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Sonic is joining fast food's value wars. Here's all you can get at the drive-in chain for $1.99

The drive-in chain announced a new value menu Monday, following in the footsteps of value offerings from rivals McDonald's, Wendy's and Taco Bell.
Posted at 5:27 PM, Jul 02, 2024

Sonic is the latest fast food company to throw its hat in the value meal ring.

Following in the footsteps of its various rivals, the drive-in chain is doubling down on deals to draw inflation-weary customers back to its locations, and its tactic promises to cater "to every taste bud and budget."

On its new "Fun.99 Menu," Sonic customers can enjoy various menu items carrying a $1.99 price tag, including a quarter-pound double cheeseburger, Chili Cheese Coney hot dog, small tots, 16-ounce Sonic Shakes in any of its 12 flavors and two new items: a Bacon Ranch Queso Wrap and a Southwest Crunch Queso Wrap.

And unlike some of its competitors offering temporary value meals, Sonic says its value menu is permanent.

Related: Taco Bell joins fast food's value meal trend with $7 box. Here's what's in it

Sonic's chief marketing officer Ryan Dickerson said the brand decided on its $1.99 menu because it "wanted to do something different" than its competitors, who he says are using "recycled ideas with limited options." Focusing on variety helped them do that, he said.

The new trend of value-focused fast food campaigns really kicked off last month, when McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, Starbucks and Burger King all introduced similar deals on their menus.

Taco Bell's temporary $7 value box has five items — if we're counting chips and nacho cheese as one — while McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King's limited-time $5 value meals each include four items.

Meanwhile, Starbucks' new Pairings Menu offers a beverage and food item starting at $5, and Jack in the Box's new value menu carries various items for $4 each.

The increase in value deals comes as foot traffic in the fast food industry has slowed amid rising menu costs and decreasing flexible spending budgets.

A recent report from consulting firm Revenue Management Solutions found consumers are visiting restaurants less than they used to, with nearly 40% of respondents saying they're cutting back on the area of spending.