I compared the menu prices across 8 McDonald’s outlets so you don’t have to
According to a user-made McDonald’s price map on Reddit, the price of Big Mac value meals can differ up to $1.75.
Some of us may have the impression that food franchises price their menu items the same across all outlets.
After all, why wouldn’t they? It’s the same meal, sold by the same company, in the same restaurant.
This Reddit post by user u/EconomicSanction claims otherwise, showing how Big Mac value meals are priced differently islandwide.
At certain outlets, Big Mac value meals can be priced as high as $8.65 while others as low as $6.90.
After seeing the map, many questions came to mind: Why the difference at all? Was there one to begin with? I have been eating McDonald’s for as long as I can remember, why am I just realising this?
I was determined to get some answers, even if it means I can save about a dollar on a meal.
Instead of just checking out the price of a Big Mac value meal, I threw into the mix one small fries, one small Milo and a classic vanilla cone.
My journey began at the McDonald’s outlet at HDB Hub, as the map claims it to be one of the lower-priced outlets. I planned to use this as a baseline for all other outlets.
I found that the outlet’s Big Mac price matched the map’s – costing $7.70. The small fries was priced at $2, small Milo at $3.55 and the vanilla cone at $1.
The next destination on my list was the SAFRA Yishun outlet, which is supposedly the only one selling Big Mac value meals at $8.45.
On the menu, a Big Mac value meal costs $8.45, fries at $2.15 and Milo at $3.75. The vanilla cone remains consistent, priced at $1.
Whether the SAFRA Yishun outlet was truly the only one to sell Big Macs at $8.45 remains to be seen.
Fortunately, I left Yishun unharmed and headed to the city to hunt for the Bugis Village outlet.
The Reddit post claimed that the Bugis outlet carried the lowest prices in the “Downtown Core”.
I found that the prices at Bugis Village outlet were the same as the HDB Hub outlet, but I still had to compare it to another outlet in the city to see if it really was the lowest Downtown.
Hence, I headed to the Raffles City outlet. The Big Mac value meals are priced at $7.75, fries at $2.15 and Milo at $3.75 – higher than the prices at the Bugis and HDB Hub outlets.
With the city covered, I decided to investigate the outlets where Big Mac value meals were supposedly sold at the highest price instead.
The post claimed these outlets to be at Waterway Point, Bedok Mall and The Metropolis @ one-north.
At The Metropolis, the real villain was not Lex Luthor, but the prices we found. True to the Reddit post, the Big Mac value meals are priced at $8.65 and Milo at $3.70.
The fries remained at $2, and the cone at $1. The plot thickens – why were the fries unaffected? Was it the only outlet that had $2 fries? I had to cover more outlets to see if this difference would repeat itself.
I moved on to a pair of McDonald’s across the road from each other: one in Hillion Mall and the other in Bukit Panjang Plaza. They were labelled as outlets offering average-priced Big Mac meals.
The Reddit post claims that despite their proximity, there is still a 25 cent difference.
The Hillion Mall outlet priced the Big Mac value meal at $7.95, fries at $2 and Milo at $3.70.
The McDonald’s at Bukit Panjang Plaza proved the 25 cent difference to be true, with a $7.70 Big Mac value meal and a $3.55 Milo.
The final outlet I visited was the one at Jurong Central Park. This outlet saw Big Mac value meals priced at $7.75, fries at $2.15 and Milo at $3.75.
It offers the same pricing as the Raffles City outlet despite being located in the heartlands.
So, what do we make of this investigation? For one, it proves the Reddit post to be accurate when it came to Big Mac prices.
Though, it still does not explain the price differences. With educational institutions, the reason for the lowest prices is obvious – their most immediate customers are students.
The mystery gets even more puzzling when you look at the bigger picture.
While it makes sense for The Metropolis outlet to have the highest prices due to the concentration of white-collar workers, the logic falls short when it comes to the Waterway Point and Bedok Mall outlets – both of which are located in the heartlands.
There are also McDonald’s outlets at SAFRA Punggol and SAFRA Toa Payoh, yet SAFRA Yishun remains the one with the higher price point.
User u/EconomicSanction also points out another oddity with McChickens in the same thread. He explains how the Lucky Plaza outlet is selling à-la-carte McChickens at $3.95, but the outlets with high prices sell them at $2.50.
Conspiracy theories aside, the next time you and your friends crave McDonald’s, you might just want to pull out that Reddit map before walking into an outlet.
If there is one thing you can count on to be consistently priced, it is the vanilla cone.