Taco Bell is entering the fast food wars with one move that put McDonald’s on notice

Jul 2, 2024

The competition for inflation-weary fast food customers’ dollars is heating up.

Chains are getting ruthless in their quest to attract customers.

Now Taco Bell is entering the fast food wars with one move that put McDonald’s on notice.

Fast food value meal war breaks outs 

The price of fast food has exploded over the last decade from the pandemic and the inflation unleashed by President Joe Biden.

A study from FinanceBuzz found that since 2014 prices at McDonald’s have increased by 100%, 86% at Taco Bell, 81% at Chipotle, and 62% at Arby’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, and Wendy’s.

Fast food has lost the value it once had with combo meals costing more than $10 in most parts of the country.

That’s why more people are eating at home to save money.

Walmart CFO John David Rainey told CNBC that more consumers are opting to cook at home over fast food.

“It’s roughly 4.3 times more expensive to eat out than it is to eat at home,” Rainey said. “And that’s benefiting our business.”

Revenue Management Solutions found that foot traffic fell by 3.5% at fast food restaurants this year.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski told investors on a May earnings call that “across almost all major markets, industry traffic is slowing.”

“In the context of a difficult macro environment for the industry, we know our customers are looking for reliable everyday value now more than ever,” Kempczinski said.

To lure back inflation-weary customers McDonald’s launched its $5 Meal Deal.

Customers could choose from a McDouble or McChicken, small fries, a four-piece Chicken McNuggets, and a small drink.

That prompted a fast-food value meal war with Wendy’s, Burger King, Starbucks, and others releasing their own value meals.

Taco Bell releases new value meal on the heels of McDonald’s

Taco Bell has long been one of the kings of value in the fast-food industry.

Its Cheesy Roll Up is one of the last non-beverage menu items in the fast food world that still costs $1.

Now Taco Bell is entering the value meal wars with its new Luxe Cravings Box.

The Luxe Cravings Box comes with a Chalupa Supreme, a Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, a Double Stacked Taco, chips and nacho cheese sauce, and a medium drink for $7.

It’s above the five-dollar price point that McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King are offering on their value meals but customers get more food.

“This is the summer of fast food value meal wars, and Taco Bell isn’t sitting back,” CNN said about the deal.

Taco Bell said that Luxe Cravings Box offered a 55% savings off of the regular menu prices.

A recent survey from LendingTree found that 78% of Americans think of fast food as a luxury purchase.

Taco Bell North America Chief Marketing Officer Taylor Montgomery stressed the chain’s affordability.

“With the launch of the $7 Luxe Cravings Box, we’re giving consumers our most craveable items at an affordable price point and living up to our commitment on value to satisfy cravings with fan favorite full-sized menu items,” Montgomery said.

“Our Cravings Value Menu is one of the leading value menus within the industry, offering 10 items at under $3, because we believe consumers shouldn’t have to choose between affordability and abundance,” Montgomery added.

Taco Bell is making a strong play for fast-food fanatics looking for value this summer. 

Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.

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