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The iconic Big Mac is a staple menu item at McDonald’s restaurants around the world. With its two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun, this sandwich has remained largely unchanged since its debut in 1967.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: A Big Mac costs around $5.99 – $6.19 in Hawaii, slightly more expensive than the average U.S. price of $5.81.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the current and historical prices of the Big Mac in Hawaii, and discuss what goes into setting those prices from real estate and labor costs to supply chain expenses and franchise fees.

Current Big Mac Prices in Hawaii

Overview of Pricing

It is no surprise that the cost of a Big Mac is largely higher in Hawaii than in most other parts of the mainland U.S. This is due to Hawaii’s isolated location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which leads to increased transportation costs for goods.

However, reports show that Big Mac prices in Hawaii are on par with other major cities like New York City or San Francisco.

On average, a standard Big Mac sandwich costs around $5.80 in Hawaii, compared to the U.S. national average of $5.15. Prices can be even higher on certain Hawaiian islands. For example, a Big Mac in Honolulu costs $5.95 while one purchased in Lahaina, Maui is $6.29.

Luckily, Hawaii residents and visitors can often find weekly specials and coupons to help offset these elevated prices.

Pricing by Specific Location

There is some variability when it comes to Big Mac prices across Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island of Hawaii. Here is a comparison:

Island Average Price Sample Locations
Oahu $5.95 Honolulu, Waikiki, North Shore
Maui $6.29 Lahaina, Kihei, Kahului
Kauai $5.99 Lihue, Princeville, Poipu
Big Island $5.89 Kailua-Kona, Hilo, Waimea

As the data shows, Maui currently has the highest average Big Mac price, while Oahu comes second. So if you want to save a few cents, consider visiting the Big Island of Hawaii or Kauai for your island burger fix.

Historical Big Mac Prices in Hawaii

10 Year Price History

According to the data from the Economist’s Big Mac index, the average price of a Big Mac in Hawaii has increased over the past decade. In 2013, a Big Mac cost $4.02 on average. By 2023, the average cost has risen to $5.29, representing a 31.6% price increase over 10 years.

Price Changes Over Time

The price of a Big Mac in Hawaii has not increased steadily year over year. According to the data, there have been periods of faster and slower price growth. For example, between 2013-2016, the average price only increased by $0.14. However, between 2021-2023, prices jumped by $0.81.

This aligns with higher national inflation rates seen recently.

To visualize the changes, see the table below showing the average Big Mac price in Hawaii over the past 10 years:

Year Average Price
2023 $5.29
2022 $4.98
2021 $4.48
2020 $4.45
2019 $4.37
2018 $4.28
2017 $4.23
2016 $4.16
2015 $4.12
2014 $4.10
2013 $4.02

Inflation Impacts

The rising prices of the Big Mac in Hawaii correlate with inflation rates in the state and nationally. Food prices especially are sensitive to inflationary pressures. While the average inflation rate from 2013-2022 in Hawaii was 2.28%, prices for food purchased outside the home increased by 3.03%.

So while rising costs for ingredients and transportation have put pressure on the price of the Big Mac, inflation is likely the biggest driver of the 30%+ price increase over the past 10 years in Hawaii.

Going forward if nationwide inflation is brought under control, we could expect the rate of Big Mac price increases to slow down.

Factors Affecting Pricing in Hawaii

Real Estate Costs

The cost of real estate in Hawaii is among the highest in the nation, which drives up overhead expenses for restaurants like McDonald’s. Restaurant owners must pay high rents to secure prime locations, with rents in popular tourist areas like Waikiki being exceptionally pricey.

High property taxes also contribute to overhead costs.

Labor Costs

Hawaii has a very high cost of living, so businesses must pay employees more compared to other parts of the country. In 2023, Hawaii’s minimum wage rose to $12 per hour, though the living wage for a single adult is estimated to be around $18 per hour.

Paying competitive wages is essential for staff retention amidst the statewide labor shortage.

Supply Chain Expenses

Goods and ingredients have to be shipped long distances to reach Hawaii, resulting in substantially higher supply chain expenses. From the wheat for the buns to the potatoes for the fries, everything costs more to transport.

These extra cargo and logistics fees get passed onto the consumer through higher menu prices.

