10 Fast Food Chains That Are More Expensive Than They Should Be & 10 That Are Reasonable

10 Fast Food Chains That Are More Expensive Than They Should Be & 10 That Are Reasonable

Is fast food really even fast food anymore given the growing prices? In today's climate, everything is becoming more and more expensive, and sadly, our favourite fast food chains aren't exempt from that. Whereas we used to be able to enjoy a burger for a mere couple of dollars, it's now reaching the double digits. But if you're a fast food enjoyer who wants to find the best deals, we've got the ultimate list for you. Here are 10 fast food chains that are way more expensive than they should be, and 10 that are pretty reasonable.

1. Five Guys

Five Guys is one fast food chain that has always been cited for its higher-than-average pricing for burgers and fries. Does it taste good? Yes, but customers have to pay a premium for their customizable burger experience. A lot of people argue that the overall experience simply doesn't justify the high price tag.

Five Guys Burgers And Fries (7025300923)Jerry Huddleston from Hampton, Minnesota, US on Wikimedia Commons

2. Shake Shack

Shake Shack is a beloved burger establishment that has garnered a reputation for its more gourmet take on fast food. Serving up high-quality burgers, shakes, and sides, many love the taste, but complain about the prices. Compared to most traditional chains, the prices are significantly higher. It's caused some to question whether you're really getting your money's worth.

Shake Shack BrooklynKallerna on Wikimedia Commons

3. Taco Bell

Taco Bell is a beloved Tex-Mex inspired fast food chain that always had affordable menu items, but over time, we've heard the silent murmurs of disappointment. There's been a growing sentiment among some customers that the prices have crept up too high recently. Many have commented online that it doesn't make sense given the small size and cheap price of ingredients for some of their menu items.

Taco Bell Meal, Rotterdam-Centrum, Rotterdam (2022) 01Donald Trung Quoc Don (Chữ Hán: 徵國單) - Wikimedia Commons

4. Panera Bread

Ah, Panera Bread. This fast food establishment aims at offering customers a cozy dining experience with a focus on healthy and fresh options. But you know what's not so fresh? Their prices. Many customers have pointed out that the price for their salads, soups, and sandwiches are all pretty steep, especially given the portion sizes.

Panera Bread (19237387959)Scottb211 from Gaylord, Michigan, U.S.A. on Wikimedia Commons


5. Starbucks

Starbucks is arguably the most popular fast coffee chain around, pleasing customers with their vast selection of coffees, teas, and light snacks. While the food and drinks might taste delicious, unfortunately, customers are less than pleased with their growing prices. Especially regarding their snacks - it's pretty expensive for such a small bite!

Angelica-Reyes-6Xbvvss2G8C-Unsplash (1)Photo by Angelica Reyes on Unsplash

6. Burger King

Home to the King, Burger King is a global fast-food giant best known for its mighty Whopper and flame-grilled burgers. Of late, most people have been complaining about the hefty price increases, with people complaining about combo meals reaching up to $15 or more! At that point, what's the difference between just heading to a restaurant?

Ilya-Mashkov- Qxbjur9Rqi-UnsplashPhoto by Ilya Mashkov on Unsplash

7. Raising Cane's

Raising Cane's specializes in a simple menu that people absolutely adore: high-quality chicken fingers served with their signature sauce, coleslaw, Texas toast, and fries. While it's truly a delicious combo that has garnered many devoted fans over the years, one thing that might start to sway people is their prices. Not just that, some people are also beginning to question whether the size of the tenders are starting to shrink...

Raising Cane's 3 Finger ComboShoshanah on Wikimedia Commons

8. Carl's Jr.

Known for its charboiled burgers and innovative menu items, Carl's Jr. has always been one of the more expensive burger chains to eat at. While they have some premium burger offerings that are unique and tasty, it's hard to justify spending that much money at any fast food chain. 

1024Px-CarlsjrsgTerence Ong on Wikimedia Commons

9. Subway

You've definitely heard of the slogan, "Eat Fresh," many times before. At Subway, customers are able to customize their sandwiches, salads, and wraps to their preferred combination of ingredients. While this is an effective method to please most, if not all, customers, one aspect of the company that has failed to satisfy everyone is the pricing. Many have come online to reminisce about the old days when $5 footlongs existed.

