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McDonald’s Value Test: $4.99 Combo Bag

Filed under Test Market, Value Menu

McD_$4.99ComboBag_205The “meat-and-three” is a Southern restaurant tradition. Diners choose an entrée plus three side dishes to accompany it. Given that it’s appropriate that McDonald’s is testing a “meat-and-two” twist on its Dollar Menu & More in selected stores in Georgia.

The $4.99 McDonald’s Combo Bag invites customers to choose one sandwich from among four Dollar Menu & More options: Double Cheeseburger; Bacon Cheddar McChicken Bacon McDouble; or Bacon Ranch McChicken.

Next customers choose two sides from among medium fries, a 4-piece Chicken McNuggets pack, a side salad, pie or sundae/cone. They complete the meal with a beverage, choosing from among a medium soft drink, medium sweet tea, bottled water or medium iced coffee. A small McCafé shake or frappe can be added for an additional $1.

The Combo Bag isn’t a flashy innovation. But it is in line with the company’s belief that it needs to simplify its menu and operations and focus what CEO Don Thompson calls the chain’s “foundational elements.” In the Q2 conference call on July 22, Thompson said the first of those core elements is value. “We are evaluating the relationship between pricing and quality perception across our menu board and that’s because value is one of our grand pillars. So we must continue to fortify our position within this key consumer attribute.”

As QSRs’ promotional focus shifts to side dishes, will consumers perceive McDonald’s Combo Bag as a better value than Burger King’s “2 for $5” offer or KFC’s “$5 Fill Up Meals”? That’s what McDonald’s is testing in Georgia without adding any new menu items. If the value perception isn’t there, McDonald’s will try something else because standing still clearly isn’t an option.

7 Responses to McDonald’s Value Test: $4.99 Combo Bag

  1. Adam

    2 entree + 1-1.50 side + 1 beverage = $5?


  2. Bill

    $2.00 entrée + (2)1.50 sides + $1.00 beverage

  3. Do you even save any money doing this???

  4. Adam

    Ha! Bill good catch. Guess I should read closer huh

  5. Dom

    Reducing margin on an already low-margin products? I wouldn’t think that Franchisees are too happy about this promotion.

  6. Roger

    Seems like it’s inspired by Hardee’s $5 Big Bag Lunch. And it’s the better deal. Matching what’s available, the Hardees choice gets you 2 double cheeseburgers, fries, pie and drink. For the same money you get an additional sandwich. The local Hardees is cranking out a better burger than McDs these days, fries an improving second place. Did have to have the McDs triple the other day. Not really a value, but the whole idea of a more substantial meal sells.