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McDonald's Rolls Out $4 Burger: Why?
The Washington Post ^ | April 22, 2009 | Frank Ahrens

Posted on 04/23/2009 9:07:36 AM PDT by re_tail20

With the nation in its deepest recession in decades, why would McDonald's pick this moment to launch a $4 burger?

You may have noticed the signs that just went up on some McDonald's drive-through menus: The new Angus burger. It weighs one-third of a pound. It costs four bucks.

In its first-quarter earnings conference call this morning, the company did not say it is rolling out the Angus nationwide, but it did not say it isn't. The company was cagey.

Still, they're starting to pop up -- The Ticker saw the Angus on a menu last Saturday, at a McDonald's on the road from Washington to Morgantown, W.Va.

An upscale product in this climate? What could the company be thinking?

(Excerpt) Read more at voices.washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: fastfood; mcdonalds
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1 posted on 04/23/2009 9:07:36 AM PDT by re_tail20
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To: re_tail20

I might try one just to test-run it, but the price seems too high for regulars at the inns.


2 posted on 04/23/2009 9:09:48 AM PDT by BlueStateBlues (Blue State for business, Red State at heart.........2012--can't come soon enough.)
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To: re_tail20

Watch for PETA protests at a Mickey D’s near you.


3 posted on 04/23/2009 9:10:02 AM PDT by randita
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To: re_tail20

“McDonald’s Rolls Out $4 Burger: Why?”

####

Because people like convenient delivery of hot, delicious food.


4 posted on 04/23/2009 9:10:10 AM PDT by EyeGuy
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To: re_tail20

The Angus Burger has been here in New Jersey for a least a 1 and half.

Apparently it’s doing well enough to go nationwide.


5 posted on 04/23/2009 9:10:37 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: re_tail20
Maybe cuz it will actually be a real burger?

Maybe cuz in a (supposed) free market companies can produce a product and see if it meets or exceeds customer demand and expectations?

6 posted on 04/23/2009 9:10:46 AM PDT by Sam's Army
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To: re_tail20

BK’s had that for a while ... must have done very well with it for MickeyD to copy.


7 posted on 04/23/2009 9:10:50 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (May God save America from its government; this is no time for Obamateurs. Emmanuel = Haldeman?)
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To: re_tail20

Why not?


8 posted on 04/23/2009 9:11:09 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: re_tail20

Because Carl’s has the six-dollar burger?


9 posted on 04/23/2009 9:11:19 AM PDT by SkyDancer ('Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..' ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: re_tail20

An effort to win the $12.00 lunch crowd by offering an edible $6.00 lunch?


10 posted on 04/23/2009 9:11:22 AM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: re_tail20

It’s actually a smart move, IMO.

Capture part of the “we used to eat a Chili’s or some such but we can’t afford it anymore but we can afford the McDonald’s premium burger” crowd.

Makes you feel “upscale” as you stretch that dining out dollar (and stretch your waistline at the same time).


11 posted on 04/23/2009 9:11:45 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Party? I don't have one anymore.)
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To: re_tail20
With the nation in its deepest recession in decades, why would McDonald's pick this moment to launch a $4 burger?

Gee, I wonder how many successful businesses the author has run? I have traveled over the world and one universal, other than Chinese restaurants, is McDonald's. They must be doing something right as they are popular everywhere, and if they're launching a four-dollar burger, I'm sure they've done the market research to justify it.

If it's as good as Five Guys or even an IN-N-OUT Double-Double, four bucks is no problem for me.

12 posted on 04/23/2009 9:12:00 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: re_tail20

A $4.00 Burger is still a better buy than a copy of the Washington Compost.


13 posted on 04/23/2009 9:12:09 AM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: EyeGuy

The most dangerous words in the English language-Honey are
you cookin’ tonite!


14 posted on 04/23/2009 9:13:04 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: re_tail20

So the WP is now reduced to writing about McDonald’s hamburgers instead of reporting on the constitutional abuses of Barrack Hussein Obama.

