For one day only, McDonald’s put their popular Szechuan Sauce on the menu in very limited quantities at select locations. The fast-food restaurant chain drew crowds to its special event, but many Rick and Morty fans claimed on social media that in many cases the coveted sauce never arrived, or it was available in far fewer quantities than expected.
It was all part of McDonald’s promotion of their new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders menu item and the introduction of their “Signature Sauce.” Ten sauces, including the latest Signature Sauce and the fan-favorite Szechuan, received a limited run with special packaging featuring promotional artwork. The same artwork was featured on a corresponding collectible poster for each sauce flavor.
Though several locations were participating in the launch of the chicken tenders and the sauce-themed poster giveaway, only a select few restaurants in each state were designated to get Szechuan Sauce.
Despite indications the sauce would be made available in very limited quantities, and only at a very limited number of locations, lines formed at the participating restaurants across the country. Several images and videos posted on social media showed lines of people that extended for blocks, or wrapped around the entire building, as shown in the following videos via Twitter near University of Central Florida and downtown Detroit.
McDonald’s promotional site did not specify the exact number of packs consumers could expect to be in stock at each restaurant, stating only that “quantities are limited and may vary by restaurant.”
As of this writing, the sauce is being sold on eBay with bids and sales ranging from $100 to more than $1,000 with the corresponding collectible poster.
Other guests were told their restaurant did not receive the limited edition sauce at all.
#szechuansauce They didn't get the sauce at UPenn, but I enjoyed a police speaker saying "Return to your homes. They do not have the sauce"— Roland Miller (@90sAlternative7) October 7, 2017
Even for those locations that did receive their packets of Szechuan Sauce, many more fans seemed disappointed than happy.
Definitely not getting any Szechuan Sauce today pic.twitter.com/xKvcu6SqL0— GravityFallsCipher (@TheMysteryofGF) October 7, 2017
Consumers took to social media to express their frustration over the way the marketing promotion panned out. Some rallied support to “#boycottmcdonalds.” Others simply dined at competing restaurants like Wendy’s or Burger King, taking snapshots of their meal or receipt.
20 sauces per location, and 2 locations in Portland!? ???? Might I suggest a Nintendo × Szechuan Sauce collaboration https://t.co/bObVUrVU5O— Cabel Sasser (@cabel) October 7, 2017
Wendy’s took advantage of the opportunity to speak out on the Szechuan shortage via Twitter, and offered their alternative.
Sorry you had to live through this. We'll be here for you.— Wendy's (@Wendys) October 7, 2017
We'd say follow the trail of sauce, but there aren't nearly enough to make a trail.— Wendy's (@Wendys) October 7, 2017
McDonald’s tweeted an apology mid-day on Saturday. The fast food giant did not elaborate on whether or not Szechuan Sauce would make another return any time soon.
The best fans in the multiverse showed us what they got today. We hear you & we're sorry not everyone could get some super-limited Szechuan.— McDonald's (@McDonalds) October 7, 2017
Did you wait in line for Szechuan Sauce at McDonald’s today? Share your story in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.]