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Free/Deal Culture

July 28, 2009

It seems like you can’t go out to a restaurant now without finding a deal.

KFC fill-up box. McDonald’s dollar menu. Subway five-dollar foot-long. Quizno’s has three seperate deals, $5, $4 and $3. Value has never tasted so good, or been so readily available.

But here is my question. What happens when the economy snaps back? McDonalds started the dollar menu back when their sales were struggling. But, it’s still around, even now that the Golden Arches is handling its business and has tremendous growth again (which is probably primarily fueled by the dollar menu???)

The entire economic recession could be a bonus for consumers. Restaurants are going to have a difficult time coming back from the deals. How can you stop offering $5 sandwiches? How can you end the $5 fill-up box? It’s going to be something customers are used to.

Let’s take an informal poll: What do you think? Do you think restaurants will find a way to raise their prices back, or are the deals here to stay? Your thoughts in the comments please.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Matthew Madson permalink
    July 29, 2009 7:23 am

    The end of the recession should imply that consumers should have more money in their pockets. Although some people will be smart with their money and save it for the next recession there will always be a large portion of the population who will want to burn through all that extra weight in their wallets. (We are Americans are we not?) It’s these people who McDonalds’ sage businesspeople will take advantage of in order to do away with the dollar menu. It will start gradually, for 2 bucks you’ll be able to get a premium double cheeseburger with grilled onions and a sesame seed bun. Consumers with extra change lying around will be like, “hey, it’s only a dollar more and i’m not hurting any”. Next it will be 3 bucks for some token improvement and pretty soon few if any would be caught dead saving their pennies to eat from the lowly dollar menu. With decreased dollar menu sales, the dollar menu will be done away with and few if any will even notice. I’m not saying this is going to be an overnight thing, but gradually as people earn more and retain more, the dollar menu will become less and less appealing.

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