Hey...WP..ANGUS beef is better and costs more. End of story. Get over it. Perhaps you and your lapdogs in the media can push your Messiah to nationalize McDonald’s too?

I am sure you will have no problem getting Obama and the democrats to approve of the American taxpayer subsidizing your lunch(as well as your crappy papers)!


15 posted on 04/23/2009 9:13:22 AM PDT by penelopesire ("The only CHANGE you will get with the Democrats is the CHANGE left in your pocket")
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To: re_tail20

Double cheeseburger for a buck. Best bargain out there.

It has to be their loss leader. There is no profit on that.


16 posted on 04/23/2009 9:14:07 AM PDT by nhwingut
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To: re_tail20

Actually Burger King had a Black Angus burger a few years ago and McDonald’s answered with a version that wasn’t as good. They’ve both been around for a few years. Burger King has changed theirs and now calls it something different.


17 posted on 04/23/2009 9:14:18 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: re_tail20
Why a $4.00 burger? Because Carl's Jr. (Hardey's) has found the $6.00 burger to be something that can be marketed sucessfully.

Competition is quite rugged in the burger business though. Several years back your typical chain would object to publish all their ingredients. Now they all put out something like this: http://www.carlsjr.com/content/downloads/CJIngredientGuide-4-1-09.pdf

18 posted on 04/23/2009 9:14:27 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: BlueStateBlues

Try it when it 1st arrives

Actually it was great when it first came out here ~1½ ago (Especially the mushroom version), but for some reason it’s not as good now,

They might have used real high quality expensive meat to get people hooked, but later switched


19 posted on 04/23/2009 9:14:42 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: re_tail20

“An upscale product in this climate? What could the company be thinking?”

Isn’t it obvious they are now targeting those in the banking, insurance, auto-making, “green” and similar industries who are the beneficiaries of trillions of dollars of Obama’s largesse? Having been essentially picked as winners by the U.S. government, such industries are effectively insulated from the normal market forces that would have trimmed their inflated compensation and benefits levels down to those of other Americans. Thanks to the U.S. taxpayer, they can easily afford $6 hamburgers at McDonald’s were the company to decide to test the upper limits of their customers’ willingness-to-pay.


20 posted on 04/23/2009 9:15:29 AM PDT by DrC
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To: re_tail20
Anybody who EVER worked at McDee’s would NEVER eat their food! And for $4, you can buy a POUND of ground sirloin and cook TWO half-pounders that would taste ten times better than anything you would get at McDee’s.
21 posted on 04/23/2009 9:15:36 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: re_tail20
Why not? This is the country where a large percentage of the population is individually in debt for over $10,000 a piece. A $4 burger ought to be right up their alley.
22 posted on 04/23/2009 9:15:37 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Third Parties are for the weak, fearful, and ineffectual among us.)
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To: re_tail20

because even in a recession, some people will find splurging for a $4 burger that probably costs McD 50 cents to make is worth doing instead of going out and spending 20 bucks somewhere else.

Btw, do you want that supersized?

For me, it’s the $1.09 McDouble.


23 posted on 04/23/2009 9:16:20 AM PDT by MAD-AS-HELL (Hope and Change. Rhetoric embraced by the Insane - Obama, The Chump in Charge)
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To: re_tail20

I’d rather spend another $1.00 and get a foot-long Subway sandwich which is much more healthy.


24 posted on 04/23/2009 9:16:37 AM PDT by TSgt (Extreme vitriol and rancorous replies served daily. - Mike W USAF)
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To: Nervous Tick

That is exactly what is happening - we own a “higher end” fast food place (yes there is such a thing LOL), the customers we are getting now are the folks that used to eat lunch at Applebees and Chili’s. So while our overall customer count is down, the customers we have now are spending more.

We’re in a business area, the same chain in residential areas not doing so well.


