So long, dollar menu, and hello, meal deal. Restaurant chains are rethinking their rock-bottom deals this year to get a higher ticket, slashing the price of a sizeable meal rather than hawking individual items at near-giveaway levels.
Pizza Hut customers won’t even get the discount unless they order at least two items off the chain’s new $5 menu. Spend $10 for a pie and sodas for four, instead of paying $6.99 for just the pizza (albeit two pies). No meal, no deal.
With each option on the separate roster priced at $5, Pizza Hut is at the high end of the bundled bargaining. For that kind of money, Burger King and McDonald’s are promising multi-course lunches and dinners—with change left over.
Here’s a quick rundown of what discounting looks so far in 2016.
McDonald’s McPick 2
Big Mac is undercutting its two arch-rivals in price while touting the added advantage of choice. Customers can pick any two items off the four-option McPick menu for $2, total. A soda is not one of the choices. Add a small drink, and the meal will still likely fall below $4.
The choices are a McChicken sandwich, a McDouble cheeseburger, an order of fries and three mozzarella sticks with marinara dipping sauce.
Pizza Hut’s $5 Flavor menu
Customers have to order at least two items at $5 each to get the price cut, choosing from seven possible components. The options include a medium pizza with one topping; eight boneless “wings”; an order of Toscani pasta; an order of bread or flavor sticks; a giant cookie; a similarly oversized brownie; and four sodas.
Wendy’s 4 for $4
Blame the new bundling wars on the pig-tailed redhead. Wendy’s unwrapped its deal back in October, acknowledging that the offer was intended to boost lunch traffic. The value package broke new ground by including both a sandwich and nuggets, items that are usually offered as either/or’s.
Some of the more senior members of the team smile at the junior staff who are excited to uncover an interesting trend in “eatertainment” or the latest single-ingredient concept. We try not to be condescending when we suggest they do some research by looking at past issues of Restaurant Business or old Technomic top chain reports before calling it the next big thing.