when it was one dollar.

Trust me, I miss the dollar menu. Many of us do, but it's time we stepped out of the denial stage and into acceptance. It's gone.