Customer blasts McDonald’s hash brown price hike, says an hour of minimum wage work only buys 1

@caiticlare89/TikTok Roland Magnusson/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘I thought they were like $0.50 each’: Customer blasts McDonald’s hash brown price hike, says an hour of minimum wage work only buys 1

'A whole box at Aldi is like, $5.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Mar 23, 2024   Updated on Mar 23, 2024, 10:28 am CDT

Food service employees have wondered online how the places they work for can regularly charge multiple orders that shatter their own hourly wage. One Starbucks worker even counted the number of individual orders they took in an hour that was greater than the average wage of partners in their stores and tallied them all up.

Customers have their qualms with pricing too—namely, why fast food has gotten so expensive lately. It has even outpaced the general inflation increase when stacked against other food cost spikes.

While it seems there’s an “X restaurant costs HOW MUCH NOW?!” viral rant for pretty much every major fast-food chain (just ask this dad who couldn’t believe he dropped more than $50 for dinner for 4 at Taco Bell) some price hikes seem to bother consumers more than others.

One of them is how much McDonald’s is now charging for hash browns. Some have castigated others for attributing the hash brown hike to workers receiving better hourly wages, and then there are others whose jaws drop in disbelief over how much the Golden Arches expect its customers to shell out for some crispy potato goodness.

A TikToker who goes by Bleak Salvation (@caitclare89) shared a screenshot of what appears to be a McDonald’s menu on the DoorDash app. Smack dab in the middle of this is an image of the chain’s hash brown—a single patty poking out of McDonald’s familiar paper packaging, with the listed price of $4.15. Sad music that sounds like it was ripped straight out of a late-night infomercial imploring people to donate money to save neglected animals rounds out the mood.

She says in the clip, “I have this re-occurring thought, that I go back in time and I meet my younger self.”

She continues to flesh out this dream scenario, revealing that it’s not a dream at all, but rather a nightmare, at least for her younger self: “And she asks me, what’s the future like? And I don’t have the heart to tell her that in 2024, if you make the federal minimum wage, and you work for one hour, you can only afford one McDonald’s hash brown.”

@caiticlare89 This is what @McDonald’s was doing when they were distracting us with the Grimace shake 😭#greenscreen #mcdonalds #mcdonaldshashbrowns #inflation #shrinkflation #pricehike #reccession #economy #mcdonaldshacks #happymeal #dollarmenu ♬ Angel – Sarah McLachlan

The TikToker shakes her head from side to side: “She deserves better than this,” before the video ultimately closes out.

According to RetailWire, the average cost of a McDonald’s hash brown is $3. However, as several other McDonald’s devotees have stated online, customers can get better deals if they use the McDonald’s mobile app, with some folks even “hacking” their app so they can use multiple deals on the same order.

As of 2024, the Federal Minimum Wage sits at $7.25 an hour, which hasn’t changed since 2009. However, several states are mandating that businesses pay their employees more, like Florida, which will implement a $13 per hour minimum wage for all non-tipped employees. Workers who rely on gratuities to make ends meet will receive a $9.98 minimum hourly payment from their employers.

Throngs of other commenters who replied to her video agreed with her sentiment.

“A hashbrown is 4.15????? This is the bad place,” one person wrote.

Someone else said it’s not uncommon for foods to be pricier via delivery driving services.

“I think all foods are more expensive on door dash tho I’ve noticed that!” they said.

There was another user on the app who busted out a classic parental adage, writing, “A whole box at Aldi is like, $5. We finally got McDonalds at home! lmao.”

Someone else highlighted just how much McDonald’s prices have gone up over the years.

“Am I hallucinating or did those used to be 50 cents,” they said.

“6.56 for a McGriddle is INSANITY,” another echoed, referencing the price of another sandwich on the food delivery application.

The Daily Dot has reached out to McDonald’s via email and Cait via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Mar 23, 2024, 1:00 pm CDT