Fast-food king McDonald’s has been struggling through hard times, and a decade of growth has turned to losses. Lots of factors are believed to contribute to the downturn–not least increased consumer health consciousness and campaigns against diabetes and obesity were thought to be taking their toll on the chain’s bottom line. But now a different theory is gaining ground. McDonald’s, known for being an inexpensive option, is just not cheap enough anymore.
Various factors–like beef prices up almost 30% since last year–are driving up the cost of delivering fries and Big Macs, and the price increases are pushing McDonald’s into competition with slightly more upscale choices like Denny’s and Chili’s. Even the $1 menu isn’t filled with $1 options anymore–and customers are turning elsewhere.