Easiest on wallets: most affordable dining

From staff reports

College students are always looking for ways to stretch their budget, especially when it comes to food.

McDonald’s was voted as the restaurant with the most affordable dining. The menu includes sections like extra value meals and the dollar menu, from which customers can get something small or a full meal at a smaller price.

Most of the value menu includes burgers or chicken nuggets with fries and a drink. The dollar menu has similar options, without the added sides and drink, and also includes items like yogurt parfait and a vanilla ice cream in a cone.

South Fork and Taco Bell tied for second. South Fork offers a happy hour every day from 2 to 5, with special prices on foods like $5 sliders, Assistant Manager Shanna Taylor said.

The chefs and owners of the restaurant work together to determine a cost analysis, calculating food prices based on the cost of the food and the cost of the labor.

“We’ve been successful in covering costs and being profitable and offering … good home-cooked food,” Taylor said.

Taco Bell works on a similar system, said Enrique Rodriguez, assistant manager. They also recognize living close to campus and offer promotions for students.

The items that cost the least on the menu include tacos for less than $2 and burritos that are under $ 4.

“The most we sell at our restaurant here is on the taco menu and the burrito menu,” Rodriguez said.

Reporting by Catherine Kruse