25 posted on 04/23/2009 9:16:45 AM PDT by justsaynomore
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To: re_tail20
To draw customers who might otherwise go to Fuddruckers or Culvers.
26 posted on 04/23/2009 9:17:12 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: Rummyfan
Comparing the In and Out Double Double to a Five Guys is rather outre ~ few can do that. I have. Difference is In and Out has a better t-shirt for sale AND, best of all, no peanut shells being ground to powder to float in the air around the dining area.

Alas, we have no In and Out around here but I have a dozen T-shirts purchased on-line for $2.00 each.

27 posted on 04/23/2009 9:17:17 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: re_tail20
Hardee’s stopped selling their Six-Dollar Burger (amusingly named, but most Americans thought it actually was $6 instead of $3.99.

It was a good burger for fast food. If McDonald's is comparable, I'd probably buy one in the combo ...

28 posted on 04/23/2009 9:18:35 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, John 11:25, 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5, John 3:17-18, John 20:31, 1 John 5:13, John 6:69)
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To: muawiyah
...In and Out has a better t-shirt for sale AND, best of all, no peanut shells being ground to powder to float in the air around the dining area.

Yes the peanuts shells bother me too...... But it's a great bacon cheeseburger.

29 posted on 04/23/2009 9:18:48 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: re_tail20
An upscale product in this climate? What could the company be thinking?

Maybe to make money? McDonalds seems to be doing pretty well with their business, and I'm sure has tested the concept of a quality $4 burger. That's what they are thinking.

I might try it, along with their new caramel flavored milkshake.

30 posted on 04/23/2009 9:19:13 AM PDT by vox_freedom (If there were no God, there would be no Atheists. - G. K. Chesterton)
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To: re_tail20

How much is a burger at the Posts favorite bars and fancy restaurants? How much do they cost at a hotel?


31 posted on 04/23/2009 9:19:14 AM PDT by GeronL (TYRANNY SENTINEL. http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: re_tail20

What could the company be thinking?


Not standing still, innovation, providing diversity, etc. Hell not everyone is on the dole, out of a job and living under a roadway.........


32 posted on 04/23/2009 9:20:07 AM PDT by deport
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To: nhwingut

“Double cheeseburger for a buck. Best bargain out there.

It has to be their loss leader. There is no profit on that.”

####

You are right about the bargain.

Regarding the lack of profitably, however, food becomes remarkably cheap when purchased in bulk.

About 10 years I had an interest in a pizza buffet restaurant. W we were able to assemble an extra large, ingredient-laden supreme pizza for significantly south of $1.00, our cost.


33 posted on 04/23/2009 9:20:09 AM PDT by EyeGuy
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To: re_tail20; Salamander

34 posted on 04/23/2009 9:20:54 AM PDT by shibumi (" ..... then we will fight in the shade.")
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To: kellynla
Anybody who EVER worked at McDee’s would NEVER eat their food!

1984-1986 Window Person of the Year here! I agreed with your statement 100%, until last year. McDonalds was my very last choice, but then they came out with their new coffee, and I just had to give it a try. Now I am hooked! Especially their caramel latte.

Since then, I have picked up a few sandwiches here, and there, and have discovered they are not that bad. I love the fish sandwich.

If you are a coffee lover, give McDonalds another try, you may surprise yourself.

35 posted on 04/23/2009 9:21:08 AM PDT by codercpc
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To: muawiyah

One of the few reasons I am reluctant to leave CA...


36 posted on 04/23/2009 9:21:59 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 92 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: kellynla
We were talking about cooking our own the other day on a different thread. Check out Paula Deen’s Big Mike burger over on the Food Net Work. :’)
37 posted on 04/23/2009 9:22:39 AM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: Rummyfan

“Gee, I wonder how many successful businesses the author has run?”

Nailed it. (I’ve run businesses but not restaurants and have no plans or desires to)

I can give half a dozen reasons why, most appear elsewhere on this thread.

But the most obvious is, uhhhh, you think McD’s doesn’t know what they are doing?

