Homeless in Vancouver: "Seniors moment" increases 20 percent at Mickey D's
There are signs of another price increase coming to the McDonald’s Canada menu. In fact one such sign is sitting on the counter of the location I frequent on West Broadway around the corner from Granville Street.
From what McDonald’s staff have told me, the price of all drip coffee sizes—small, medium and large—will be increasing by 20 cents early in the new year.
This small change may be a big deal for seniors
This sounds like “small change” but it’s also a big percentage increase. In the case of the seniors' discount on a small coffee, it’s at least a 20 percent increase.
Today a “seniors coffee” at my McDonald’s costs—including tax—exactly one dollar. On January 7, 2014, it will cost at least 20 cents more; even a manager I spoke to wasn’t positive if the price—after taxes—would be $1.20 or $1.25.
I would have preferred a higher increase of regular coffee prices so that seniors could have been spared altogether.
Even after the increase, McDonald’s probably still offers seniors a cheaper, decent cup of coffee than any other fast-food chain, particularly with the one free refill McDonald’s offers. Few others do that.
I’m not aware that Tim Hortons does. I have read that both Wendy’s and Burger King might but I have not experienced this personally.
One chain that does is Starbucks. It has a rewards program which offers “free refills on brewed or iced coffee or tea during the same store visit”. First you need to jump through various hoops and pay with a Starbucks card.
For a great many retired pensioners though, Starbucks’ prices are just too rich, and their coffee roasts too dark. As a group, seniors will continue to be a captive market for McDonald’s and the (coffee) bean counters at Golden Arches headquarters know it.
Same menus but the prices can vary very much
The McDonald’s at West Broadway and Granville is a franchise, “owned” and operated by a fellow named John Marsh—he also owns at least four other McDonald’s locations: at UBC, and on West 4th Avenue, and two more on West Broadway, at Blenheim and at Cambie streets. He may have more. He certainly lost one location at Arbutus and West 16th when the Ridge centre was demolished to make way for new development.
All other things being equal, franchised McDonald’s have higher operating costs than locations run purely by McDonald’s itself. So I would expect a McDonald’s like the one at West 41st and West Boulevard—not a franchise—to feature a lower price increase than a franchise location like the one at West Broadway and Granville.
All other things are rarely equal though. The West Boulevard location is open 24 hours and has other overhead considerations, such as the cost of the lease, which may affect its pricing.
The only certainty is the direction prices will go—up.