Ok, I seem to be on a rant kick lately (strange since things in general are going really well), but this one has been burning and gnawing at me for quite some time and I must get it out there in the open. It is perhaps, one of the greatest scandals ever perpetrated against the American public (possibly even the entire planet). The sad thing is that it has been going on for years and has happened to each and every one of us. We have all complained about it at some point, but never taken a step back and looked at the big picture. What it means over the long haul. The billions of dollars lost to either corporate greed or complete negligence and incompetence. It is, as I like to call it...
The Great Fry Conspiracy
Let me give you some background. I enjoy fast food. I donâ€™t make it a part of my regular diet for obvious reasons, especially now that I am getting older (I hate saying that!). But when I travel, I frequently indulge my taste for fast food, in particular a burger and fries. On my recent trip to Des Moines, I did my usual tradition of eating dinner at the McDonald's located on 50th and University on the west side of the city. I like eating at McDonald's because as far as fast food goes, its reasonably priced and the consistency of a double quarter pounder with cheese is remarkable from restaurant to restaurant. I always super size (or make it a Large as the new lingo goes) my order since I LOVE
fries. I suspect that many of you out there often get a larger fry than normal. Why get a small when a medium is only modest increase in price and fries are sooooo good? No need to stop at the medium, heck, get me the large, and so it goes. And there, my friends, is the rub.
For invariably, you do not get a large fry when you order one. What you get is a large fry container that contains a medium amount of fries. And so on down the line. I have eaten at a lot of different fast food restaurants, and McDonaldâ€™s is BY FAR
the worst offender in this category. It is not even close (though Burger King makes a strong case for being a solid second in the Fry Conspiracy. Culverâ€™s on the other hand, almost never short fries you). It happens ALL THE TIME. It happens so often that I seriously doubt that it is an accident or that I always seem to get an incompetent fry kid. I am convinced that it is corporate policy to short change the customer on their fry orders. â€œCrazy,â€ you say. â€œConspiracy Nut Ball,â€ you say. Well, dear reader, consider the following.
McDonalds had revenue in FY 2005 of $20.5B dollars!!! Not too shabby. Of that $20.5B, I think it would be safe to say that roughly 75% of that total comes from selling meals that include at least one order of fries. If we just figure the average price of a meal is $6, which means McDonaldâ€™s served ~2.4B meals last year that included fries. Of those 2.4B meals, it is probably safe to say that AT LEAST 70% of them come with fries. Of the 1.6B orders of fries placed each year, I would argue that 60% of those have a fry size larger than a small as part of the order. That makes 1B orders of fries. If we take my historical experience over the past six months, on average, I got short changed on my fry order a whopping 75% of the time (probably worse but I am being conservative). So, of the 1B orders, we can figure that 750M orders are scamming customers out of the legitimate amount of fries. Basically, 750M orders are â€œdown sizedâ€ while still charging the higher fee for fries. If we assume the average difference between the various sizes of fry orders is 30 cents, that means McDonaldâ€™s is skimming at least $225 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR from the public. This number is probably even higher since I think
I have low balled the number of orders each year and the number of fries served. Even at $225M, that accounts for more than 1% of McDonaldâ€™s total revenue for FY2005!!!!
Itâ€™s outrageous when you think about it, but we all put it up with almost every time we get fries. The fast food places know they can get away with it since people seldom complain. It is even more the case if you are a drive up customer, since they know you are not going to get out of your car to go inside and complain. It happens far too often for it to be coincidence. I have tried to observe the tools and techniques used by the fry kid and I see no reason what so ever for being short changed in the amount of fries you get. It should be very easy to fill a large fry container with a large amount of fries. But over and over again people are getting short-fried.
You have been warned, my friends. Make sure you pass this link along to your friends and family so they to can be aware of what is going on. Complain when you can. Frequent establishments that donâ€™t practice fry down-sizing. And just remember, think twice the next time you are asked, â€œDo You Want Fries with That?â€