Data Suggest Wendy's Had The Highest Fast Food Price Hike Of 2022

Fast food has always been known for being tasty, quick, and affordable. But in an inflated economy, not even these speedy meals are safe from price increases. While Americans are struggling with vicious gas prices, rising grocery costs, and sky-high energy bills, it turns out their lunches are also on the move upwards. 

Eat This, Not That reports that between September 2021 and October 2022, prices have spiked at five titans of the fast food industry: McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell. Overall, fast food prices increased by 13%, which is not terribly surprising considering these companies have had cost struggles like shipping costs, ingredient availability, and wages, according to Pricelisto via Eat This, Not That.

The site further explains that the average price for a menu item at Taco Bell sits at $3.37, up 14.6% from last year. At Chick-fil-A, the average price rings in at $4.65, 15.6% higher than a year ago. If you occasionally enjoy eating fast food during the day, you may not even notice the difference, but if you are constantly on the go and regularly buy a meal from a drive-thru, you might notice that your weekly lunch budget isn't stretching as far, especially if your go-to choice is the home of the Baconator and Frosty, Wendy's.

Wendy's is 35% more expensive

The home of everyone's favorite pig-tailed redhead has the unfortunate honor of being called the most expensive fast food restaurant in the country this year. According to Eat This, Not That, Wendy's prices have increased a whopping 35% from 2021. Some of its menu items have actually decreased in cost from last year, but, overall, the prices skyrocketed to an average menu item cost of $6.63. Wendy's CEO Todd Penegor noted after the first quarter of 2022 that opening up more dining rooms and extending business hours would help drive sales which would, in turn, battle price increases, per Columbus Business First.

During that same quarter, though, business was, indeed, good. Global sales rose 4.2% and the company opened almost 100 new restaurants. Wendy's is really upping its taste game with improved french fries and new chicken sandwiches, but with such a dramatic difference in prices from one year to the next, one has to assume that consumers will definitely take notice and either become dollar menu devotees or start making their lunches at home.