The Enduring Appeal of the Value Menu

February 22, 2017

How America’s fast-food giants lured diners with $1 deals

It’s 3:39 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon and the Taco Bell on Northern Boulevard in Woodside, Queens, is buzzing. A clique of seven middle school-aged students — maybe from the nearby private Garden School, or one of the public schools that’s within walking distance — is having trouble deciding what to order. “I always get the beefy Fritos burrito,” a student named Michelle says while scrolling through her phone. “It’s beyond perfect.”

According to a cashier, Taco Bell’s beefy Fritos burrito is the most popular item on the chain’s dollar menu.