Following the bundle trend of the last couple of years, Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s has rolled out a batch of four of $5 All Star Meals that bundle two small menu items, a side, a drink and a cookie. The one exception to this is the Chicken Tender bundle which does not include a second menu item and is then, technically a combo. Of course, that’s a distinction we make here at Fast Food Source, so let’s not split hairs.
With the aforementioned side, drink and dessert you can choose from any of these as your main course:
1. Double Cheeseburger and Jumbo Hot Dog
2. 3-piece Hand-breaded Chicken Tenders (not sure how they got the trademark on that name)
3. Double Cheeseburger and Onion Rings (ok, technically you get two sides on this one)
4. Double Cheeseburger and Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Each $5 All Star Meal seems like a good deal. First, all the meals come with a 20oz drink (1.88), small fries (1.99) and a cookie (0.50). So we start with a rack rate baseline of 4.37. So when you add in to major menu items you are definitely saving over ordering items separately. The question comes down to “Would you?” How many people buy their cookie? 50-cent “value” can be tossed right there. But most people do buy fries and a drink, so the best of these meals are the ones that give you the most. Combos 1, 3 and 4 all come with roughly $2 main items. That would take you up to over $8 if ordered separately. Three Chicken Tenders, ordered on their own retail for a little over $4 so that aligns with the other meals in terms of “retail value.”
The winner: I’m giving the edge to the Chicken Tender bundle, mostly because that’s the one menu item where you’re least likely to find a coupon.
What about nutritional value? This is what the company’s website claims:
1. Double Cheeseburger and Jumbo Hot Dog: 1270 calories, 67g fat, 24g sat fat, 2660mg sodium
2. 3-piece Hand-breaded Chicken Tenders: 760 calories, 38g fat, 10g sat fat, 1560mg sodium
3. Double Cheeseburger and Onion Rings: 1140 calories, 57g fat, 19g sat fat, 1930mg sodium
4. Double Cheeseburger and Spicy Chicken Sandwich: 1380 calories, 73g fat, 22g sat fat, 2970mg sodium
But there’s a gotcha here. These figures assume a Diet Coke. If you get regular, tack on an extra 170 calories and 10 more mg of sodium.
The winner: The Chicken Tenders again.
We’ll review the winner in an upcoming article. But the bottom line is all of these $5 deals are a good way to save money at a fast food chain that has become infamous for high-priced items.