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McDonald's Gets a Price Hike

By Cathleen Schandelmeier-Bartels
On November 23, 2010

"Mom!  I'm hungry!"  This refrain greets me every day when I pick up my children from school.  While I try to pack healthy food and be prepared with after-school snacks, I am not perfect, especially in times of stress.  Occasionally, we go through the drive-through at McDonald's and attempt to make healthy vegetarian choices.

I must not be alone in my choice to take my children to McDonald's, because our precious few purchases alone are not enough to justify the chain's third-quarter profit, which, according to, "rose 10%, with growth driven by increased comparable-store sales and higher customer visits around the globe"  Proving that McDonald's continues to claim profits and offer jobs, because in these times of economic hardship, no matter what, people have to eat to live.   

 In fact, many people go to the drive-through at McDonald's without a second thought because of its accessibility and affordability. The affordability of McDonald's is now in question, as it is raising its prices. Sales for McDonald's are rising thanks to its dollar menu, which offers an affordable alternative for people on the go.  Recent price increases include several one-time dollar menu items, like the McChicken sandwich, which is now going for $1.25. While  McDonald's menu has been enhanced by the addition of grilled chicken and salads, its image is still tainted by the stigma of high calories and the animal fat in its french fries.   

Animal fat content at McDonald's is a huge concern for our family of vegetarians. My teenage son is on a permanent hiatus from McDonald's due to his ardent vegetarianism.  He prefers Burger King because they offer a veggie burger.   My vegetarian 9-year-old daughter orders a no-meat cheese burger with her apple dippers in the Happy Meal when we go to  McDonald's.  This serves as a kind of cheese sandwich.  She also enjoys the small side salad available from McDonald's for a dollar.  Other items on McDonald's menu include such healthy fare as the Asian salad, the Santa Fe salad and apple slices.    

McDonald's is working to edge in on the Starbucks market with its new McCafe offerings  which are - more affordable than Starbucks, including a McCafe Mocha, the McCafe Latte and the McCafe Cappuccino. When I recently asked how many calories were in a McCafe Caramel Frappe, I was given a place-mat style calorie guide, which stated that a small McCafe Caramel Frappe is 550 calories, more than a McDouble with cheese (390 calories).

Calories aside, it is my contention that McDonald's will not suffer by raising its prices.  People will continue to eat there, and the great franchise that is McDonald's will flourish.  


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