Saturday, September 26, 2009

McDonald's Sandwiches

McDonald’s, my favorite source of fast-food based breakfasts, currently has their Sausage McMuffin on sale for $1. This would be very good for me, except for one problem, I really enjoy the Sausage McMuffin with Egg sandwich much more than its eggless cousin. The Sausage McMuffin with Egg sandwich is still priced at $2.49 (or $2.59 at some locations around here), that’s $1.49 simply for an egg fried into the shape of a patty. That’s roughly half the price of a dozen free-range, organic, large, AA grade eggs from Amazon Fresh.

Being my usual, frugal self I asked how much it cost for the egg patty by itself. Those are 65¢. So I ordered a few of the $1 Sausage McMuffins and an equal number of egg patties. I saved 84¢, plus tax, per sandwich just by adding the egg myself.

McDonald’s would be making 84¢ additional profit by paying an employee to put that egg on my sandwich. Assuming a very slow employee takes 15 seconds to get an egg from the warming box and place it on a sandwich, and that employee has no other job requirements during the breakfast rush, that egg placer would be generating $201.60 in value per hour, minus the cost of the eggs and the local minimum wage as their pay.

Me, with experience working in very high-volume, fast-food production could probably do that egg placement in 3-4 seconds, generating 4-5x the value per hour. If they were to offer me $100 per hour I could probably bring myself to inserting myself in the machine known as the McDonald’s kitchen. Sadly, I do not believe there are any fast-food restaurants in this area that receive the volume of business required to keep me completely busy during the breakfast hours.

This is not an endorsement of McDonald’s as either a healthy meal option, nor as a good value for your money. Their breakfast food merely tastes good to me, and therefore I am writing about my experience.

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