Arby's might be the single biggest generator of fast food mailer coupons, at least in my neighborhood. Every time I turn around there's another. What's more, the Arby's staff is kind enough to not even ask for the coupon. They are probably so used to giving discounts they just automatically hit the button. In any event, this week we'll attempt to wade through a roller coaster of coupon prices for the standard Roast Beef Classic sandwich. This is the base sandwich at Arby's with bread and meat (and optional Arby's sauce of course).
For the first quarter of 2015, you could get four Roast Beef Classic (RBC) sandwiches for $8.88. This coupon expired in April. $2.22 each is decent, and the rack rate is $2.99, but this sandwich is so simple it's often overshadowed by its fully-loaded siblings. As a result, the sandwich is sold more often in bundles than individually, almost slider-style. In that light, $2.22 seems a bit high.
Here we are in late summer 2015, with a coupon expiring in mid-September. You can see that you can still get four for $8.88 but two are $5. Volume discounting anyone? In 2014, the bigger and cheesier Beef n' Cheddar was regularly 2 for $5. We'll follow Bn'C price history in a future article. But my point is that this still seems high. Also, with Burger King and others regularly offering pick-2 deals for $5 on their headline sandwiches, the feature-light RBC pales in comparison.
Maybe someone at Arby's was thinking the same thing. Here we are in the fall of 2015, with a coupon expiring in late November. Three RBC's for $5 works out to a scant $1.67 per sandwich. Now we're talking value.
Aw, snap. We end the year right back where we started. Compared with the diminishing returns on Carl's Jr. coupons like the Western Bacon Cheeseburger, this sort of price stability throughout the year is admirable. Still, I can't help but feel Arby's has a lot of headroom left in this price to keep the same deal going through 2016 without losing money. We'll have to wait and see.