McD’s has KILLED on their salads. And their coffee thing, I’ve heard plenty of folks claim it superior to Starbucks for straight-ahead regular coffee. (I myself don’t like s-bucks reg coffee and don’t go to McD’s often enough to have a valid opinion)


38 posted on 04/23/2009 9:23:35 AM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (Mr. Bernanke, have you started working on your book about the second GREATER depression?")
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To: F15Eagle

Carl’s Jr., which is the same company w/ a different name, still sells them. I just had a low-carb $6 burger the other day.


39 posted on 04/23/2009 9:24:11 AM PDT by Tamar1973 (Riding the Korean Wave, one Bae Yong Joon drama at a time!)
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To: re_tail20

Because the people who USED to be buying steaks haven’t been hit bad enough yet to buy a $.99 burger. DUH!


40 posted on 04/23/2009 9:25:05 AM PDT by 50sDad (The mainstream media is the only watch dog that decides what it is going to bark at.)
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To: re_tail20

Angus Burger...$4.00. Coronary treatment...’Hope you have insurance. Obuma care comin’....


41 posted on 04/23/2009 9:25:16 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: qam1
Ditto for that in Canada. I had one up there and found it to be one tasty burger:


42 posted on 04/23/2009 9:25:31 AM PDT by Michael.SF. ("They're not Americans. They're liberals! "-- Ann Coulter, May 15, 2008)
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To: re_tail20

BECAUSE.....those who were going to higher end places, but have cut back....might like this burger at McDonalds.....they’re being smart marketers...


43 posted on 04/23/2009 9:25:34 AM PDT by goodnesswins (Free Speech for THEE, but NOT for ME????)
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To: codercpc
Thanks but I don't drink coffee and I don't eat garbage...
like my father used to say “garbage in, garbage out!”

No thank you! I've been living with a damn good cook for 60 years (ME) and I have absolutely NO REASON to eat what some illegal, who God only knows what diseases he's carrying, just put together in the kitchen!

44 posted on 04/23/2009 9:26:30 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: codercpc
If you are a coffee lover, give McDonalds another try, you may surprise yourself.

I did. It was cold (relatively).

But I don't doubt why? After all, almost $3M for a hot cup of coffee spilled would make anybody cool down the temperature of their coffee.

45 posted on 04/23/2009 9:28:15 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: codercpc

I used to work at Culver’s and honestly, it was always clean and the crowds never ended. It was non-stop there and people would spend a lot more money there then at McD’s!


46 posted on 04/23/2009 9:29:14 AM PDT by hsmomx3 (GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: null and void

mcdonalds wont get my business. gross food, healthwise it is junk, the taste , well you got to low grease. messes up the gut. huge left leaning corporation, I dont want them to get my money, if you want to save real money, pack your own lunch, it can be more healthy also.

I see the mcdonalds here no longer employeing American kids as a first job, now it is adults, barely able to speak english folks, many probably illegal. the tatoos, the demenor, the customer service is bad.

I avoid this junk food. mcdonalds is on the bottom of the national chain list for me if in the case i am ever forced to settle for fast food.

save you money for real food, not this procesed junk


47 posted on 04/23/2009 9:29:15 AM PDT by dhm914
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To: Michael.SF.

Big Kahuna Burger....ummmmmmmmmmm!


48 posted on 04/23/2009 9:29:19 AM PDT by Mashood
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To: BlueStateBlues
New? Maybe we're a test market area or sumpin, but they've had the angus burgers here for well over a year.

They're the best product put out by McDonald's by far....but we kinda wait and watch for semi-regular buy-1-get-1-free ads in the junk mail.

49 posted on 04/23/2009 9:29:58 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (Impeach now!)
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To: null and void
One of the few reasons I am reluctant to leave CA...

Jack In The Box is the other reason, IMO.

50 posted on 04/23/2009 9:30:50 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Presbyterians often forget that John Knox had been a Sunday bowler.)
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