What’s the attraction to fast food?
It’s partly in the name – if you’re in a rush and don’t have time to shop or sit down for a meal, fast food restaurants seem like a great option.
Some people believe the answer is actually in advertising, and how we’ve been conditioned – especially in the American culture. The average America spends somewhere close to $1,200 annually on fast food purchases. The industry spent $4.6 billion on advertising. (McDonald’s alone spent 971 million.)
Generally speaking healthier foods don’t have much advertising behind them. You’re much more likely to see a burger on a billboard than a banana.
Over 50% of Americans surveyed on why they go after fast food answered that it’s cheap. And that’s an undeniable truth – a quick glance at a menu shows that at Wendy’s, for example, you can get four menu items for just $4. Other places, like Taco Bell, routinely have items that come in at just under or over $1.
So it’s not too surprising that Jimmy John’s, a well-known fast food franchise originally founded in Charleston, Illinois, upping their prices sent many customers into a rage.
Some even boycotted the company, stating in a recent Facebook post (kept anonymous to protect user privacy: “Won’t be ordering Jimmy Johns anymore. Prices increased and now a delivery fee plus a tip. Sorry but $11 is too much for one of your sandwiches.”
At a price increase averaging in at 10.85%, Jimmy John’s is easily surpassing its fast food competition in upping their menu prices.
If you’re not familiar with Jimmy John’s, the company sells largely sandwich-based dishes and specializes in delivery. They label their sandwiches as “gourmet,” with the delivery and pickup options clearly visible on their website.
Contrary to recent customer complaints, one source found that prices from Jimmy John’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Smashburger, and a few other franchises actually head steady into January while other options on the market increased slightly.
So why might this company, among a few others, be choosing to up their prices and risk driving away customers? Here’s some insight:
With the rise of minimum wage, companies choosing to forego the way of technology takeover – obviously upsetting to those already employed in the market – will have to make up the difference by charging a bit more for their menu items.
When minimum wage increases in smaller increments, it has less of an effect on menu prices as companies have time to prepare. But when bigger leaps happen – think a few dollars – and with less notice given, they’ll need to make quick changes to make sure they can afford to keep their staff on.
If you take a look at Jimmy John’s website, they boast all-natural meat options. Other menu items appear to be as usual, but the franchise does offer delivery as well.
With health consciousness on the rise, more and more people are looking for healthier options when they eat out. Whether that means all natural, organic, gluten free, dairy free, or vegan options, these alternatives do come at a higher price.
General food price increase
Over the past 20 years the price of food has risen by 2.6% a year. Some items – like avocados – can shoot up when they’re sought-after or rare.
For the year 2019 the US Department of Agriculture has predicted a rise in dairy, vegetables, and fresh fruit. When it comes to meat, only pork will avoid the increase.
If you look at this from a food market point of view it’s easy to understand why menu prices are rising, even if only slightly.
One of the more attractive aspects of ordering from Jimmy John’s is that they delivery.
This isn’t entirely unheard of, but it’s rare to find a restaurant that does so and isn’t pizza-based.
Jimmy’s offered this option right from the get-go, and it kept the company alive. If you take into consideration the fact that the employees making your sandwiches need to get paid as well as those delivering them, it isn’t that surprising that the cost is a bit more than other restaurants.
Overall Jimmy John’s has earned an impressive reputation right from the onset with the willingness of its founder to go above and beyond other fast food restaurants in the market. They’ve continued to try and keep up with the times, and support their employees as best they know how in a changing market. Although it might be disappointing to have to spend a bit more on items you consider “fast food,” this is one company that really is giving their customers that bang for your buck deal.