Remember when McDonald’s introduced the line “Would you like fries with that?” It wasn’t just a catchy upsell; it was a financial game-changer.
At one point, this simple question was estimated to have accounted for an astonishing 15-40% of McDonald’s annual profits.
Fast forward to today, and there’s a new query at the kiosk: “Would you like a bag with that?”
While the fries suggestion brought in billions, this new question about bags might just be the next big thing, albeit a bit less appetizing.
See, on a recent trip to McDonald’s, while placing an order at a kiosk (itself a sign of our automated times), a question popped up:
“Would you like a bag with that?”
It’s takeout; of course, I need a bag. When I tapped “yes”, a line showing a 5¢ bag fee popped up on the order.
What’s next, charging for napkins?
This nickel-and-diming had me reminiscing about this 1993 news segment, where folks bemoaned the then-new concept of paying for fast food with a credit card.
Back then, the idea of swiping for a Whopper seemed as outlandish as storing a Filet-O-Fish in your pocket.
Funny how time works. What once seemed ludicrous – credit cards for fast food – is now our second nature.
It makes you wonder: will bag charges at fast-food joints become the new norm?
Just like we eventually embraced swiping plastic for our burgers, might we reach a point where forking over a few cents for a bag feels as routine as asking for extra ketchup?
As I thought about the kiosk’s question, I couldn’t help but think about the shift in consumer behavior. There was a time when carrying cash was king, especially for quick bites.
Now, not only are we cool with charging our fries — but we’re also navigating a maze of upsells and unwelcome add-ons at every turn.
So, as I begrudgingly accepted the 5¢ charge for a bag — because really, how else am I supposed to juggle my Big Mac and soda — I realized this might just be the beginning.
Maybe, in a few years, we’ll look back at the bag charge kerfuffle the way we chuckle at the credit card fuss of yesteryear.
As I walked out, Big Mac safely in its paid-for bag, I pondered how quickly things change and how many more changes we’ll see in the coming years.
— The Prosperity Pub Team