Survey Reveals 27% Of People Think This Fast-Food Restaurant Is Overpriced

What goes up must come down. But when it comes to consumer prices, what goes down will come back up. Take fast-food restaurant prices, for instance. Although fast food got its start a century ago, per Smithsonian, it took some time before fast-food prices found their footing as affordable-for-the-many, according to Fortune. On the bright side, we had a good long run during which fast food became increasingly affordable in the U.S. On the not so bright side, fast-food prices are now on an inflation-driven upswing. 

Although consumer price inflation looks like it might have reached and gone past its peak as of the end of July (having gone from over 9% in June to 8.5% in July, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), menu prices at all restaurants are still on their way up. In fact, the "food away from home" category of consumer prices (the category that includes restaurants) is currently up 7.6% from this time last year. 

Fast food is no exception, according to Yahoo Finance, which points out that fast-food chicken sandwich prices are up 18% from a year ago. Fast-food chicken sandwich inflation is up more than 200% compared with inflation in general. But is that going to change how people perceive, say, Chick-fil-A's prices as compared with restaurants that aren't known for their chicken sandwiches? Like, say, Five Guys, which doesn't even offer one? With that in mind, Mashed asked readers to weigh in.  

You're not gonna believe this

"Which fast-food restaurant do you think is overpriced?" Mashed asked 599 U.S.-based readers. The choices were: Arby's, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Five Guys, Panera, and Shake Shack. As you'll notice, with the exception of Arby's and Chick-fil-A, the choices were skewed toward those fast-food places already reputed to be a bit pricier. Chick-fil-A and Arby's both offer popular chicken sandwiches. But has the eye-popping chicken sandwich inflation, as reported by Yahoo Finance, affected consumer perceptions of fast-food restaurant prices?

As it turned out, Panera (which has a chicken sandwich, pictured above) took the top spot, with 166 our respondents (27.71%). Next came Five Guys, which had 128 votes, which is equivalent to 21.37% of respondents. Can you guess which came next? Shake Shack certainly seems like a safe bet, especially given the various reasons Shake Shack prices are higher. Same with Chipotle, whose menu is probably the furthest from traditional fast food of all of our choices. Moreover, we have reason to believe that Chipotle prices are increasing, if they have not already done so.

But as it turns out, Chick-fil-A came in third, with 109 votes (18.20%), followed by Shake Shack (76 votes, or 12.69%) and Chipotle (71 votes, or 11.85%). Last came Arby's (49 votes (8.18%). Maybe that makes sense, considering Arby's isn't well-known for its chicken sandwich?