Sneaky Ways Fast Food Restaurants Get You To Spend Money

Sneaky Ways Fast Food Restaurants Get You To Spend Money


This is a Number 3 from McDonald’s: a burger, fries, and a drink. It costs $11 in New York City. Fast food is supposed to
be cheap and convenient, but do you ever find
yourself spending more on fast food than you expected to? You’re not alone. According to one study, Americans spend around $1,200
on fast food every year. Places like McDonald’s and Burger King do everything in their power
to get you to spend more money, and it turns out fast food
isn’t as cheap as you think. Fast food is all about the deals. Value meals, combos, coupons, oh my. But the seemingly simple menu actually hides most of the options. Compare a fast food menu to a
fine dining restaurant menu. The restaurant menu is simple and not very stimulating, but the fast food menu is a noisy mess of options and categories, and fast food restaurants
grab your attention with bright reds or oranges along with big appetizing
photos of their food. There’s a hierarchy. The pictures are big,
but the prices are small. They keep your attention
on the items that cost more by showing these really
big on the left side where you start reading. You’re not wondering if
that burger is worth $6, you’re just looking at
those big juicy patties. Hans Taparia: Food pictures,
they light up the brain, you know, particularly when you’re hungry. Large food pictures for
a food company are key. Narrator: That’s Hans Taparia. He’s a health food entrepreneur and a professor of business
and society at NYU. Hans Taparia: The playbook
has been around for awhile, I would say since the ’80s, which has been centered around simplicity, cheap and bold and bright. Narrator: Fast food restaurants
use other tricks too, like not showing a dollar sign or using a 9.79 or 0.89 pricing format. Pretty much $10, but
you still think it’s $9 because you read left to right. But what about the dollar menu, right? Well, dollar and value menus do exist, but they’re often small and far off to one corner
where they are harder to see. Hans Taparia: And if you buy multiple items off the value menu, it won’t necessarily be
cheaper than a Happy Meal. So it’s not necessarily
less profitable for them, but it accomplishes two things. It keeps the consumer coming, and it’s catering to a consumer that is increasingly poorer in the case of these
conventional fast food outlets. Narrator: And even though
fast food menus are big, their confusing layouts make it difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. It’s easiest to read the menu when you’re close to the counter. But then it’s time to order. The pressure is mounting, and you just pick that big,
bright, juicy Number 3, and that Number 3 is where the
real secret of the menu lies: the combo. The star of the menu is the combo meal. You can order an entree,
a side, and a drink just by saying one easy number. It takes a lot less time
to order the Number 6 than a 10-piece nugget, medium
fry, and a medium drink, but have you actually done the math to see if that combo is
saving you any money? Take McDonald’s for example. If you buy a Number 3, it costs $10.39, but if you were to buy the
Double Quarter Pounder, medium fry, and medium
drink, it costs $10.48. You’re only saving 9 cents, and often you’ll end up with things you didn’t even want in portions that are way bigger than what’s healthy. Hans Taparia: And
creating this perception, which is quite real actually, that the per ounce cost of
something bigger is lower, and so I’m just getting
better value for my money, forget the fact that I’m
buying 32 ounces of soda, which has half a cup of sugar. Narrator: The convenience of ordering a preselected meal gives
fast food restaurants control over what you order. Combine this with multiple size
options and cheap upgrades, and it’s hard to walk away
with a small in every category. When was the last time you
went to a place like Taco Bell and just bought one taco? Fast food restaurants make more money from customers buying multiple items. Items like soda have a
much higher profit margin compared to burgers, so fast food companies
do everything they can to get you to buy a drink. They’ve added things
like 24-hour locations and all-day breakfast to make sure you can get whatever you
want whenever you want it. If you think you have more control at an ordering kiosk, you’re wrong. According to McDonald’s
CEO Steve Easterbrook, customers spend more on average at kiosks ’cause they linger longer. Guess what those kiosks also have. Lots and lots of pictures. And that’s just the
tip of the, um, Frosty. Fast food companies are experts at getting customers in the door. They advertise the most
outrageous deals on signs, posters, and TV commercials. They can get you in the door for some buy one get one free nuggets, you’ll probably buy a drink too. Oh, look. You can make that a meal and add fries for just a dollar more. Companies also use brand tie-ins like Doritos Locos Tacos and coupons that expire within the week, like the ones you may have seen on the bottom of your receipt, not to mention app reward points or special daily deals
found only in the app, just like the old-fashioned punch card. You’ll eat at a restaurant more often if each purchase brings
you closer to free food. Any one thing in isolation itself may not have a huge impact. The power of marketing is
when you overlay things. Narrator: But, there’s
a deeper issue here. Fast food isn’t as cheap as it used to be. According to Bloomberg, the average price of a fast food burger has increased by 54% in the last decade, outpacing fast-casual and
fine dining restaurants. But fast food is sometimes the only option in low-income food deserts, and your environment has a big impact on your health and weight. Healthy fast-casual offerings are often so much more
expensive than fast food that they no longer target
the same demographic, especially if you’re feeding a family. KFC will give you a lot
more food per dollar than an organic salad chain. Fast food restaurants are
able to lure consumers into spending more money on
large, unhealthy portions because it’s more affordable
than healthier options. Fast food can be cheap and convenient, but you have to fight off
all the psychological tricks that are engineered to get
you to spend more money. You shouldn’t be paying a premium for low-quality, unhealthy food.

