Which Fast Food Restaurant is the Cheapest and Best Value for Money?

Fast food is no longer the easy and cheap option it once was, so we've investigated which fast food chain offers the best value for money.

A repeating pattern of 3D rendered cheeseburgers.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fast food was once the choice for a cheap dinner on the go for those times when you couldn’t eat at home. However, like most things in recent years, they no longer offer the same value for money as they once did and can quickly become quite costly once you start opting for full meals.

In the past, we’ve written about how to save money on takeaway food, how to get the best value out of your meal deal and what the best supermarket dine-in deals are. So we thought it was about time that we covered which fast food restaurant is the cheapest. 

We’ll do this by picking some of the biggest household names in fast food and comparing a standard order from them. Most fast-food restaurants have their signature item on the menu so we’ll compare the cost of them and the cost of having them as part of a meal. 

Prices can differ from location to location so whilst not being completely accurate, it’ll still be representative of the relative cost of each fast food chain to another. All prices will be taken from food delivery apps, mainly Deliveroo, Just Eat or Uber Eats depending on the fast food chain.

Which Fast Food Chains Are We Looking At?

So in order to compare the value of different fast food restaurants we’ll first need to pick the ones to look at. What constitutes fast food has been a divisive issue amongst the team but we’ve settled on five firm favourites:

  • McDonald’s
  • KFC
  • Burger King
  • Subway
  • Five Guys

Each offers quick and easy food to eat on the go or have delivered to enjoy the classics in the comfort of your own home.

McDonald's

First up is McDonald’s, which for most people is probably the first place to spring when you think of fast food. McDonald’s has been a favourite amongst fast food aficionados for decades and those golden arches are burned into everyone’s mind. 

So for our comparison, we’re going to pick the item that is synonymous with the company the humble Big Mac or, as they say in France, Le Big Mac. The Big Mac is available on its own or as part of a meal with a side (usually fries) and a drink of your choice. As with all other locations we’re looking at today we’ll look at it as part of a meal.  

As of the date of writing this, from the nearest McDonald’s, a Medium Big Mac Meal is available from £6.79 on Deliveroo before any delivery fees or service charges. This £6.79 will get you the burger, a side and a medium drink breaking down to a price of £2.26 per each part of the meal.

KFC

A plate of fried chicken served on a white plate on a wooden table.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whilst McDonald’s is recognisable for those signature Golden Arches, the smiling face of Colonel Sanders can only mean one thing, KFC. Kentucky Fried Chicken in all its glory. KFC’s menu is a little bit more diverse than McDonald’s, but we’ve opted to use one of the staples of their menu for this comparison, the Boneless Banquet. The Boneless Banquet is made up of 3 Mini Fillets, a small Popcorn Chicken, regular fries, a side of your choice, as well as a dip and a drink. 

Using Deliveroo and ordering from the nearest KFC, interestingly next door to the nearest McDonald’s, we can get ourselves a Boneless Banquet for the grand total of £10.49. This equates to a price of roughly £1.50 per part of the meal.

Burger King

Burger King specialises in, you guessed it, burgers. They’re also pretty well known for one in particular, the Whopper. As with the others, ordering from our nearest Burger King will get you a Whopper Meal, made up of a Whopper, large fries and a drink of your choice for £9.29 before any extra fees. This works out at roughly £3.10 per component of your meal, so far the most expensive option.

Subway

A foot long turkey and bacon sub served on a wooden board.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Subway is a bit of an odd one out in this list in terms of what they offer but is always a firm favourite for a meal on the go. We’ve opted for the smaller of Subway’s meal options which is the 6-inch Meal Deal. This consists of a 6-inch Sub, wrap or salad with a side, cookie and a drink. Ordering from our nearest Subway, this time on Just Eat as Subway is unavailable on Deliveroo costs £8.59 before any fees. This means that each part of the meal deal costs roughly £2.20.

Five Guys

Last up is Five Guys, the youngest of the fast-food chains on our list. Five Guys doesn’t offer a set meal like the others so we’ll have to create our own. Ordering through Just Eat, you can opt for a hamburger for £9.95, regular fries for £5.75 and a drink for £2.85 for a total of £18.55 before any fees. This works out as roughly £6.18 per each part of the meal.

So Which Offers the Best Value?

Per the cost of each part of the meal KFC offers the best value for money, however, it’s not the cheapest in terms of price per meal. McDonald’s offered the cheapest meal with their meal costing only £6.79. This looks like an absolute bargain when compared to Five Guys, which cost nearly three times the amount of McDonald’s.

Jordan Alexander
Food & Drink Editor

I’m Jordan and I’ve been working at MyVoucherCodes since the summer of 2021. Outside of money-saving, I’m a keen musician and guitar player and can regularly be found in a dingy venue somewhere in Bristol or perched in front of my laptop recording. When I’m not doing this you’ll find me exploring the city, watching cult B movies, reading a Stephen King or Murakami novel, or guiding the mighty Bath City to Champions League glory on Football Manager. All the cliches, I know.