“We Heard Our Fans Loud and Clear”: McDonald’s Officially Rolls Out $5 Meal and Free Fries Promotion

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jun 20, 2024

On Thursday, McDonald’s officially announced that it will roll out its brand new, limited-time $5 meal next week as it works to bring more customers back to its restaurants.

The fast food giant revealed this new deal, as well as other new promotions they have lined up to encourage consumers to spend more time at their local McDonald’s this summer.

Listening to Consumers

In announcing this new deal, McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger released a statement explaining that the company had listened to what its customers wanted to see.

A close-up of McDonald’s fries in a red carton.

Source: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Erlinger said, “We heard our fans loud and clear — they’re looking for even more great value from us, and this summer that’s exactly what they’ll get.”


Customers and Price Fatigue

This latest move by McDonald’s comes after recent reporting suggested the company was trying to bring customers back to its locations after experiencing slower growth in foot traffic at many establishments.

A view of a McDonald’s sign underneath a blue sky.

Source: iStrfry , Marcus/Unsplash

This $5 meal also comes as many fast food restaurants have realized that American consumers are suffering from price fatigue. They no longer want to spend a lot of money at restaurants, something they’ve been doing for quite a while because of high inflation.

A Change in Fast Food Eateries

This has led McDonald’s, as well as their fast food rivals, to reveal brand-new deals and promotions. All of this has been done in an attempt to win over consumers, once again.

An exterior view of a modern McDonald’s building in California.

Source: TaurusEmerald/Wikimedia Commons

Though regular menu prices at these establishments haven’t necessarily fallen, these fast food restaurants are hoping more affordable deals will bring customers back into their stores.

What the $5 Meal Consists Of

McDonald’s has also officially revealed what their new limited-time $5 meal will include. Though rumors and reporting have persisted about this meal, McDonald’s official announcement has set this meal in stone.

A close-up of McDonald’s chicken nuggets.

Source: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Starting June 25 at all McDonald’s nationwide, customers can get a $5 meal that includes a McDouble burger or a McChicken sandwich. This meal also comes with 4-piece Chicken McNuggets, small fries, and a small soft drink.

A Limited Time Deal

This new $5 meal is, unfortunately, only going to be around for a limited time. Though there hasn’t been an official announcement on when this deal will end, it will actually come to an end.

A look up at a lit-up McDonald’s sign underneath a blue sky.

Source: Aegon Boucicault/Unsplash

This limited-time decision previously caused some customers to express anger on social media, as they’d like the affordable meal to become a permanent addition to the McDonald’s menu.


Other McDonald’s Promotions

In this latest news release, McDonald’s also revealed that they will be offering various other promotions and deals throughout the rest of the summer — and the rest of 2024.

A close-up of McDonald’s fries in a red carton.

Source: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Most notably, the fast food giant is touting a “Free Fries Friday” promotion. Through this promo, customers can receive a free medium french fry with any $1 minimum purchase every Friday. This promo will last until the end of 2024.


Deals on the McDonald’s App

However, to receive these free fries every Friday, customers must use the McDonald’s App and place their order through this platform.

A close-up of a woman typing on her phone.

Source: Paul Hanaoka/Unsplash

McDonald’s has also stated that many other deals and promotions will be offered through the app, such as free fries of any size on July 13, National French Fry Day.


Rising Prices at McDonald’s

This $5 meal — and the company’s other promotions and deals — comes as menu prices at McDonald’s have risen greatly over just the past few years.

A McDonald’s meal, including fries and a Big Mac box, on a wooden table.

Source: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

According to new data, the average cost of a Big Mac has risen 21% since 2019, from $4.39 to $5.29. Meanwhile, the average cost of a Quarter Pounder with cheese has also risen since 2019 by 20%, from $4.49 to $5.39.


Fast Food Has Become Expensive for Many

These rising costs seen at McDonald’s and many other previously affordable fast food joints have caused Americans to feel that eating out has become too expensive for them. A recent survey even found that 78% of American consumers feel that fast food is now a luxury item that they cannot afford.

An exterior view of a McDonald’s seen at night underneath a starry sky.

Source: Visual Karsa/Unsplash

As a result, they’ve chosen to stop going to eat at these fast food locations in an effort to save money.


Why Prices Have Risen

There are various reasons why fast food menu prices have skyrocketed in the past few years. High inflation has caused prices in many industries to jump in the past four years.

A view of a modern McDonald’s sign on a building.

Source: Janet Ganbold/Unsplash

However, many fast food chains have pointed to rising labor costs, as well as higher food costs, as to why they’ve had to raise their menu prices.


Battling Price Fatigue

McDonald’s latest quest to bring more consumers into its locations around the country could help the giant battle ongoing consumer price fatigue.

A close-up of an empty McDonald’s fries carton on a black road.

Source: Lucas van Oort/Unsplash

However, as the meal is only a limited-time offer, it might not successfully keep customers returning as the year progresses — especially if they continue to feel that fast food is too expensive.