Comparing the Menu and Prices to Twenty years ago
By Rob Cockerham |
Predictibly, everything was cheaper at Carl's Jr. 20 years ago. Carl's Jr. joined forces or merged with Hardee's burgers at some point, so this might look familiar to you even if you've never been to a Carl's Jr. This photo was taken in July 2001. Drive Thru Menus had only been using food photography for a few years at this point.
The Menu is still backlit and legible in 2020, with more product photographs and calorie counts. The prices have doubled.
I must have bought a lot of Famous Stars for 99 cents, because I still have a strong reaction when I see them selling for more than $5 now. At some point after 2001 a burger called the "Six Dollar Burger" premiered as a deluxe burger, comparable to a burger in a restaurant. It sold for $4.59.
2001 Burger Prices
The 2020 menu has crisp, small lettering. The Burger and Meal prices are next to each other and they offer the Beyond Famous Star with Cheese, a plant-based burger for $6.99.
2020 Burger Prices
The combos in 2001. The names are abbreviated so that they could fit them into that yellow bar. I believe McDonalds invented the numbered meal combo and every other fast food place did the same thing. In N Out was the final holdout as far as I know.
2001 Combo Prices
The meal combo numbers have been the same for at least 20 years. Now they have calorie counts next to them (at least in California)
2020 Combo Prices
2001 Chicken Sandwiches
Sacramento had Carl's Jr. Chicken Sandwiches before we had Chickfila, and we still have them. In the 2001 era, I would sometimes order a Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich if it was a special occasion.
2001 Chicken Sandwich Prices
2020 Chicken Sandwiches
Carl's Jr. Continues to have a ton of chicken options. They added a Big Chicken Sandwich ($5.99) at some time around 2015 and removed the Ranch Chicken.
2020 Chicken Sandwich Prices
2001 Fries and Sides
Once upon a time, Carl's Jr. had wavy fries that looked like they were crinkle-cut, but were extruded and cut into french fry shapes. They were called "frispos". Carl's Jr. stopped using frispos because mixing the potato paste was labor intensive.
2001 Fries and Sides Prices
2020 Fries and Sides
Carl's Jr. has added jalapeno poppers to their menu of sides. I don't remember when that happened. Maybe 2010?
2020 Fries and Sides Prices