100 Comments

  • drsupremo88

    October 31, 2019

    Local fast food joints have a lot more value for money than these big name brands

    Reply
  • An ARMY who can't choose one bias

    October 31, 2019

    If I have 2 dollars here in my country I could order a one piece chicken with upgrade drinks

    Reply
  • Rahul Sheth

    November 1, 2019

    I literally got an ad of Domino's of getting free garlic sticks on your first three orders.
    Coincidence?

    Reply
  • Jonathan Alcala Garcia

    November 1, 2019

    One ☝️ time McDonald’s cost me $42.69 that was so much I think 🤔 I’m not going to McDonald’s again 😡

    Reply
  • Roca

    November 1, 2019

    Cmon, 10 dollars for full tasty meal is that much?

    Reply
  • RainbowButtercup

    November 2, 2019

    wtf that meal only costs around $3 in our place

    Reply
  • Forrest Zeng

    November 3, 2019

    Boi, Im getting hungry.

    Reply
  • Kyle Matthews

    November 3, 2019

    Why bother spending 11 bucks, when a Top Ramen pack only costs 50 cents

    Reply
  • AjayPlayz

    November 3, 2019

    Why is fast food so expensive in America the fast food in the UK is much cheaper I swear (I’m also considering the currency in the UK is diffrent from America) I got a number 3 for £5.00

    Reply
  • FirstOrderer 1

    November 3, 2019

    My local fast food place costs £2.50 and it's good

    Reply
  • sloaches lee

    November 4, 2019

    .

    Reply
  • American Paisa

    November 4, 2019

    A Big Mac meal cost $11 Dollars in CA because Liberals went and raised the minimum wage to $15. They don’t understand that the cost of things will also go up as a result.

    Reply
  • Hanon Silverleaf

    November 4, 2019

    2.1k dislikes are fast food employers

    Reply
  • Pat W

    November 4, 2019

    It’s a trick

    Reply
  • Maverick Shaq

    November 5, 2019

    I just wasted my life

    Reply
  • jowhr MRGENOCIDE

    November 5, 2019

    I want McDonald's now

    Reply
  • RedElectric3

    November 6, 2019

    Very informative thank you

    Reply
  • Parth Kapur

    November 6, 2019

    I had a McDonald’s in my university (which was in the middle of nowhere), it was the only food place open after 10 pm. After 4 years of their shitty burgers I can’t imagine why anyone with options would ever go there willingly no matter how good their prices. How are these places still in business when small independent cafes and street food exists!

