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$10 Family Combo at McDonald's

Full blog post discussing McDonald's continuing strategy to target low-cost items and picture of the flyer for the family combo: http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot...

At my local (and nearby participating) McDonald's, they now offer the family combo (2 Big Macs, 2 McChickens, 4 small fries, 4 small sodas) for $9.99. This just seems way too cheap to me. I can't imagine the franchisees are happy about this.

Add to this the recent news that McD's is removing higher end items like Angus burgers and chicken selects, and I'm wondering what they're trying to do.

Are other people seeing these $10 family combos at their local McD's?

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  1. "I can't imagine the franchisees are happy about this."

    I am assuming that the parent company is absorbing some of the cost of this promotion, so that the franchisees aren't stuck losing money, if indeed this is the type of "loss leader" deal (which it appears to be).

    4 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      If it's a loss leader, I'm not sure what else they're planning to encourage the customer to purchase along with it. I could see if they left out the drinks or something like that since most places abuse the customer with the cost of drinks.

      Maybe as a short-term promo to get people hooked on how yummy the products are (said with a grain of salt, but I have to confess to liking McDonalds here and there!)

      1. re: jbsiegel

        It's partly about getting people back in the store and getting their kids to badger the parents to take them there more frequently. Also it's about selling them other, not so deeply discounted items, after seeing their updated menu and deciding to try one of them, even if it's at another time. And finally, even if it looks like they are losing money on deals like this, I would bet they aren't. They probably aren't making their normal profit margin, but they likely still eke out some sort of a small profit.

        1. re: Servorg

          The beauty of the drive-thru! Don't have to actually go into the store and be sucked it!!

        2. re: jbsiegel

          Shakes? Soft-serve cones and sundaes? McCafe items?

      2. Google search results point mostly to Australia.

        To answer your question, It isn't here and our local McD's always has a banner out front touting any promotions/seasonal type things.

        That seems like a ridiculously cheap price and I can't see how it would be sustainable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kengk

          Agreed. The two of us sometimes do drive-thru when heading up or down the road. We get two extra value meals which is a double cheeseburger or a chicken sandwich, a small fry and a drink and for two, it's somewhere between $6 and $7.

          1. re: kengk

            When I read the price for this combo to my wife she also said thats pretty cheap. She is the one who takes the kids there so I guess she knows, I certainly don't. I will have to check to see if our local store has a banner our front.

            I hope its true, for $10.00 I can feed all of them and then cook myself a nice med rare steak :-)

          2. What family of four would that combo meal feed?

            Mr. and Mrs. Waif, and their daughters Kate Moss and Calista Flockhart?

            That -- 2 Big Macs, 2 McChicken Nuggets, 4 small fries and 4 small sodas -- would barely feed 2 of me.

            24 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Not nuggets, McChicken sandwiches...

              1. re: Servorg

                Ok, then. It would be a complete meal for 2 of me.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Do they have all you can eat Chinese Boo Fays where you live? Around here they are all less than $10 per person, usually much less at lunch. It's not very good food but you can bulk up for the winter at a very favorable dollar to calorie ratio

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Or two people eating a Big Mac & fries and two people eating a McChicken and fries.

                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                      One Big Mac and one small fry is not filling enough for me.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Probably not, but it's 780 calories, or 920 with the small coke, which seems adequate for most people.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  I'd say most people would be well advised to not consume more than the 920 calories represented by a big mac, fries and soft drink.

                  1. re: carolinadawg

                    Being "well advised" and being "what people actually do" are like I want my kid to go to Harvard and my kid has perfect attendance at the local community college.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        If I was in the "zone" I could absolutely eat the whole family meal by myself. It's still a lot of McD's food for $10 and I'll have to see it to believe it at our local store.

                        For the record; my personal best is two double quarter pounders, two supersize fries, and a DIET COKE.

                          1. re: kengk

                            My personal record was 2 McRibs, 4 Filet-O-Fish, 2 large fries, apple pie, large vanilla shake and a x-large Diet Coke.

                            And fwiw, I drink Diet Coke simply b/c it taste better (to me) than regular coke.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I drink so few cola drinks, diet or full sugar, because I really don't like the taste anymore I'm probably down to 4 or 5 a year. Something has gone seriously, (I won't say wrong) "different" with my taste buds, but I don't know what it is. About 95% of the time I drink unsweetened iced tea. The other 5% it's wine, beer or some other alcohol infused libation.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Was the shake to coat your stomach? :-)

                                1. re: Tom34

                                  No, I needed a bit of filler. Didn't want to leave hungry.

                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                  <2 McRibs>

                                  So YOU'RE the reason they keep bringing back that awful item! I knew someone was buying it. :)

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    "My personal record was 2 McRibs, 4 Filet-O-Fish, 2 large fries, apple pie, large vanilla shake and a x-large Diet Coke."

                                    Damn, ipse, I bow to you. The best I ever did was two "surf and turfs" (that's where you take the money side of a filet-o-fish and smash it together with the money side of a quarter pounder with cheese, leaving behind the extra roll tops), a twenty piece McNugget, and a large fry. We'd smuggle in cans of beer, though.

                                    And, admittedly, I had just finished a football game and a coupla bong hits.

