Value menu

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Value menu hamburgers.
A selection of value-menu hamburgers from McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic Drive-In and Wendy's.

A value menu (not to be confused with a value meal) is a group of menu items at a fast food restaurant that are designed to be the least expensive items available. In the US, the items are usually priced between $0.99 and $2.99. The portion size, and number of items included with the food, are typically related to the price.



Arby's announced the launch of their value menu on April 9, 2010.[1] Items on the value menu vary based on location, but typically include small or value size roast beef sandwiches, curly fries, milkshakes, chicken sandwiches, ham and cheddar sandwiches, and turnovers.[2]

Burger King[edit]

Burger King added a value menu in 1998 with items priced at 99¢ (USD),[3] equivalent to $1.78 in 2022. In 2002[4] and 2006, BK revamped its value menu, adding and removing products at 99¢, and later increasing some prices to $1.39.[5] Many of these items have since been discontinued, modified or relegated to a regional menu option.[6] The Burger King Whopper was the very first 99 cent burger and it revolutionized the 99 cent menu in the fast food industry.[7]


After numerous attempts beginning in 1991,[8] experimenting with a variety of menus and pricing strategies,[9] McDonald's launched its first national value menu, the Dollar Menu, in late 2002 in the United States.[10]

The latest iteration was rolled out on January 4, 2018 in the United States. It features a dozen items at various price points: $1, $2 and $3, with four items per price point.[11] It no longer featured fries, which was criticized by Good Mythical Morning along with the lack of items at the $1 price point.[12] In Canada, fries are available for CA$1.59 on the Value Picks menu.[13]

McDonald's Dollar Menu (United States)
Price point Items
$1 Cheeseburger McChicken Sausage Burrito Soft Drink
$2 Bacon McDouble Buttermilk Crispy Tenders (x2) Sausage McGriddles Small McCafé
$3 Triple Cheeseburger Classic Chicken Sandwich Sausage McMuffin with Egg Happy Meal
McDonald's Summer Value Menu 2020 (Canada)[14]
Price point Items
$1 Any Size Soft Drink Medium Iced Coffee Vanilla Cone Cookie
$2 Small Real Fruit Smoothie Small Iced Frappé Medium Slushie Sundae
$3 (retired) Small Skor Coffee Iced Frappé Small Real Fruit Protein Smoothie Does not appear Does not appear


Subway currently offers a $4.99 footlong menu in the United States. The promotion began in 2004 as a $5 footlong menu (equivalent to $7.75 in 2022).

Taco Bell[edit]

In 1988, Taco Bell lowered the prices of all new items and launched the first three-tiered pricing strategy and free drink refills.[15] In 2010, Taco Bell introduced the $2 Meal Deals menu, featuring a menu item (i.e., a chicken burrito, a beefy 5-layer burrito, a double decker taco, or a Gordita supreme), a bag of Doritos, and a medium drink.[16] On August 18, 2014, Taco Bell launched a new value menu called Dollar Cravings that included eleven food items each priced a $1.[17][18][19][20]

On December 15, 2017, Taco Bell launched an advertising campaign called "The Belluminati" to advertise its Dollar Cravings menu.[21]


Wendy's is generally credited with being the first fast food chain to offer a value menu in October 1989, with every item priced at $0.99 (equivalent to $2.34 in 2022).[22][23][24] However, the general price for value menu items is now around $1.55.


  1. ^ Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. (April 9, 2010). "Arby's Launches National Value Menu Starting at $1" (Press release). Retrieved 2011-04-13.
  2. ^ "New Arbys's Value Menu". Archived from the original on 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
  3. ^ Burger King (March 16, 1998). "Burger King Debuts New 99¢ 'Great Tastes' Menu" (Press release). PR Newswire. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
  4. ^ "Burger King promotes new menu". South Florida Business Journal. August 12, 2002. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
  5. ^ Burger King (February 28, 2006). "Burger King Introduces Value Menu" (Press release). Media Post. Retrieved 2010-04-04.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ BKC publication (July 2007). "US Regional Menu Nutritional Brochure" (PDF). Burger King Holdings. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  7. ^ "Were the BK Whoppers ever 99c before? | Retro Junk".
  8. ^ Richard Martin (January 7, 1991). "McDonald's kicks off value menu blitz". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
  9. ^ "McDonald's Continues Dollar Menu Brand Campaign With Bilingual Spots[...]" (Press release). Business Wire. June 12, 2002. Retrieved 2010-04-04.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "McDonald's Spices Up Dollar Menu Price Attack". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. November 27, 2002. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
  11. ^ Taylor, Kate (December 6, 2017). "McDonald's has a new Dollar Menu — here's everything that's on it". Business Insider. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  12. ^ Good Mythical Morning (December 14, 2017). "We Demand $1 Fries on the New McDonald's Dollar Menu". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  13. ^ "Value Picks Menu". McDonald's Canada. December 16, 2017. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  14. ^ "Summer Drink Days". McDonald's Canada. Retrieved June 30, 2002.
  15. ^ "Our Company: History". Retrieved 2007-02-05.
  16. ^ "Taco Bell - $2 Meal Deals". Archived from the original on 2011-12-02. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  17. ^ Brianna Sacks (18 August 2014). "Taco Bell is latest chain to offer a dollar menu - LA Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  18. ^ Tuttle, Brad (August 18, 2014). "Taco Bell Breathes New Life Into Fast-Food Dollar Menus -". Archived from the original on May 30, 2022. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  19. ^ Leslie Patton (15 August 2014). "Taco Bell to Introduce Dollar Menu Nationwide - Bloomberg". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  20. ^ Ashley Lutz (15 August 2014). "Taco Bell Dollar Menu New - Business Insider". Business Insider. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  21. ^ Monllos, Kristina (December 16, 2017). "Taco Bell's Hilarious, Over-the-Top Nod to the Illuminati Isn't Your Average Value Menu Campaign". Adweek. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  22. ^ (February 5, 2007). "About Us: The Wendy's Story". Archived from the original on February 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
  23. ^ Stuart Elliot (February 6, 2006). "Wendy's Returns 99¢ to Its Place on the Price Pedestal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
  24. ^ York, Emily Bryson (April 7, 2008). "Value menu battleground". Crain's Chicago Business. Crain Communication, Inc.

External links[edit]