    Reply
  • Deepak Nohawar

    November 6, 2019

    Just cook at home

    Reply
  • The Blitz

    November 6, 2019

    the way you talk remind me of shiny big burgers

    Reply
  • Opochtli

    November 7, 2019

    Wowowowowwow is a dope and a while and the mailma is a dope and a good guy who dont want to visit the world and I cant wait to see more of them for.yoir the same thing as a couple of says he has a lot of people who are more than a tool

    Reply
  • Effort 0.5

    November 8, 2019

    Or this could just be a over-analysis and all we are

    Is hungry

    Reply
  • Zegar safi

    November 8, 2019

    Mac chicken is 1$ here 3 is enough for everyone one

    Reply
  • Keith Cox

    November 8, 2019

    I stoped eating fast food, I order a pizza once every few months but other then that I cook at home

    Reply
  • Ryan Daniel

    November 8, 2019

    McDonald’s and other fast food places have gotten way to expensive. Why is a Hash brown $2 dollars? Why is a sausage/egg McMuffin $4.99?
    Got a meal the other day and it was nearly $12. With 2 extra hash browns.
    Also think $15 min wage is hurting prices.

    Reply
  • PK C

    November 8, 2019

    This video makes me hungry

    Reply
  • Racing Legend

    November 9, 2019

    I haven't eaten this morning and I'm watching this

    I WANNA GO TO MC DONALD NOW!!

    Reply
  • Tomas T

    November 10, 2019

    Number 3 is under 5 pounds in London.

    Reply
  • DA MAN WITH A PLAN

    November 10, 2019

    So… a business will do what ever it takes to make as much money as possible. And this is the breakthrough research? We need another plague.

    Reply
  • Christian Knight

    November 10, 2019

    Love you! Repent of your sins and trust Jesus.

    Reply
  • Markaza

    November 10, 2019

    Wtf in Russia makchickeb combo costs 2,5$

    Reply
  • Rudbones40 Gaming

    November 10, 2019

    Well when you live where the government controls the minimum wage and increases it with out taking the economy into account then your food costs more

    Reply
  • Sigma XIII

    November 11, 2019

    I went Taco Bell today and ordered 3 Cheesy Bean Burrito's + add beef. Looked at the receipt and it was only around $5. This item was also in nigh micro text on the upper left panel on their menu.

    Reply
  • OHKPodcasts

    November 11, 2019

    whoever thought fast food was cheap is either rich or an idiot

    Reply
  • Hamad Mohammed

    November 12, 2019

    "McDonald's and Burger King will do anything to make you spend more money"

    Sad Obama Fried Chicken noises

    Reply
  • Cr4zyFiSh08

    November 12, 2019

    If youre canadian, just order mcdoubles or junior mcchikens. 2 juniors + 1 mcdouble is only 8$. If u want a drink just say u want a cup of water, empty it and fill it inside the restaurant.

    Reply
  • Dynamac mc

    November 12, 2019

    I know people that buy a double cheeseburger and they split it in 2 then buy a water cup and fill it with soda

    Reply
  • PabloDeBablo

    November 13, 2019

    Get out of my recommended

    Reply
  • Ed and Chris

    November 13, 2019

    Lol US maccie’s is so expensive 😂in uk you can get burger fries and coke for half the price

    Reply
  • Hazyl Wytch

    November 13, 2019

    The cheapest way to eat is making food yourself. Most food you find at a fast food place is sold at the grocery story in bigger quantities. Make your own fast food 🙂

    Reply
  • Mark Campos

    November 13, 2019

    I take literally like several dozen handfuls of ketchup and napkins and packets of salt and pepper. I never buy ketchup, salt, napkins, or pepper when I go shopping for groceries. That's what Fast food restaurants are for 😉

    Reply
  • DR NO

    November 13, 2019

    If aliens ever come to Earth this might be helpful, otherwise all of this is just common sense

    Reply
  • Jonathan Reed

    November 14, 2019

    I still don't know how to beat them

    Reply
  • Dutch Master

    November 14, 2019

    Fast food used to be cheap

    Now it’s only for the elite

    Reply
  • sarika chugh

    November 14, 2019

    The same is 3 dollars in india

    Reply
  • Gurt Lord

    November 14, 2019

    McDonald’s is garbage

    Reply
  • Yan Azeez

    November 14, 2019

    Man hear in the middle east you can eat 2 falafl sandwiches and a small coke for a dollar and for 2 dollars you can eat 2 shawarmas and a medium coke

    Reply
  • Stan Itzy & Superm

    November 14, 2019

    when i got to mcdonalds i get two cheeseburgers for ess than 3 bucks and nothing else.