                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                    I never saw anybody counting calories at a McDonalds type fast food joint. I am sure there are a few, but most people inclined to do so eat elsewhere.

                                    1. re: Tom34

                                      I count calories at McDonald's.

                                      I need to know how much I've eaten, and whether I need to eat more.

                                3. re: ipsedixit

                                  Don't forget that not every family is a standardized 4 person unit. Perhaps Dad takes two kids to get this deal, and he gets the extra sandwich. Perhaps a family with 3 kids buys the deal, plus some additional food.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    As someone else pointed out it is 2 chicken sandwiches, however even if you double it up, dinner for 4 people for $20. is still a hell of a deal and then there is more than enough to go around.

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      Isn't that your normal order when you're alone?

                                      1. re: MGZ

                                        No, I also have an apple turnover, with a vanilla sundae, that's a Mc Alamode'. (Do they still make those apple turnovers?)

                                  2. am I the only one who's old enough to remember McD's advertising:
                                    Hamburger, French Fries, Soda AND CHANGE FROM A DOLLAR?

                                    I live near a county line, In one county McDs promotes items at $1.99, 2 miles away they are $2.29 (on the same road). Even with high gas prices it makes sense for a family to drive the extra 2 milles and save $2-3 on the total order.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                      I remember when burgers we $0.59!
                                      And actually tasted better than the dried out pucks they try to pass off as meat now.

                                      1. re: Dinermite

                                        you poor child.....................
                                        when they opened here in CT, Store #60 Hamden CT in the 50s, Hamburgers were 15 cents

                                      2. re: bagelman01

                                        How about $0.35 for a burger, fries & drink (no tax since <$1 (CT - circa early 60's).

                                        Just yesterday, I had a double burger, fries & drink with refills for $3.24 - less than 10x over 50 years. Then again, minimum was $1.15 / hr back then. vs. $8.25 today - about 7.2x.

                                      3. I remember when Mcdes burger was 15 cents and cheeseburger was 19 cents, anout 1959 to 1960.

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: malibumike

                                          Always interesting to think about what stuff cost in the good old days. 1961 minimum wage was $1/hour so the .15 burger took about nine minutes of labor to earn. Today at $7.25/hour you only have to work eight and a half minutes to get anything off the dollar menu.

                                          And folks say we have not progressed as a species.

                                          1. re: malibumike

                                            ISTR on my first McDonalds visit around 1960, hamburgers were .12 and cheeseburgers .13. They were a lot better than they are now, too. Don't even get me started about fresh-off-the-grill, vs pargrilled and stored in some steaming cabinet.

                                            1. re: Steve Green

                                              I hit on the fresh off the grill vs steam cabinet below. Night & day difference.

                                              I wonder if getting there right after the breakfast menu is over would get a fresh cooked one or are they shipped to the store pre-cooked?

                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                Will McDonald's refuse to serve you if you ask for a burger hot off the grill?

                                                1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                  IF they still cook them at the store from a raw product, the flat top would still have to be on at the time of the request and messing with cooking 1 burger would likely disrupt the operation. Given their strict corporate governance, the need for consistency & speed my gut instinct would be no.

                                                  I only go there in a pinch with the kids. I have pretty much moved on to an 8oz med rare Cert Angus Beef burger at a local bar or med rare burger from fresh ground at a local diner. I do still love McD's FF though.

                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                    Why wouldn't it be on? Are you saying McDonald's precooks all their beef in the morning?

                                                    1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                      Hopefully we can get somebody to post who knows for sure but from what I have seen from the customer side of the counter their burgers are precooked and kept in a holding cabinet. I have even seen workers heat them with a microwave.

                                                      I stopped at Burger King not long ago with the kids and the girl pulled a stainless tray out of a holding cabinet which contained a pile of Whopper patties and made our orders with them. As one would expect, they were dry and bland.

                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                          I must confess I never worked at one and really don't know what their process is. What I can say with absolute certainty is that in the 1970's & early 1980's it took 3 times as long to get a 1/4 pound burger but it popped with juice and was delicious.

                                                          Currently, the patty is served hot but it is as dry as a 4 hr old filet held in a steam cabinet at a wedding reception. The only things that are moist are the mustard/ketchup and pickle. Absolutely NO comparison to 30 years ago.

                                                          Back in the day the flat top was clearly visible. Today it is not. HHHMMMMMMM!

                                                        2. re: Tom34

                                                          What McD's used to do is cook a whole mess of patties on the grill, then assemble them all at once, complete with condiments. I used to insure mine was fresh by ordering it without one of the standard condiments.

                                                          BK used to pair burgers and buns in a steam cabinet, but only a few at a time during off-hours. I always liked BK better, because they would get some char from the flame.

                                                          FWIW - They've used microwaves forever at both places to make sure the burger is piping hot when it leaves the kitchen. Even when your burger comes fresh off the grill, it still goes into the oven before hitting the pass.

                                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                                As far as taste goes, going back to cooking the 1/4 lb burgers to order would be the biggest improvement. Their current method of using pre-cooked burgers and nuking them to order can't even begin to compare to the way they used to cook them.

                                                It went from: I have a craving for a juicy McDonald's
                                                1/4 lb burger and I just have to have it (to) lets hit McDonalds, its cheap & fast and the fries are still good.

                                              2. is this deal only in the states