Claim: Memo from a McDonald's director advocates making a policy of omitting items from customers' drive-through orders.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, October 2009]
The letter is pretty disturbing on a number of fronts. Obviously the idea of deliberately cheating customers is questionable but further to that the revenue figure is wildly incorrect because the only "saving" would be in some ingredients which are a very small percentage of the overall cost of the end product. Lastly, of course people will stop coming to the store if they are often short changed. Is McDonalds really the evil empire?
Origins: This scenario has played out in many a home: It's the end of a long day, everyone's tired and hungry, but nobody has the energy or inclination to cook, or even to go out to a restaurant and sit through a dine-in meal. Instead, a family member is tapped to head out to the drive-through lane of a local fast food outlet to pick up some chow for everyone. Unfortunately, upon the designated food retriever's return, the famished family members discover that a careless restaurant employee inadvertently failed to include one or more of the requested items when packaging the order — thereby necessitating that somebody go hungry, share his food, or make another trek to the fast food outlet. (In our household such an occurrence
The "missing drive-through food items" phenomenon is such a seemingly common one that it has prompted some consumers to occasionally wonder if fast food restaurants don't do it on purpose in order to increase their profit margins — because those restaurants know from experience that many drive-through customers won't discover until they're well away from the point of sale that they didn't receive some of the food they paid for, and by that point they don't have the time, or consider it too much of a hassle, to return to retrieve the missing items.
The image reproduced above plays on those feelings in the form of a purported memo from Robert Trugabe, a Managing Director with McDonald's Australia, which (ironically) suggests the company increase revenues by making an undocumented practice of regularly and deliberately leaving out food items from every few drive-through orders:
The "McMemo" was merely a parodical prank, however. An inquiry about it to McDonald's Australia drew the following response:
In case the joke isn't obvious, we note the uncoincidental similarity between the name of the supposed McDonald's official and that of
The originator of the hoax memo was identified as South Australian prankster David Thorne, who said the effort of creating it "took me five minutes in Photoshop."
Last updated: 13 July 2014
Ramadge, Andrew. "Prankster David Thorne Behind McDonald's Hoax." news.com.au. 14 October 2009.