A long-standing conundrum...

Why is Fast Food so expensive in Costa Rica? I'm not in the restaurant business, so maybe there are some fees or taxes of which I am not aware, but I'm inclined to believe that the reason is a combination of "Economy of Scale" and shameless Price Gouging.

A large pizza with ham, delivered (express), can easily cost $20. That's definitely more than I paid in the USA for the same pizza, delivered. I know that the minimum wage for a pizza-shop guy in Costa Rica is about $2.00 - $2.50 per hour. I've priced all of the ingredients for the pizza myself. As long as you don't shop at Walmart or Auto Mercado, you can buy what you need to make that pizza for about $1.50. Everything that is Fast Food in Costa Rica sells for a higher price than it does in the USA, but the ingredients, with a few exceptions, are cheaper.

I hate the mess of frying chicken, so we order out for chicken on days when special deals are offered, or use coupons. I also order out for Chinese food, which can be found for reasonable prices. Everything else in the takeout, delivery, or fast food categories, I just make myself. Pizza is cheap, and super-easy and quick, once you get the hang of it. Hamburgers are even easier. You don't even use the expensive, ultra-lean hamburger, which just crumbles. Mexican is super-easy and fast. I like going out to eat, but fast food... no more... I got tired of spending $15 every time that I and my girlfriend ate at McDonald's.

I bring this up now because I just got a email from Papa John's for a slice of Pepperoni Pizza and a Coke... for $7.