McDonald's will extend its $5 meal deal in most markets

Most of the fast-food giant’s markets have agreed to extend the discounted deal past its one-month limit. But the approval came after a heavy dose of politicking.


Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.

Restaurant Rewind: Even all these years later, the semi-permanent bargains that Taco Bell and McDonald's embraced in the '80s and '90s still astound.

Tech Check: McDonald’s recent setback aside, the technology is on track to become a standard feature of fast food. The benefits are just too good to ignore.

The fast-food giant will start selling its $5 Meal Deal next week as it works to regain lost traffic. But it is also reminding customers of its existing deals.

Reality Check: Decadent meal choices are also proliferating, for a lot more than $5.

The Bottom Line: The fast-food giant’s decision to end its drive-thru AI test with IBM is the latest pullback away from a pair of technology acquisitions it made five years ago.

The Chicago-based fast-food giant is ending its partnership with IBM on automated order-taking without an expansion. But McDonald’s still believes AI drive-thrus are in its future.

Employers in other fields say they're feeling intense pressure to raise pay. Plus, they want to see a break from the pro-labor legislation of the last decade or more.

The Bottom Line: McDonald’s, Starbucks and Chipotle, chains that have historically benefitted from social media love, are learning the hard way that it can have the opposite effect. Brands should take heed.

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