Nearly 80% of Americans Consider Fast Food A ‘Luxury’

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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As inflation continues to affect Americans across the U.S., a new study has found nearly 80% of people are now considering fast food a “luxury” item.

NewsNation correspondent Kelsey Kernstine on “Morning in America” broke down a report by FinanceBuzz which shows companies like McDonald’s, Popeye and Taco Bell have all significantly increased in prices. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the increase is climbing “faster than grocery prices.”

A survey conducted by LendingTree found that a significant amount of Americans consider fast food an indulgence and over 50% have said to have cut back on purchasing because of the high prices.(RELATED: ‘Not The First’: Restaurant Worker Laid Off After Store Closes Warns About State’s Rising Minimum Wage)

“It really makes sense when you break it down because McDonald’s Big Mac — it’s now more than $8 when just a few years ago it was half that price. So according to FinanceBuzz it says that prices at McDonald’s have more than doubled 100% since 2014, Popeyes prices have jumped by 86%, Taco Bell doing the same, up more than 80%. At Subway there’s no longer a foot-long for $5,” Kernstine stated.

“These prices have even outpaced inflation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that fast food prices have even climbed faster than grocery prices,” she continued. “In a new survey by LendingTree they interviewed 2,000 people and nearly 80% of people say fast food is a luxury, more than 60% say they’ve cut back on eating fast food because of the prices. Many of those surveys say they see it as an indulgence because they are struggling financially, especially those making less than $30,000 a year.”

Kernstine went on to say many franchises are blaming inflation for rising coasts, and since Biden has taken office “the cost of eating out is up 22 percent.” Along with rising prices some Democratic states, such as California, have raised minimum wage prices from $16 to $20 an hour, which is beginning to affect some chains as workers are either decreasing in hours or being laid off all together.

In an interview with Kernstine, franchise consultant Nick Neonakis told the outlet that robot service will be “the way of the future.”

“Primarily robotics technology [is] to start replacing people. You’re already seeing it with the kiosk ordering in a number of the different locations that are out there. If you call that in front of the line, behind the line, where the food is being made, that’s the next thing that you’re going to see. Robotic burger flipping, robotic fries, and so on,” Neonakis stated.

While Biden has continually stated that inflation is moving in the right direction, recent data from the consumer price index (CPI) shows that within April there was a 0.3% increase for the third month in a row compared to the second half of 2023 when inflation was heading down below 3%.