According to Shore Capital figures, since 2008, the price of a Big Mac has increased by 30% to £2.79, having held the £2 level for the best part of a decade.
The price of a Big Mac meal – which includes fries and a drink – had reached £4.89 on the UK high street, while an average Burger King Whopper meal currently retailed for £5.89, Shore Capital said.
It claimed that with over 1,200 stores in the UK, McDonald’s was clearly the price-setter when it came to the burger.
With the average price of a burger and fries in pubs now £5, Shore Capital analyst Greg Johnson said it was now attractively priced against fast food chains.
“Although meal deals at McDonald’s and Burger King Meal include a beverage, portion sizes, a significantly wider menu and level of service must be taken into account at the pubs,” added Johnson. “A Big Mac weighs in uncooked at 3.2oz and a Big King at 4oz. This compares to a typical weight of 6-8oz across a number of the pub restaurant concepts we have looked at.”
Johnson added that pub chain operators had been less keen to raise prices compared with fast food restaurants, making dining at pubs an “increasingly affordable treat”.
“At Hungry Horse, the average price of a main meal increased by just 6.7% between 2008 and 2013 to £5.03. This compares with 30% for a Big Mac and UK consumer price index of 15%,” he added. “A burger, chips and coke costs £4.99 at Hungry Horse, the same as in March 2011 and broadly the same price as a Big Mac meal today.”
McDonald's said the average price of a Big Mac was £2.69 and a large Big Mac meal was £4.59, although it admitted prices may vary depending on store location.
Increase its prices
These price increases spelled good news for pub chains because if McDonald's continues to increase its prices then pub operators would be able to do the same, said Johnson.
“If McDonald’s, which has increased the price of a Big Mac by 30p over the last two years were able to put through further price increases then pub operators may be confident to follow suit.”
See below for our infographic comparing the average burger meal prices in the UK pub sector with fast food restaurants.
Source: Shore Capital