EVERYBODY CALM DOWN, IN-N-OUT’S DOUBLE-DOUBLE ISN’T THAT MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE

Social media users and national media outlets are resurfacing a fairly recent price milestone for one of LA’s most iconic fast-food meals: the Double-Double combo meal at In-N-Out, which recently rose above $10. Though In-N-Out Burger raised its prices in April, the company is back in the spotlight as reality continues to sink in that its customers are now paying $11.44 after tax for a Double-Double combo with fries and a drink.

The combo’s price has risen steadily over the past few years: Los Angeles Magazine reported that In-N-Out’s Double-Double meal was $8.59 after tax in 2020, increased to $9.14 in 2021, and cost $10.68 in mid-2023. The latest price hike comes as a response to AB 1228, a bill that increased California’s minimum wage from $16 to $20 an hour for restaurant chains with at least 60 locations nationwide on April 1, 2024.

A spokesperson for the Irvine-based burger company confirmed that employees now earn between $20 and $23, and the same combination meal costs about $0.25 more as of April 1, depending on location, which means the price of the Double-Double meal is only about 2 percent more. When looking at other large fast-food chains, In-N-Out’s prices have made some of the smallest price increases compared to other chains across Southern California. Here are some examples of noteworthy price increases at other fast-food chains around LA (all prices are after sales tax):

  • A Pasadena Burger King charges $16.41 for a Texas Double Whopper Meal, up from $15.09 before April 1. That’s an increase of almost 9 percent.
  • Via email, Jack in the Box tells Eater that it raised prices of its Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger between 6 and 8 percent, making the average price $17.27.
  • McDonald’s Big Mac meal costs $13.28 in Eagle Rock, considerably higher than the combo’s national average price of $9.29.

When reached for comment, In-N-Out Burger’s chief operating officer Denny Warnick wrote:

“At In-N-Outs on April 1, we raised our prices incrementally to accompany a pay raise for all of the associates working in our California restaurants. The price increase was also necessary to maintain our quality standards.”

Fast-food chains like Rubio’s Coastal Grill openly blamed AB 1228 for closing 48 stores in California. A business advocacy group called the California Business and Industrial Alliance ran a full-page ad in USA Today criticizing AB 1228 and claiming the state’s fast-food restaurants are being forced to raise prices, lay off staff, and close stores. The ad alleges the new law has resulted in the loss of 10,000 jobs, though the Los Angeles Times reports the number of new hires might have actually increased. The ad also mentions Silver Lake’s Bar Moruno as a casualty of increased minimum wage, even though the restaurant does not qualify as fast food, and closed back in October 2023, well before the implementation of AB 1228.

2024-06-13T22:54:22Z dg43tfdfdgfd