If you have travelled to different parts of the US, you will probably notice that restaurants do charge customers at different prices. A cappuccino in a Starbucks in Manhattan will most likely be much more expensive than the same cup of coffee in Nebraska. Similarly, a double cheeseburger in a San Francisco McDonalds will be more expensive than the same burger in Colorado.
With that, we wondered - what if we can map out the prices of a large restaurant chain for the entire country?
Obviously, such data is very difficult to find on the web - if the prices of different stores were easily accessible, then some stores will become far more popular than others. Fortunately, Five Guys has an online ordering system that allows customers to pick up their food without having to wait in line, so the prices of their products for all of their stores are available online. With that, we mapped out the prices of various food items on Five Guy's menu for restaurants within 50 miles of the 50 largest cities in America. Check out our interactive graphic below:
(Note: To look at specific areas of the United States, click the search icon on the top left and type in a state or city. Or use the "+" and "-" buttons to customize your view)
Notice that the cities known to be more expensive (think Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and New York) are where the most pricey Five Guys are located. It is also interesting to see that for most cities, that the prices are largely the same (take a look at Las Vegas, Denver, and the large Texas city)
The most interesting region by far, however, has to be the New York area. A closer look reveals a clear-cut price segmentation strategy. Manhattan is by far the most expensive out of all the boroughs. Stores right across the Hudson are significantly cheaper, with bacon burgers over a dollar cheaper than in Manhattan. A similar phenomenon can be seen across the East River - Queens and Brooklyn restaurants offer bacon burgers that cost over 50 cents less.
We recognize that geographic price segmentation is hard to overcome - if you live in Manhattan and have no other reason to go to Brooklyn, it's not worth it to go just for a few cents savings. Nevertheless, it's interesting to quantify the magnitude of the Manhattan premium.