    Reply
  • Sidney Lopez

    November 15, 2019

    1200? Lol

    Reply
  • Kitsune Teodora

    November 15, 2019

    In Romania fast food is pretty expensive

    Reply
  • Koen Brown

    November 16, 2019

    i used to work at burger king, never order nuggets, chicken fries, classic chicken sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich, or anything that has eggs… the eggs are disgusting and the chicken doesn’t get ordered very often and the workers don’t dump the nuggets after they have sat for to long they just let them sit because their too lazy to make new ones

    Reply
  • RED BLOOD LẠC HỒNG

    November 16, 2019

    They are so good that I literally feel hungry for McDonald watching this…..
    And there is NO McDonald in my country.

    Reply
  • spooky

    November 16, 2019

    Least I dont gotta worry about sales tax I have to worry about the government stealing from my check 🙂

    Reply
  • bootadog

    November 17, 2019

    Lol most of the time I only spend a buck

    Reply
  • JHZ

    November 17, 2019

    It only cost £4.50 for a big mac meal

    Reply
  • Jotaro Kujo

    November 18, 2019

    This is why I always eat at international food court, a meal that costs 4 bucks enough to keep your stomach full and extrememly delish.

    Reply
  • Voident The meme lord

    November 18, 2019

    Me and my dad go to Freddie’s because they give my dad 15% off for his service

    Jokes on you I read 9.89 as 10.00

    Reply
  • Ahmad Mostafa

    November 19, 2019

    Each time I go to McDonald I spent at least more than 10 dollars, a chitty food for this expensive price 😔🤨🤨

    Reply
  • Samuel Schlote

    November 19, 2019

    Just use the McDonald’s deals, cheap and can’t go wrong…

    Reply
  • Sunny Wu

    November 19, 2019

    I almost never go to either. Their marketing failed.

    Reply
  • Jeremiah cantu

    November 21, 2019

    One time I bought a caramel frappe it cost freakin 6.00$

    Reply
  • Trisha Bhugra

    November 21, 2019

    They can't trick Indians

    Reply
  • Michael Ortiz

    November 22, 2019

    Lol I never buy drinks at actual restaurans

    Reply
  • Original L

    November 22, 2019

    In the past few years the mcgangbang (McDouble with a Jr Chicken in between) has gone from $4.20 to $5 today in Canada

    Reply
  • A_RandomAnimation Channel

    November 22, 2019

    The dislikes are probably from fast food branches.

    Reply
  • yungdadi

    November 23, 2019

    Its called fast food not cheap food

    Reply
  • Jaime Calzada

    November 24, 2019

    chick-fla is fine

    Reply
  • Matilda Maher

    November 25, 2019

    Fast food or restaurant, in Australia its really expensive . I cook a lot so we save money. And not a fan of burger, it’s not filling at all. Pasta, Rice, dal and curry with lots of spices and herbs, goes a long way.

    Reply
  • HockeyHoodack

    November 25, 2019

    11 dollars in NY. Sucks here it’s like 4

    Reply
  • Generic Username

    November 25, 2019

    I only order 4 cheeseburgers when I go to McDonalds.
    I know they lose money on that and that brings me true joy.

    Reply
  • caligal2010

    November 26, 2019

    $12 at McDonald's? This is once again why the liberal states are shit holes. A complete meal here costs $5. Burger, fries, and a drink.

    Reply
  • Ami Rul

    November 26, 2019

    surely, all fast food company hate this video..

    Reply
  • elysium76

    November 27, 2019

    Man I am price conscious, I doubt I have been fooled

    Reply
  • Robert Smith

    November 27, 2019

    I'm 57 and go to fast food about once or twice a week (usually McDonald's, but also Taco Bell, Carl's Jr.'s and Burger King are nearby also). You have to be careful and look for the things that are on special (like signs in the window, that only face you as you approach the restaurant). Take your time studying the menu and maybe ask about what's on special. And then you can usually get a good deal. At Mcdonalds, I like the Quarter pounder with or without cheese (and cooked well-done, with extra onions) is super delicious. Also, the Big Mac with extra Big Mac Sauce (as they call it) is really good too. 🙂

    Reply
  • Live On Pointe

    November 27, 2019

    Durr D Durr

    Reply
  • Porkins_Jr

    November 27, 2019

    Good for them, this is all good business. Am I supposed to hate them for being smart? These restaurants are good at offering what people actually want. They're still here, where a thousand fancy-pants, organic, vegan restos come and go out of business. I say, Long Live Fast Food!

