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Here’s how much McDonald’s costs in every state

Here’s how much McDonald’s costs in every state
Posted at 12:39 PM, Apr 02, 2024

If you need a quick lunch on the cheap, McDonald’s is generally a solid option. But its individual franchise owners can set their own prices, and there’s a wide range in cost from state to state. Customers are beginning to notice that in some areas, McDonald’s no longer fits into a tight budget.

But, do the prices of McDonald’s food actually vary that much from one state to the next? The folks at the research firm NetCredit surveyed the fast food landscape in general, and they included McDonald’s golden arches in their study.

NetCredit used data from GrubHub to compare the average prices among McDonald’s restaurants in all 50 states. They zeroed in on three food items: Big Macs, french fries and a 10-piece order of chicken McNuggets.

They calculated a national average price for each of these three items. (The average cost of a Big Mac, for example, is $5.58.) This allowed them to show how much higher or lower a state’s prices are than the national average.

Map of McDonald's prices in the U.S. states

The upshot? The difference in price for the exact same foods is quite significant. If your local McDonald’s is in Alaska, you will pay 23.93% more than the national average. Coming in at No. 2 and No. 3 most expensive are Massachusetts (+21.99%) and Vermont (+19.41%).

On the other hand, if you visit McDonald’s in Wyoming, you’ll pay 17.61% less than average. Coming in at No. 2 and No. 3 least expensive are Texas (-11.6%) and Virginia (-11.2%).

Interestingly, if you live in South Carolina, Kentucky or New Mexico, you’ll pay right around the average price.

In some cases, the price differences are understandable. A franchise that’s located just off the highway might charge more for its easy accessibility, while a restaurant in an area with a lower cost of living might charge less. But, some of the variations are a bit of a head scratcher.

Why do the McDonald’s restaurants in Nevada charge slightly lower prices than the national average, while those in neighboring California charge 12.82% more? And the Carolinas — North and South — have about nine percentage points difference in price between them.

According to the New York Post, McDonald’s company profits increased last year after some price hikes on its menu. But now that customers in certain states are being charged north of $10 for a Big Mac, there’s been a backlash on social media. In this TikTok video, a customer comically schools the company about its prices:

@cnn An $18 Big Mac meal? A $3 hash brown? McDonald’s customers took to social media to complain about the company recently raising its prices. The fast food giant says that prices went up by as much as 10% in 2023, a move it blames largely on rising food cost. #mcdonalds #dollarmenu ♬ original sound – CNN

On the bright side, the fast food firm has responded to the complaints. Recently, the company’s CEO, Chris Kempczinski, declared that McDonald’s will be more focused on affordability in 2024. Big Mac lovers in the top half of NetCredit’s rankings list will no doubt be relieved.

Where does your state fall in the ranking for McDonald’s prices from most to least expensive?

1. Alaska

2. Massachusetts

3. Vermont

4. California

5. New York

6. Hawaii

7. Washington

8. New Jersey

9. Pennsylvania

10. Rhode Island

11. New Hampshire

12. Connecticut

13. Oregon

14. Colorado

15. Kansas

16. Delaware

17. Maryland

18. Minnesota

19. Nebraska

20. Arizona

21. New Mexico

22. South Carolina

23. North Dakota

24. Kentucky

25. Maine

26. Nevada

27. Missouri

28. Michigan

29. West Virginia

30. Ohio

31. Florida

32. Oklahoma

33. Arkansas

34. South Dakota

35. Tennessee

36. Illinois

37. Louisiana

38. Mississippi

39. Montana

40. Iowa

41. Wisconsin

42. Alabama

43. Idaho

44. Indiana

45. Utah

46. North Carolina

47. Georgia

48. Virginia

49. Texas

50. Wyoming

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