Back in 2001, when Carl's Jr. first introduced "The Six Dollar Burger," the intended irony was more obvious. Accompanied by an ad campaign that suggested that eating burgers at fancier "sit-down" restaurants was a less than enjoyable experience, the name was intended to convey a bargain that only seemed like it should cost the exorbitant price of six dollars.
It's ten years later now. While the regular version of burger itself still costs less than six dollars, you'll easily pay more than that if you add the fries, and since most of those fancy sit-down places would have given you fries with your "overpriced" burger for six bucks (the going price back in 2001), I can't help but wonder if Carl's Jr. needs to reconsider the name (and that's not even getting into the fact that many of the variations on the "Six Dollar Burger" actually cost more than six bucks nowadays just to get the burger itself).
True confession, it was actually many years after the Six Dollar Burger was introduced before I finally had one. Even at it's "low" price (around 4 bucks originally), it was quite a bit more expensive than other items on the menu, and other fast food places featured "value menus" that were even better, so I just went to those places.
But I have to admit, the Six Dollar Burger is pretty tasty. I still never get it without the help of coupons. Carl's Jr.'s "regular" prices simply aren't competitive. I'm of the firm conviction that one should never pay more than a dollar for a drink at a fast food restaurant. I'll grudgingly pay the buck-and-a-quarter that's becoming the norm, but at Carl's Jr., the small drink costs nearly $1.80! That's absurd! But if I can get the burger with a coupon that gives me fries and a drink for free, it's not so bad. And Carl's Jr. is pretty nice about coupons. Not only do I get a flier in the mail almost every month, but more often than not, the cashier will let me keep the coupon after I've used it, so I can keep on using it again and again until the expiration date. While Carl's Jr. isn't the only restaurant that is so generous in allowing coupon reuse, it's the one I've found is most consistent about it.
But if inflation keeps going the way it has been, it won't be too long before I'm asked to pay $7 just to get the "Six Dollar Burger," and I can't help but wonder if people might notice that it doesn't sound like such a good deal anymore.