The fast food industry is bringing back $4 value meals in full force, but this time with an added wrinkle: Customization.
Wendy’s is currently offering customers a limited-time offer to choose its Double Stack burger as a sandwich option for its $4 meal. Other choices include the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and the Crispy Chicken BLT.
While other chains frown on substitutions for these meals — the promo poster for Carl’s Jr.’s meal explicitly states “No Substitutions” — don’t be surprised if that changes soon. Customization remains a growing trend in fast food, which could grow with the help of popular $4 meals.
In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of some of the current $4 value meals out there:
4 for $4 Meal featuring a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger (or Double Stack burger or Crispy Chicken BLT), chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink.
Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s recently lowered the price of its “Real Meal” combo meal — featuring a double cheeseburger, spicy chicken sandwich, small fry and small drink — to $4. The company originally offered the value meal for $4 when launching it last year before raising the price to $5. When it comes to $4 deals, this is probably the best value for your money. Not only does the “Real Meal” offer two sandwich items, but you’d probably pay close to twice as much if you bought the items à la carte.
Nevin Barich is the Food & Beverage analyst for Industry Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based market intelligence firm. It's the perfect job for him: He loves junk food, he often works besides a glass of Diet Dr. Pepper, and anytime one of the health nuts in his office gives him grief for eating a Big Mac, he gets to smile and say: "Hey, this is my job." Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.