Former McDonald’s Employees Say This Is The Sneaky Trick They Used To Give You Fewer Fries

Caveat emptier?

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 13 Sep 2017
Surely that's enough for you.


PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek


Retail managers have their ways.

They don't necessarily want you to know them. They just want to use them to make you buy.

They want to make money, you see. Often, they want to make as much money as they can. Occasionally, they might lean toward shenanigans.

Indeed, a Reddit thread entitled "What did your job want you to hide from customers?" offered some disturbing revelations about supposed wheezes that some managers enjoy.

Sample: Managers who invented fake employees on whom they blamed everything when customers complained.

Or the restaurant where a cup of soup that was the same size as a bowl of soup. Yes, of course, more customers ordered a bowl. This is America. A bowl sounds bigger.

And then there was an uncharitable ruse that was, say some who claim to have worked there, encouraged at certain McDonald's franchises.

It's one that allegedly made sure customers got fewer fries.

You might think that this is a noble goal. After all, fries can make you a little more supersized than you'd prefer.

Still, this is America. We want more. And if we paid for more, we want to get it.

Yet one person who claimed they had worked at McDonald's insisted that they were instructed by managers to pinch the fry cartons at the bottom as they filled them, so that fewer of those golden glories could fit inside.

You might think customers would notice.

However, this person declared: "I only had 1 customer call me out on it. He shook the fries out into his bag and poured them back into the fry carton himself and it only filled up half way, so I had to give him more fries. I was impressed and embarrassed. It's been 7 years and I can still see his face."

Another (presumably former) McDonald's employee insisted that they loathed the practice and simply wouldn't do it.

"Never got fired, but managed to have a few customers ask me when my shifts were the next week so they could have me filling their fries," this person claimed.

Yet another (definitely former) employee said that they didn't like working for the Big Ronald, so would go out of their way to ensure that customers got as much as possible.

"Basically I provided great customer service but it made me a s*** employee in my managers opinion," they said.

Balance is so hard to achieve.

I contacted McDonald's to ask whether it was aware that something like this might have been going on. I will update, should the company reply.

However, a company spokesperson told the Independent: "We believe these claims to be fictional, there are no 'secret tricks' and we have strict operational procedures in place to ensure that fry portions are not under-filled."

The company added that without verified information it wasn't able to investigate.

It would be hard to believe that, at least in individual cases, there isn't at least some sort of jiggery-pokery in every business.

Sadly, it's the habit of humans to try and take advantage of other humans.

No concern is immune, not even churches.

Just look at some of the other revelations on the Reddit thread.

A burrito chain that made guacamole out of avocado paste, rather than you know, real avocados.

A caterer who served lovely home-made cheesecake as samples to entice event customers and then proceeded to serve another, cheaper, not-home-made cheesecake at the actual event.

And then there's the eco-resort that, says a former employee, dumped kitchen scraps in the ocean.

It all sounds painfully believable, so the buyer must always beware.

In the end, though, aren't there only two sorts of people?

The ones who, if their Starbucks cup feels a little light one day, will immediately complain and get a drink to their satisfaction. (Which Starbucks will happily provide.)

And then there are those who just accept it and walk away.

Why do I think the latter represent the majority?