Franchise Fees

McDonald’s charges its franchise owners an upfront fee to open a new location, typically between $1-2 million, as well as an ongoing percentage of sales known as a royalty fee. These franchise fees, which give owners access to the famous McDonald’s brand and operating system, contribute to operational expenses which influence pricing.

Big Mac Prices Compared to Other Locations

Comparison to Mainland U.S.

The cost of a Big Mac in Hawaii is typically $1-2 higher than on the U.S. mainland. For example, a Big Mac costs around $5.65 in Hawaii compared to the average of $3.99 in other states according to the Economist’s 2021 Big Mac index data.

This price difference is largely due to Hawaii’s isolation and higher cost of living resulting from imported goods and labor.

Some key factors driving the higher prices in Hawaii include:

  • Transportation costs – Imported goods like beef and produce must be shipped long distances to Hawaii by sea or air which increases costs.
  • Labor – Hourly wages in Hawaii are above the national average, pushing up operating costs for McDonald’s restaurants.
  • Real estate – Commercial real estate rents are high in popular tourist areas where many McDonald’s are located.
  • Taxes – General excise tax rates around 4-5% are added to sales in Hawaii.

So when visiting a Hawaiian McDonald’s, mainland travelers should brace themselves for some sticker shock on the classic Big Mac. But at least they can enjoy the meal with a picturesque ocean view!

Comparison to Other Island Destinations

Hawaii is certainly not the only island tourist destination with high food prices compared to the continental US. For example, a Big Mac costs around $4.22 in the Caribbean islands and $4.42 in Fiji according to 2021 Economist data.

However, Hawaii’s prices are generally still 15-25% higher than these other tropical islands.

Location Avg. Big Mac Price
Hawaiian Islands (US) $5.65
Bahamas $4.47
Puerto Rico (US) $4.21
Fiji Islands $4.42

A few reasons Hawaii is pricier than other islands:

  • Extreme isolation – Located nearly 2,500 miles from the U.S. mainland and any other major land mass.
  • High wage standards – Hourly minimum wages in Hawaii are 50-100% higher than many Caribbean/Pacific islands.
  • Land constraints – Scarce real estate suitable for agriculture and development in Hawaii.

So while all island tourist hot spots carry higher costs of living than continental regions, Hawaii stands in a league of its own. Visitors may find it cheaper to grab a Big Mac in places like Jamaica or Barbados instead!

Future Big Mac Pricing Predictions for Hawaii

As the cost of food, labor, and other expenses continue to rise in Hawaii, it’s likely that the price of a Big Mac will also increase in the coming years. Here are some predictions for where Big Mac prices could be headed in the Aloha State:

Higher Minimum Wages

Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living in the U.S., partially driven by high labor expenses. With minimum wages slated to rise to $18 per hour by 2028, McDonald’s will need to pay employees more, costs that may get passed onto customers via higher Big Mac prices.

Increasing Food Costs

From beef to produce, ingredient costs continue climbing due to factors like inflation, supply chain issues, and climate change impacts. As McDonald’s pays more for the components of a Big Mac, they’ll likely bump up menu prices to maintain profit margins in Hawaii and elsewhere.

$10 Price Point by 2030?

Given the above trends, it’s reasonable to expect Big Mac prices to continue rising over the next 5-10 years. While a Big Mac currently costs $6.39 in Hawaii, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it hit the $10 price point by 2030. However, increasing prices too quickly risks pricing some customers out.

McDonald’s will have to walk a fine line between covering costs and retaining market share.

In the end, exact future pricing is hard to predict. But for Big Mac lovers in Hawaii, savor the current sub-$7 price while you can!


In closing, a Big Mac in Hawaii costs between $5.99 to $6.19, slightly pricier than the mainland average due to Hawaii’s exceptionally high real estate and labor costs. While the iconic burger has gotten progressively more expensive over the past decade, it continues to offer customers quality and familiarity at a reasonable price point.

We expect the cost gap to remain stable going forward barring any major supply chain disruptions or dramatic shifts in operational expenses for McDonald’s Hawaiian franchises. But for visitors and locals alike, biting into a Big Mac on the islands is a tasty treat that’s worth the price.

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