11 Most Overpriced Burger Chains in America

Fast-food burger chains have long been a staple of American cuisine, offering quick, affordable meals for people on the go. However, in recent years, many of these chains have significantly raised their prices, causing customers to question whether they’re getting their money’s worth. Here, we examine some of the most overpriced burger chains in America, highlighting the reasons behind their steep prices and the customer reactions to these increases.


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Once known for its dollar menu, McDonald’s has seen a dramatic rise in prices over the past few years. A recent USA Today report, based on surveys from 18 markets nationwide, compared prices over the past decade. The survey revealed that the average price of a medium Big Mac meal increased from $5.69 in 2014 to $9.72 in 2024, a rise of about 70%. The price varied by location, from $7.89 in Houston to $15 in Seattle. Not just burgers, McDonald’s complete menu prices have doubled since 2014, showing a 100% increase across popular items, the highest among all the chains.

Five Guys

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Five Guys has always been slightly more expensive due to its use of fresh-ground beef, but recent price hikes have pushed it to new heights. A typical meal, including a bacon cheeseburger, regular soda, and small fry, now costs nearly $22 before tip. This represents a significant increase from the past, with some customers reporting spending $24 for one person.


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Wendy’s has become the most expensive fast-food chain with an average meal costing $6.63. It has faced criticism for its pricing strategy, especially after the company’s CEO mentioned “surge pricing” during peak hours. This means customers could pay at least $1 more for a burger during lunch or dinner times. The implementation of this strategy, coupled with four price hikes in a year, has led to a significant increase in the cost of meals. Some users mentioned paying $27 for two people, making it comparable to sit-down restaurants.

Burger King

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Burger King’s prices have also soared, with a Whopper meal rising from $6.09 in 2014 to $10.93 in 2024. Family meal deals have seen similar increases, with a meal that once cost $13 now priced at $19.99. This 85.7% average price hike across five popular menu items has led to customer frustration and a decline in food quality.

Carl’s Jr.

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West Coasters have been vocal about the rising prices at Carl’s Jr. A Famous Star burger, which used to be 99 cents at one time, now costs $5.99. Customers have reported spending nearly $18 for a burger and fries, with some opting for more affordable alternatives like taco trucks. Despite some deals available through the app, the general sentiment is that Carl’s Jr. has become prohibitively expensive.

Shake Shack

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Known for its ShackBurger and shakes, Shake Shack has faced backlash for its high prices. Customers report spending $26 for two burgers and two drinks. Menu prices have nearly doubled since 2019, with items like cheese fries and double ShackBurgers seeing significant hikes. Despite announcing no further price increases for the year, many fans have already sworn off the chain due to its expensive menu.

In-N-Out Burger

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In-N-Out has always prided itself on quality ingredients and made-to-order meals. However, these quality promises come at a price. While still cheaper than some of its competitors, the chain has seen price increases that have led customers to question its value. A Double-Double burger, fries, and a drink can easily cost over $10, which many consider steep for a fast-food experience.

Jack in the Box

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Jack in the Box has followed the trend of raising prices in recent years. Known for its variety beyond just burgers, customers have noticed a significant increase in their burger prices. A Jumbo Jack, which used to be a cheap option, is now priced similarly to premium burgers at other chains.


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Hardee’s, known for its hearty burgers, has also been criticized for high prices. The Monster Thickburger, for example, comes with a hefty price tag that rivals sit-down restaurant prices. Customers have noted that the cost of a meal at Hardee’s can be surprisingly high, pushing it into the realm of overpriced fast food.


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Whataburger, a beloved chain primarily in the South, has not been immune to price hikes. While known for its large portions and customization options, these perks come at a cost. Customers have reported that the price of a meal at Whataburger has significantly increased, making it one of the more expensive fast-food options.

Sonic Drive-In

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Sonic Drive-In has seen notable price increases in recent years, drawing the ire of many loyal customers. Known for its extensive menu that goes beyond burgers to include items like hot dogs and shakes, Sonic has adjusted its pricing strategy, leading to higher costs for combo meals. For instance, a standard Sonic burger combo can now exceed $10, which some customers feel is too high for a fast-food chain. Complaints have surfaced about the diminishing value compared to the past, where Sonic was seen as a budget-friendly option.

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