    Reply
  • WACK ZACK

    November 28, 2019

    Nothing is cheap and convenient when you live in New York.

    Reply
  • Joshie Doom

    November 28, 2019

    Fast food isn't cheap or healthy, its fast and consistent, and that's it.

    Reply
  • Avishek Saini

    November 28, 2019

    Got a McDonalds ad before this video.

    Reply
  • bruce Hernandez

    November 28, 2019

    No matter the order number 1,2 or else is the same crap. Taco Hell aint a real Mexican tacos ya'll.

    Reply
  • Wyatt Rees

    November 28, 2019

    Improvise adapt overcome

    Reply
  • Rebekah Faulkner

    November 28, 2019

    The price of McDonald’s in the US is SO expensive, in the UK where I live it’s £5 for a meal…?

    Reply
  • The wwe Man

    November 29, 2019

    Y’all remember that episode of spongebob when he printed krabby pattys

    Reply
  • morgan glenn

    November 29, 2019

    11 dollars for a number 3 where I’m from it is only 6 dollars

    Reply
  • Morten Kjell Reitan

    November 29, 2019

    Fast food is life.

    Reply
  • Classic VLassic

    November 29, 2019

    Modern society is stupid

    Reply
  • sleepX tv

    November 30, 2019

    Get 2 mcchickens a small fry and a soda and u will spend less then 5$

    Reply
  • Kicked in the Biscuits

    November 30, 2019

    I get anxious if my bill ends up any higher than $7. 😬

    Reply
  • Chapter 7

    November 30, 2019

    If you eat at mcdonalds more than once a week, dont be surprised if you get cancer

    Reply
  • Jesse Norwalt

    November 30, 2019

    “Fast food burger prices went up 50% over 10 years!”
    That’s only 4% a year and inflation is half of that so basically it’s been going up about 2% a year for the last ten years which makes sense because of higher cost food and wages going up.

    Reply
  • tpamel

    December 1, 2019

    McD's vs Five Guys:
    $11 for a bacon double cheeseburger meal vs
    $11 for a bacon double cheeseburger sandwhich only.

    Winner: Five Guys – I'll drink free tap water with burger.

    Reply
  • rebecca._. lynne

    December 1, 2019

    wow ive been so intrigued with these videos idek why

    Reply
  • Galactus TM

    December 2, 2019

    Imagine still eating poison in 2019

    Reply
  • Mark Markeliz

    December 2, 2019

    negotiator walks in

    Reply
  • GamingC00KI3

    December 2, 2019

    Jokes on them, I most likely spent more money on steakhouses than fast food.

    Reply
  • leo chavarria

    December 2, 2019

    Ok boomer

    Reply
  • Jimmy Songsun

    December 2, 2019

    Time to take notes

    Reply
  • Non-Descript Being

    December 2, 2019

    Neh, when I was younger I only ever ate popcorn chicken with sweet & sour sauce at KFC…that's all I'd get. Years later I was at a shopping centre, killing time until my next class and just got popcorn chicken and nothing else from there, lol.

    Reply
  • Equinox Alabaster

    December 3, 2019

    I only eat fries (Bc I cant give them up) from fast food places and it saves me so much money now

    Reply
  • Dannykle

    December 3, 2019

    You gotta be dumb to be spending that much. You could go to burger king and get those nice deals on the app. 4$ for two burgers and two fries, how can you beat that?? 11$ for a meal number 3 at Mcdonalds? 11$ is practically a splurge for me. I mean you can also get specials at Mcdonalds, like the cheap small burgers. Mcdouble is the best value item there, a double cheese burger for 1.79? Thats pretty good to me, not as good as Burger King though, but you cant beat those deals. I feel bad for people who dont use the fast food apps when ordering, you can save LOTS of money. Then again ya weight gonna take the hit lol

    Reply

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