Eating fast food doesn’t typically bode well for that. If you’re looking for an excuse to pull through that drive-through window a little less often, consider that fast food menu prices jumped significantly in 2022 — about 13%, according to Pricelisto, a website that tracks menu prices for US fast food chains. That’s even more than the cost of groceries, which bounced roughly 12% in 2022.
Fast food joints typically lure us in with, but with these price hikes, you might be better off signing up for a healthy service or trying on for size — and, as it turns out, they .
While one uberpopular fast food chain did manage to lower prices in 2022, most companies raised the cost of burgers,, fries and soda. One restaurant franchise led the charge with outsized inflation and assumes its position as the new most expensive US fast food chain.
Wendy’s and Chick-fil-A had the biggest menu inflation in 2022
Wendy’s andsaw the highest price hikes per meal last year, with Chick-fil-A ballooning 15.6% from 2021 to an average meal cost of $4.65. Prices at Wendy’s, another fast food fan favorite, shot up almost double that, with 35% inflation from the previous year.
Wendy’s is now the new most expensive fast food chain
With its big 2022 jump, Wendy’s overtakes Burger King as the most expensive fast food chain with the average meal costing $6.63.was another chain that passed inflation costs onto customers, hiking prices on its budget-friendly “Mexican fare” by 14.6% across the menu. It’s worth noting that Pricelisto did not include the higher-end fast food chains in the data such as Shake Shack.
But it wasn’t all bad news for dollar menu hounds in 2022. Burger King increased menu prices by a mere 2%, according to Pricelisto, while McDonald’s actually managed to decrease menu prices by 5% in 2022 versus the previous year.
Some fast food menu items shot up while others got cheaper
Inflation for individual menu items was a bit scattershot., particularly breaded chicken, saw a serious shortage in 2021 which might explain why Burger King’s chicken fries were the single most inflated menu item in the fast food world. Chicken fries were followed by Chick-fil-A’s grilled chicken sandwich, which shot up 10% in 2022.
On the flip side, Wendy’s popular Baconator burger dropped in price by $2.51 — a shocker when you consider the high cost of bacon in recent years (although it’s since come back down.) McDonald’s iconic, and perhaps overrated, french fries also dropped by an average of $0.09 over the course of the year.
Fast food inflation by item
|Chain||Menu item||Price (Sept ’21)||Price (May ’22)||Price (Oct ’22)||Price difference|
|Original Chicken Sandwich||5.89||3.71||5.40||-0.49|
|Spicy Chicken Sandwich||6.45||6.71||6.33||-0.12|
|Grilled Chicken Sandwich||6.57||7.32||7.23||0.66|
|Egg White Grill||3.65||4.00||4.10||0.45|
If you’ve been trying to eat better in 2023, consider all this fast food inflation a sign. To help with your new year nutrition goals, we’ve rounded up the best places to findand the best .