McDonald’s insider reveals the real reason bundle deals are on the rise

@chefmikeharacz/TikTok wolterke/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘You’re paying for packaging’: McDonald’s insider reveals the real reason bundle deals are on the rise

‘Bundles are ok. BUT their quality has gone way down.’


Braden Bjella


If you’ve visited McDonald’s in recent months, you might have noticed a heightening trend of pushing eaters toward combo meals.

For example, one mystery shopper at a McDonald’s was told to make sure employees offered to upgrade her to a combo, speaking to the importance the company is now putting on these products. Others have simply noted the new bundles they’ve seen on offer at their local McDonald’s locations.

While McDonald’s is not alone in pushing customers toward combo meals, some may wonder why it appears the company is placing a greater emphasis on this option. Now, a user on TikTok claims they have the answer.

Why McDonald’s wants you to buy a bundle deal

In a video posted to his TikTok account, Chef Mike Haracz (@chefmikeharacz), who says he’s a former McDonald’s corporate chef, explains why McDonald’s might want to push you to buy a more expensive bundle meal.

“If you think about these bundles, you are usually getting four items, two that are a little more, let’s say, premium, and two that are a lot cheaper,” Chef Mike explains.

For instance, a small fry at McDonald’s has the potential to bring in significant profits for the company due to its minimal costs and the sheer volume sold. The same can be said for drinks.

“If they sold [the small fries] for $1 itself, they would make a whole lot of money,” he notes. “The small beverage that you’re getting, the cup costs more than the drink. You’re basically buying packaging, but they make so much money off of the beverage.”

By pairing these items with more “premium” offerings, such as a McChicken or McDouble, the customer is pushed into buying items they might not have otherwise considered buying. And, with the removal of the Dollar Menu, it may simply make more financial sense to the consumer to buy these items as part of a bundle rather than one or the other individually.

Even as McDonald’s increases its prices, Chef Mike says the ability for the chain to keep these combo meals relatively cheap is, McDonald’s believes, incentive enough to get customers in the door.

“They are trying to steal share from other people and get guests to come to their restaurant for the value meal,” Chef Mike explains. “And if they make a little less money than they normally do, that’s OK because they are stealing business from the other person.”

Chef Mike elaborates

In an email to the Daily Dot, Chef Mike speculates about the changes that have been made to the menu that favor the new bundles.

“I would say some of the changes to the extra value meals have to do with the individual components, such as cleaner label ingredients, cost optimized recipes and price increases do to inflation, and other associated costs,” he wrote. “The dollar menu no longer exists and was replaced with the $1, $2, $3 menu, which seldomly has anything consumers want at the $1 price point.”

This, he says, could be indicative of McDonald’s move to push away from a-la-carte pricing as much as possible.

“McDonald’s already hides much of the a la carte options on their menu,” he observed. “Some digital menu boards also have dynamic shifting menus which would recommend specific items depending on weather, time of day, how busy they are, or local events like sporting events, which is a form of suggestive selling.”

@chefmikeharacz Former #mcdonalds corporate chef talks about bundling value items. #McDonaldsTikTok #mcdonaldssecrets #mcdonaldsccsing #mcdonaldschallenge #mcdonaldshacks #FYP #mcdonaldsdrivethru #tiktokfood #foodfestontiktok #foodtiktok #fastfood #fastfoodstories #food #foodtok #foodie #fastfoodlife ♬ original sound – Chef Mike Haracz

Customers aren’t happy about the bundles

While the decision to bundle items might make financial sense for McDonald’s, commenters under Chef Mike’s video griped about the high prices of McDonald’s food, whether it comes as part of a combo meal or otherwise.

“That’s why I balanced it out by not going. lol went for cheap not good,” declared a user.

“Or they hike up the individual price so that it’s cheaper to get the bundle than the one or two things you really want,” claimed another.

“Bundles are ok. BUT their quality has gone way down,” stated a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to McDonald’s via email.

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