Fast-food customers have begun another round of protests against what they say are value meals that are too inexpensive.
“When I go to McDonalds and see I’m only being charged $5.69 for my Big Mac extra-value meal, I want to know why,” said Richard Last, a journalist and Big Mac fan from Chicago. “The fat cats running these fast-food chains are criminally undercharging us, and they need to be stopped.”
Some customers say low prices for items like sub sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and cheeseburgers pose a problem because customers don’t know what to do with all the extra one- and five-dollar bills they accumulate. They also say having surplus money is annoying because then you hide it somewhere, in a purse or a sock.
“Last week, I came here to get some of those fun breakfast waffle tacos and a large KickStart,” said Marie Bailey, a massage therapist protesting outside a Los Angeles Taco Bell. “That’s a value meal, mind you. It came time to pay and the cashier asked for three dollars and some odd cents. I told her she was out of her freakin’ mind, because I had fifteen dollars in my purse that I had just withdrawn for breakfast. She said no ma’am, so I stormed right out of there. Three dollars for breakfast. Have you ever heard of such an absurdity?”
Protests in front of fast-food restaurants have been reported in a dozen different cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and Nome, Alaska.
Critics say the protesters are not really interested in the price of a value meal, but that they simply no longer know how to recognize coin denominations.
“We’re not going to raise prices, I can promise you that,” said Raymond Bishop, Vice Chair of the National Restaurant Association. “Is this about coins? Listen, I’ll explain. A penny is the copper piece. It’s worth a hundredth of a dollar. Then you have nickels, which are minted with the bust of Prince on them. They’re worth five cents. A dime is the tiny one with the head of Truman Capote, and it’s worth 20 cents. I think. Wait, let me get back to you on that.”
The protests are said to have spawned other, similar gatherings, such as one that occurred Thursday in Oakland where the protestors were demanding to pay double the current price for gasoline.