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Mix-and-Match Value Meals on the Rise in QSR


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Ever since Wendy’s created the first official value menu in October 1989, franchises like McDonald’s, Burger King and Arby’s have created value and dollar menus of their own to give consumers fast and cheap options. After McDonald’s recently axed its dollar menu in favor of a “Dollar Menu and More” option where items cost as much as $5, it seems as though a new trend is taking place: the value meal bundle.

Just last week Burger King launched a new promotion where a consumer can get two Whopper hamburgers, two small fries, and two small drinks for $10. The “2 for $10 Whopper meal” compliments Burger King's already successful 2 for $5 mix-and-match deal combining two of their famous sandwiches, and a 5 for $4 full meal deal.

Earlier this year McDonald’s rolled out its McPick 2 for $2 menu, later transformed into a 2 for $5 deal with more premium products. RBC Capital Markets analyst David Palmer reacted favorably to the change, and credited McDonald’s for shaking up its McPick 2 menu. The quarterly results speak for themselves; McDonald’s global comp sales increased 6.2 percent.

These meals square up against the 4 for $4 meal offered by Wendy’s, and a $5 Fill-Up meal promoted by KFC.

This abundance of bundles gives consumers something they truly want: the power to choose.

To examine the appeal of such bundled deals, step into my shoes. After a long day studying for the week’s big exam or writing a 10-page paper, I don’t want to do extra math to figuring out what the best deal is when purchasing a fast food meal. With a bundle, you know exactly what you’re getting with each purchase, and exactly how much it’s going to cost; there are no surprises or added charges.

These mix-and-match deals let the consumer feel like they’re making an informed decision and saving money (even if it’s only a few cents). The franchises are also selling at least $4 worth of merchandise with each sale; making it a better deal for franchisees than the 99-cent burgers offered on previous dollar menus.

The new menu changes are working; Burger King’s worldwide sales increased 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, while Wendy’s sales increased 6.8 percent in their North American markets.

In my eyes, the $4 for 4 deal offered by Wendy’s is the best of the bunch. A Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink are just enough for a legitimate dinner, and the $4 price tag is easy on the wallet. 

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 
Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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