An Employee Claimed McDonald's Stole Fries, And Here's What Happened Next

What McDonald’s Said After An Employee Accused Them Of Stealing People’s Fries

Every time we order french fries from McDonald’s we’re always left feeling a bit unsatisfied. Don’t get us wrong; the fries are delicious. We just feel like there should be way more of them. According to one former McDonald’s employee, our lack of satisfaction is very warranted. Apparently, some McDonald’s locations tell their employees to skimp out on giving us a full serving a fries.

Now wait just a minute, Mickey D’s. We’re loyal, paying customers.

How dare you not give us what we deserve?

In the top comment attached to a popular 2017 Reddit post, titled “What did your job want you to hide from customers?,” an ex McDonald’s employee, whose Reddit account has since been deactivated, revealed that there’s a specific way workers are supposed to pinch french fry cartons in order to give a customer the least amount of fries. And yeah, you should be pissed.

“I worked at McDonald’s and they taught me how to pinch the fry carton just right while putting the fries into them so that it looked full, but actually wasn’t,” the Reddit user claimed. Their comment received over 18,000 points, and other McDonald’s employees backed up the statement.

We feel wronged, and we may just wreak havoc at our local McDonald’s.


It’s all about the pinch.

Although they didn’t go into detail about how the pinch actually works, the Reddit user claimed that there’s an actual skimping technique that McDonald’s employees learn from their higher-ups.

Our theory is that workers squish the bottom half of the carton while filling it with fries.

The arch in the bottom of the cartoon combined with a decrease in overall cartoon space (thanks to the squeeze) would result in fewer fries being able to fit in the carton.

You following?


The pinch is so subtle, hardly anyone notices it.

“I only had 1 customer call me out on it,” the Reddit user wrote.

“He shook the fries out into his bag and poured them back into the fry carton himself and it only filled up halfway, so I had to give him more fries.”

“I was impressed and embarrassed,” the Redditor continued. “It’s been 7 years and I can still see his face.”


It seems like everyone knows about the pinch.

Another former McDonald’s employee, who goes by the username psychoopiates, weighed in and shared, “I f*cking hated that practice and basically refused to do it.”

At least someone was sticking up for us.

“Never got fired,” psychoopiates continued, “but managed to have a few customers ask me when my shifts were the next week so they could have me filling their fries.” That would be us in a heartbeat.


A current employee even confirmed the theory.

Eviljeenyus wrote in the comments:

“I work at McDonald’s. I can confirm this practice.”


“Shake your fries down,” they recommended.

“Always call us out.”

Oh, we will. We will.


And TBH, the pinch is totally unjustified.

Obviously, McDonald’s thinks they’re saving themselves boatloads of cash by holding out on the french fries. But are they really being that frugal?

According to the psychoopiates, the company barely profits from this.

“The fries were dirt cheap too!” they wrote.

Huh. Is that so?


Yeah, they did the math.

“This is coming from management side because I was shipping manager so I had to know all this sh*t,” psychoopiates wrote.

The Redditor had more to say:

Case held 6 bags, each bag made 8 or 12 baskets, and each basket made 4-5 large fries filled my way… They only cost $20 a case, so if they just filled them like I would they would net $288 with all conservative numbers ($8,4,1.50) and assuming they were all sold in meals.

Our heads are spinning.


Luckily, not all McDonald’s locations practiced the pinch.

“I was never taught to do that at my McDonalds,” a former Mickey D’s employee called MikeMcK83 wrote. Phew!

Even so, some people thought they were still getting the short end of the stick.

And MikeMcK83 also wrote, “I did have a guest who would smash the fries into the carton almost back into potato form, then proceed to complain that her fry box wasn’t full.”

Yeah, that’s pretty gross.


We have more McD’s employees on our side.

“I absolutely hated working at [McDonald’s] so I would overfill fry boxes as much as possible,” another former McDonald’s employee, thedreamdweller, wrote.

The Redditor had some other customer-friendly hacks, t00.

In fact, thedreamdweller would “fill drinks properly to the top instead of just what the machine automatically dispenses, and… always give extra flurry toppings to nice customers and little kids… Basically, [they] provided great customer service.”

But those actions angered the managers.


We love our Robin Hood McDonald’s employees, though.

“I used to give them lots of fries at that place,” added dbu8554.

“I never f*cked over customers, only the company,” they wrote. So basically, this Redditor is a modern-day hero.


It makes sense why McDonald’s would do this, unfortunately.

Those extra cents they save on fries really amount to big savings.

“It’s not that expensive for your fries, but places like McD’s make their money from a few cents here and there adding up from a huge amount of customers,” one Reddit user added. “If they skimp a quarter of each order of fries every time, that’s a big difference at the end of the day.”

“I’m not defending cheating customers,” they added, “but that’s why companies care so much about little stuff.”

Ugh. True.


But it seems like McDonald’s may just be the cheapest of all the fast food places.

Which is weird seeing as the chain made over $37 billion in 2017.

In fact, according to QSR Magazine, each of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. units makes over $2.6 million per year.

But hey, their success may just be founded on French fry skimping.

Who are we to say?

However, other places like Five Guys goes hard with the fries.

“I prefer the ‘Five Guys’ method,” Reddit user Bustin_Jeiber wrote. “You get an order of fries in the cup and pretty much a second order of fries loose in the bottom of the bag.”

Now that’s good customer service.

But then again, Five Guys doesn’t exactly seem to match McDonald’s success. So…


But…is it true?

Despite all those who verified the authenticity of the fry pinch, McDonald’s said nay.

In a 2017 statement to The Independent, McDonald’s denied telling their employees to practice the pinch.

A spokesperson told the publication:

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… Our employees work hard to ensure our customers have the best experience possible in our restaurants, and we strongly refute any claims that suggest otherwise.

No, the company doesn’t plan to look into the claims further.


“Without a verified source we are unable to investigate this further,” the spokesperson added.

Uh-huh. Very interesting.

So, what’s the moral of this story?

Check every carton of McDonald’s french fries.

If you simply shake the carton and let the fries settle into their natural position, you’ll see plainly if the McDonald’s staff is practicing the dreaded pinch. And if they are, feel free to say, “Hey — I’m onto you,” in a nice way, of course.


We see you, McDonald’s. We see you.