The Economics of Fries (and Burgers)
I was standing in an extremely long line at McDonalds last week, when in my boredom I started to notice some very unnerving. I wasnít that hungry, so I was just going to get a cheeseburger, price $.89. I look over at the $0.99 menu, and see that I can double my meat (no pun intended) for another $0.10. This lead to the thought that if a patty of beef (or what we think is beef) is only $0.10, then the cheese and buns must be fairly inexpensive also. Upon my further investigations, I found that difference in price between a standard hamburger and a cheeseburger is only $0.10 also. Yet it is upped to a Quarter when you go with a Quarter Pounder.
Something even stranger is happening if you carefully analyze the Happy Meals. There you can get a hamburger Happy Meal for $1.99, but if you little bundle of joy wants cheese with that, itís going to cost you another $0.30. Now that same piece of cheese that is costing $0.10 on a regular hamburger is $0.30 for you children. I attribute this increase to being caused by lacing the cheese with addictive drugs, much like the tobacco industry had done.
These occurrences donít stop with the hamburgers; even the chicken nuggets are not immune. At your local McDonalds, you can get six chicken nuggets for $1.99, nine nuggets for $2.99, and twenty nuggets for $4.19. For the first increase of three nuggets, it cost $1.00, and yet for the second increase, which more than doubles the amount from the second increase will only cost you another $1.20. The only rational explanation for this is that McDonalds has figured out how to do an exponential volume discount, and make it profitable.
I was then going to get started on fries, but it was my turn to place my order. Perhaps the next time Iím in line, Iíll gather the needed information, and formulate even more. All I can remember, is that a small fries, cost about as much as a hamburger. I guess this is what you get when you have an $80000 college degree, and too much free time.