A TikTok video has gone viral for showing off a “dinner box” from a Texas McDonald’s location. It consists of two Big Macs, two cheeseburgers, 10 chicken nuggets, four small fries and sauces — all for just $12.

Leiela Kapewa-Latu, a mother, shared a video to her TikTok account of her ordering the so-called dinner box for her family of five. She emphasized that no drinks are included.

The video, which has amassed over 675,000 likes, has left some wondering if their local restaurant has the dinner box — and if so, if it really costs $12.

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How did Kapewa-Latu find the ‘dinner box’?

In a follow-up video, Kapewa-Latu explains she found the dinner box on the McDonald’s app. While it didn’t directly appear on the menu, she found it under the search bar labeled as “Mickey D’s Dinner Box.”

In response to a comment claiming the dinner box costs more, she posted another video showing her $12 finding step by step. Kapewa-Latu goes onto the app, presses the “order” button, clicks on the “shareables” tab and shows the menu item seven slots down — listed at $12.19.

It’s not been the same elsewhere

According to Food & Wine, several McDonald’s employees responded to Kapewa-Latu’s videos and claimed different price points for their own dinner boxes — most of which are listed above $12. Some commentators have ranged prices from $18.99 in Arizona to $26 in California.

USA Today added that some customers in the same videos stated to have prices of $18 in Mississippi, $25 in New Jersey and $27 in Pennsylvania. Prices for the dinner box — depending on ordering method — reportedly can get as high as over $30 in some areas.

Why are the prices different?

McDonald’s sent a statement to NBC 5 Chicago saying that franchisees “set their own prices and have the flexibility to create promotions that will drive demand in their restaurants.” The brand has not made the dinner box universally available — such as it not being an option in one New York location — so the promotion of it “may vary by restaurant.”

McDonald’s told USA Today that shareable or bundled deals in general vary by location; and in order to access these deals, fans can typically get them through the app, on kiosk boards or by simply asking an employee what’s offered.

Secret menus and surge pricing

When it comes to eating out, the idea of a “secret menu” is enticing to consumers. Food writer Olivia Bria mentioned to Good Morning America that fast-food chains and restaurants have secret menus “because the consumers want to feel exclusive.”

She added, “When you have constant, loyal customers, they want to feel special.” And when consumers can feel like they’re exclusive while saving a quick buck, it can lead them to keep coming.

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The trend to spend less for more has become more desired among challenges of inflation. The Deseret News recently reported about The Habit Burger Grill launching a $6 Grown-Up Meal to follow the “Eat Like Adults, Pay Like Kids” mantra in the wake of higher costs and spending towards food.

Larger food chains have started recognizing this issue too. Among reports of Wendy’s adding “surge pricing” policies (which were later confirmed misleading), Burger King gave out free Whoppers in response to the company’s supposed pricing plans, per the Deseret News.

“We don’t believe in charging people more when they’re hungry,” Burger King said in post to X, formerly Twitter.

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