Going by the old menu, an apple pie was S$0.95 while a sundae was S$1.50. The same items at the Queensway Shopping Centre branch on the McDonald’s app are priced at S$1.40 and S$2 respectively as of Friday. Prices of McDonald’s food differ across different Singapore branches.
The rest of the items on the 1980s menu, as compared to the Queensway branch prices as of Friday, are as follows:
|Item||1980s price||Current price|
|Quarter Pounder with Cheese||S$2.20||S$6.30|
Although the 1980s prices might seem cheap to netizens today, many recounted that visits to the fast-food chain “used to be a luxury”.
“Visits to McDonald’s were because parents won (the) lottery, later becoming for celebrations, birthday events, subsequently a weekend getaway, and now a common alternative to day-to-day meals,” said one Reddit user.
Reddit user “prime5119” even calculated how much a S$1.75 Filet-O-Fish would be today, adjusted for inflation — S$4.16, according to the latest figures in 2022.
Going by the Queensway price of S$3.95, the burger is actually cheaper today when adjusted for inflation.
“Yeah, that sounds about right,” read one reply. “Makes sense that McDonald’s is cheaper nowadays, as I remember my parents saying that when they were younger, McD was like some rare treat but now it’s just a regular meal.”
But as “prime5119” pointed out, while some items on the menu may have become “cheaper”, others have indeed increased in price even with inflation factored in.
Several netizens were also surprised to find that the 1980s menu used traditional instead of simplified Chinese characters.
Whether this was a standard or stylistic choice was unclear, as one Reddit user also noted that the transition from traditional to simplified Chinese was not a smooth one for Singapore.
“Back when Singapore was still using traditional Chinese… and the sundae cost more than a burger,” quipped another.
Muslim McDonald’s fans also chimed in to share their experiences, with one recalling: “When McDonald’s was first launched in Singapore, it wasn’t halal-certified yet.”
“The fries weren’t vegetarian even,” pointed out another user in reply. “They were fried with beef tallow which made them crispier and had an aroma that vegetable oil couldn’t replace.”
“My mum said even though not halal she just ate the fries and Filet-O-Fish,” said another.
National Library Board (NLB) resources shared by Reddit user “Unfair-Bike” showed that the fast-food chain only officially received its halal certificate from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in September 1992, but was already using meat certified halal by Australian and American organisations as early as January 1983.
Others remembered the “much bigger” burger patties, colour-coded styrofoam takeaway boxes and paper wraps, and the well-loved milkshakes.
“Those were the days… having two hamburgers at one go,” reminisced one Facebook user. “Present day, not only have prices increased but (the) size of burgers (has) decreased too.”
“Getting the milkshake those days as a kid was a real treat even though you had to share with your siblings and just got a few slurps! The best!” commented another.
After his Facebook comment bemoaning the loss of his “favourite” McDonald’s milkshakes attracted many responses telling him where he could find them, Facebook user “Shahrul Idris” even embarked on a journey to search for a McDonald’s dessert kiosk.
He posted an update in the comments on Tuesday, writing: “Okay members, I went to find a dessert kiosk. And as some members have mentioned, the milkshake is really still around!
“Unfortunately, the milkshake machine at the Ang Mo Kio Central dessert kiosk which I went to was out of order. So I got a chococone instead. But at least I know now and will come back some other day. Thanks guys!”
Still, several Facebook users have testified that the milkshakes are smaller and “not as good as those last time”, with one even calling the taste “yucky”.
Some Reddit users also alluded to more recent McDonald’s promotions from the 1990s and 2000s, asking: “Anyone else remember when vanilla ice cream cones from McD’s were 25 cents each?” and “y’all remember the S$2 Filet and S$5 value meals?”
One raised another more familiar jingle for consideration: “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun!”