McDonald’s serves up price hike

The Austrian branch of fast food chain McDonald’s has said it will increase its prices.The company said today (Thurs) that the average price of its products – which include whole meals like burgers with French fries but also wraps and coffee – will increase by between one and 1.5 per cent this year.”There will be no extraordinarily high price jumps since there is no reason to do that. We will just adapt our product prices to the current inflation rate,” the firm explained.McDonald’s is leading brand in the gastronomy sector in Austria. Around 370,000 people are dining in its 174 restaurants in the country (2009: 165). The firm, which has around 8,000 employees in Austria, plans to invest 20 million Euros this year to refurbish some of its branches and open “up to 10” new ones.McDonald’s earned 482 million Euros in Austria last year, up from 443 million Euros in 2009. The American company’s Austrian representation ruled out introducing a delivery service as has been successfully in place in Singapore for some years.News that McChicken, Big Mac and other McDonald’s dishes will become more expensive comes one day after the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) said the average price rate for products and services in Austria may be 2.4 per cent higher this year than in 2010. The think tank announced only in December that it expected a two per cent inflation increase in 2011.Market experts and representatives of several business sectors have said in the recent weeks that the average prices for bread, clothes, wine and various other products would rise in the coming months due to crop shortfalls, global trade developments and intensified feedstock price speculation activities.