The profit margin is probably tiny, in some places I think those dollar menu items are money losers
New competition keeps increasing also.
Culvers, Jack in the Box, and 5 Guys are newcomers popping up around our area.
In addition to
Chic Fil A
Steak N Shake
Long John Silver
Subway (and a zillion more)
things like that are a bit like “loss leaders” (no markup but get the people in the store). you get someone in to buy the thing that costs $1 with little markup margin, but then they buy the fries and the drink, high-margin money makers. Place looks busy, more people go there. win-win.
My husband likes Wendy’s. The one’s we’ve eaten at have been pretty good luckily. We discovered Steak n Shake here in FL and they are amazingly good, real old-fashioned ice cream milk shakes too. Also the Checkers here is awesome. so good we actually avoid it so we don’t get too fat lol.