McDonald’s $5 meal deal is officially here (2024)

The summer of savings is off to a strong start at the Golden Arches, according to the man at the helm of the chain.

On June 20, McDonald’s confirmed the impending arrival of its long-anticipated $5 Meal Deal. The chain first announced the deal in May as a low-cost option for customers looking to save amid high fast-food prices.

“This summer, we have good news for fans across the country — McDonald’s is here to help your dollar go further with more deals and even more ways to save,” reads the news release.

McDonald’s $5 meal deal is officially here (1)

On June 25, Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA, joined TODAY on the deal’s release day. He talked with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie about the chain’s efforts and if the meal will truly stay a limited-time offer.

“I’ve zig-zagged the country, I’ve been in our restaurants, I’ve sat in focus groups — customers are telling us that they’re really stretched,” Erlinger said of McDonald’s customers. “They’ve felt the stress of the inflation over the last few years, and so this is a great opportunity for McDonald’s to bring them value.”

During the interview, Hoda said some customers were excited about the new low-cost meal but were disappointed to find out it’s only available for four weeks.

“We already see some franchisees are gonna vote this further through,” Erlinger said, adding that markets like Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, Las Vegas and more have already opted to keep the value meal around for longer.

“What we really want to do is talk about this nationally for four weeks and then we think it will be a local promotion for longer than four weeks,” he said.

The $5 bundle includes four items: the choice of a McChicken or McDouble, a four-piece chicken nuggets, fries and a drink.

“We heard our fans loud and clear — they’re looking for even more great value from us, and this summer that’s exactly what they’ll get,” Erlinger said in the release. “Value has always been part of our DNA. We’re focused on living up to that legacy and offering delicious, affordable options customers can enjoy any time they walk through our doors, go through our drive thru or place an order through our app.”

Both Erlinger and McDonald’s representatives note the $5 Meal Deal isn’t the only offer on the table.

Customers nationwide using the McDonald’s App can enjoy “Free Fries Friday” for the rest of the year by snagging a free medium fry with any $1 minimum purchase until the end of 2024. Additionally, for National French Fry Day on July 13, McDonald’s App users can get free fries of any size with no purchase necessary.

McDonald’s says franchisees in communities across the country are celebrating summerby promoting their own special deals on social media. For instance, in Memphis, Tennessee, folks can enjoy $1 breakfast sandwiches with the purchase of another, and customers in Columbus, Ohio, can pair a Double Cheeseburger with a small-size fry for $3.50.

“You always have opportunities to go into your local McDonald’s and find the local deals that they have,” Erlinger told Hoda and Savannah.

Customers are encouraged to check out the McDonald’s App for all the summer deals in their area.

The house of Ronald McDonald is not the only fast-food chain embroiled (or flame broiled) in the fast food value wars. Earlier this month, Burger King advertised its returning $5 Your Way Meal, and other chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Popeyes, KFC and Wendy’s have plugged their own low-cost meals, deals and other savings opportunities.

While on the show, Erlinger spoke about another subject growing in importance at the Golden Arches and other fast-food spots: the rise of weight-loss medications.

“We will always stay connected to where consumers are,” Erlinger said. “So, if customers move to taking more products like Ozempic, we’ll make sure to be there for whatever needs they have coming from restaurants like McDonald’s.”

“Is that like the opposite of super size?” Savannah asked with a laugh. But Erlinger pointed out it might not be a joke at all.

“There could be more snacking; there could be more protein,” he replied. “That could be one of the things that manifests itself in our industry.”

TODAY weatherman and budding culinary icon Al Roker chimed in with the question on every pork-lover’s mind: “What about the McRib? Just asking for a friend.”

“It’s coming later this year,” Erlinger said, confirming on-air that “the McRib will be back” after November 2023’s limited-time return.

Joseph Lamour

Washington, D.C. native Joseph Lamour is a lover of food: its past, its present and the science behind it. With food, you can bring opposites together to form a truly marvelous combination, and he strives to take that sentiment to heart in all that he does.

McDonald’s $5 meal deal is officially here (2024)
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