6 Inch Subway Turkey Sandwich - September 2022 - Sarah StierchMissvain on Wikimedia Commons

10. Popeyes

Popeyes is known and beloved for its flavourful Louisiana-style chicken, burgers, and sides. While the food is definitely delicious and it's easy to see why it's garnered such a positive reputation, the price points are starting to turn people away. Especially when it comes to combos or family meals, if you're starting to see numbers in the high double digits, you know something's wrong!

Signature Louisiana Chicken, Tenders, Fries, And Garlic Mayo DipAndy Li on Wikimedia Commons


1. In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out is a cult favourite celebrated for its simple but high-quality menu and efficient service. It's got a great rep in the western United States, largely due to the fact that their prices have remained competitively low all this time. While their fries might need some work, you can't complain about the chain's ability to provide customers with great value at a great price.

Blake-Guidry-Nu4N3Afznru-UnsplashPhoto by Blake Guidry on Unsplash

2. Wendy's

Distinguishing itself from the crowd with their "fresh, never frozen" beef slogan, Wendy's has remained a popular fast food chain that offers customers a variety of options without a steep price tag. They've got a great value menu full of delicious and affordable items, showcasing their commitment to value. 

Batu-Gezer-Agghkguvs2W-Unsplash (3)Photo by Batu Gezer on Unsplash

3. Costco Food Court

Okay, we know this isn't exactly a "fast food chain," but Costco's got one of the best deals out there! For just $1.50, you can get their iconic hot dog and drink combo in the food court. No matter how expensive everything else around us gets, you can always rely on the Costco hot dog for a quick and cheap meal (that's also tasty!).

Hot Dog At Costco (9384083370)bob walker from London, UK on Wikimedia Commons

4. Chipotle Mexican Grill

Providing consumers with customizable options for burritos and bowls, Chipotle has continued to stand out among the crowd for their delicious offerings. The portion sizes are pretty generous, making the prices feel reasonable, especially when compared to other fast food chains. For those wanting something other than your classic burger and fries, Chipotle is always a great go-to that won't disappoint.

Burrito, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Rue De Montfaucon, Paris 002 (1)Guilhem Vellut from Paris, France on Wikimedia Commons

5. Little Caesars

Offering some of the best deals in the pizza industry, Little Caesars continues to satisfy customers with affordable prices and delicious pizzas. The chain has also always focused on convenience and reasonable pricing, making it a popular choice for many families and groups.

Crazy Puffs En Little CaesarsKoffermejia on Wikimedia Commons

6. Pizza Hut

Back to back pizza chains! Pizza Hut might be the most popular pizza chain there is, beloved for its wide variety of pizzas, side dishes, and desserts, all at competitive prices. They regularly give out deals and coupons for combos, making this a great option when you've got a big family or party to feed. Or hey, if you're just craving some pizza for yourself too.

1024Px-Pizza Hut Athens Oh UsaEd!(talk)(Hall of Fame) on Wikimedia Commons


7. Tim Hortons

Sorry Americans, Canada's got one fast food chain you're going to have to head up North to enjoy. Tim Hortons is a staple in Canada (and growing in some eastern parts of America!), best known for their wide range of coffee, baked goods, breakfast/lunch items, and so much more! The best part? The prices have remained relatively stable, ensuring customers that they're always going to get the best bang for their buck.

Tim Hortons - Waiting For The Iced Coffee (1)waferboard on Wikimedia Commons

8. Cook Out

Cook Out is a regional fast-food chain known for its BBQ, burgers, and unique sides like hush puppies and coleslaw. With so many different items you can't get at your traditional chains, this is one that stands out. But it's not just for their food, it's also for their prices! People have come online to express their deep appreciation for Cook Out who have continued to keep their prices very affordable.

Cook Out - Macon, Georgia Usa 6 September 2021 - 03Infrogmation on Wikimedia Commons

9. Del Taco

Offering a unique mix of Mexican and American fast food, Del Taco comes out on top when it comes to competitive pricing. They have a great value menu that has a variety of tacos and burritos, catering to budget-conscious customers who want affordability without having to sacrifice taste.

1024Px-Del Taco Soft Taco - 2RightCowLeftCoast on Wikimedia Commons

10. KFC

KFC has been keeping prices reasonable for a long time, with many deals and combos providing significant portions at a good price. People love their famous fried chicken, and thankfully, they can keep enjoying it thanks to their good balance between cost and quality.

Aleks-Dorohovich-Hypxp6Zk1Dw-Unsplash (3)Photo by Aleks Dorohovich on Unsplash