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Fast Food Prices Jump Due to Drought, Minimum Wage Hikes

Fast food restaurant prices are rising, due to drought and minimum wage hikes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC 7 San Diego

    Your next trip to a fast food restaurant may cost you more.

    A number of fast food chains are saying the double-whammy of drought and minimum wage increases are forcing them to raise prices on many of their most popular menu items.

    Whenever Southern Californians enter the debate over the best hamburger, In-N-Out is almost always in the conversation.

    But you’ll have to pony up an additional 15-cents for the famous Double-Double.

    In-N-Out confirmed prices for hamburgers and cheeseburgers have also been raised by a dime. The popular chain blames the ongoing California drought in part for the hikes.

    Beef prices have crept upward as the U.S. supply has thinned. Other burger chains are dealing with the same issues. McDonalds says prices at some franchises could rise by as much as 3-percent, and that is making it harder to find items to fill their "dollar menus."

    McDonald’s dollar menu is now known as the "Dollar Menu & More" while Wendy’s now calls its budget list the new "Right Price, Right Size" menu. Most items on those range from a buck to two-dollars.

    Fatburger says it too is feeling the rising cost of beef.

    Fatburger confirmed burger prices there will likely inch up in the near future. And price hikes don’t stop at burger joints.

    The Chipotle Restaurant chain says prices of chicken and beef dishes are headed up for the first time in three years.

    Price hikes will likely vary with location. The price pressure isn’t coming from just drought.

    Both Denny’s and Jack-in-the-Box tell Bloomberg News the minimum wage hikes mean modestly higher menu prices at some of its California restaurants.

    All of this makes it harder to pay for that midnight snack with spare change you find in the couch cushions or the car floor. And there is no relief for that morning cup of coffee either. Starbucks announced price hikes of anywhere from 5-cents to 20-cents.

    • McDonalds
      Prices at some franchises could go up as much as 3 percent. According to Bloomberg News McDonald's is rebranding its "Dollar Menu" into the "Dollar Menu and More."
    • Chipotle
      Chipotle is increasing prices for the first time in three years. Price hikes will vary by location.
    • In-N-Out
      In-N-Out raised the cost of its hamburgers and cheeseburgers by a dime. The Double-Double jumped 15 cents to $3.45. French fries were unchanged but soft drinks went up a nickel.
    • Starbucks
      The coffee giant is increasing the prices of its drinks by 5 to 20 cents.
    • Dunkin' Donuts
      J.M. Smucker recently announced a 9 percent increase in coffee prices that will affect Dunkin' Donuts packaged coffee sold in grocery stores. This increase is specific to package coffee sold in grocery stores, not at Dunkin' Donuts restaurants. The company said it is currently holding conversations with domestic franchisees about a modest increase in coffee prices.
    • Jack in the Box
      Due to minimum wage, Jack in the Box is considering price hikes. Bloomberg News reported a price hike between 1 percent and 1.4 percent at some restaurants.
    • Denny's
      Denny’s said it began price increases in California as of July 1, 2014.
    • Fatburger
      Fatburger North America Inc., tells NBC4 prices are likely to rise soon. They did not disclose the exact amount.
    • Subway
      Subway tells NBC4 it raised the price of turkey and tuna sandwiches by 25 cents in February 2014. It says no other price hikes were instituted this year.

    Clarification: An earlier version of this story said all footlong Subway sandwiches were $5 in September 2013 and now range from $5 to $8.50. The September prices were part of a month-long promotion.

    Sarah Zheng and Julia Bakerink contributed to this report.

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