This is a true story. The facts have been verified by yours truly. There will be no histrionics or embellishment.
I know I shouldn’t eat at McDonald’s. It’s now been nine months since I went vegetarian. At some point, though, I figured an egg, a bit of butter, a slice of cheese and a biscuit wouldn’t be the end of the world. So I occasionally ate breakfast at McDonald’s. I try to limit my exposure to a few times a month when I’m running late and have nothing else to eat.
I documented earlier how I started by ordering the Egg McMuffin meal with no meat. McDondald’s happily charged me the full price for this little goodie. There’s no such thing as a vegetarian did-not-eat-the-meat discount. Not once did anyone at the store ever bother to mention there was a cheaper alternative for vegetarians.
The Egg and Cheese Biscuit meal is not on the menu. But you can ask for it. It’s a biscuit with a folded egg, butter and a slice of cheese. The combo meal comes with a hash brown and a small coffee.
In April 2012 I paid $2.50 for this meal. (These numbers are verified via my bank account records.)
In May I paid $2.69 for the Egg and Cheese Biscuit meal. That was an increase of 7.6 percent but I shrugged it off. It seemed a little high but not enough to really bother me. It did, however, prompt me to tweet:
Then, just the other day, in June, it jumped to $3.49. Two price increases in less than two months. For an additional increase of 29.74%. WTF?
Overall, that’s an increase of 39.6% on an item in less than two months. WOW!
When informed the price was $3.49 I spoke with two staff people and they assured me it was correct but I wasn’t sure so sure. They seemed convinced they were right but I suspected there had been some kind of mistake, like maybe their register had been programmed with the wrong price.
I talked with McDonald’s corporate and they were nice. But they also informed me that prices change “all the time” and that each restaurant sets their own prices, and they have no way of tracking what they are.
I explained that price increase percentages I had calculated and followed up with, “My wages certainly don’t go up 39.6 percent each year.” I thought that was a pretty damning argument.
All the rep was willing to say was that, “I can pass along your concerns to the store.” Game, set, match. I was now one of the billions that had been “served.”
A day later, though, the saga continued when I received an email response from the store. It read, in part: “Thank you for contacting us with regard to your recent complaint about price changes. To compensate to changes in […] minimum wage, we increased prices on several of our menu items.”
Oh really? I went back and calculated the rate of increase. It was about 3.5 percent. I call bullshiats! I replied to their email with the 3.5 percent figure regarding the increase in minimum wage and guess what? I never heard back.
Apparently McDonald’s does not appreciate a customer than can calculate their own maths. I’m also calculating that I won’t be back. I’ll either make something myself or go hungry. Now that I’m Out Of The Chair I’m sure I can handle a bit of hunger.
I’m shovin’ it.