Suspicious of the value truly being added by McDonald’s value meals, a New Zealand student named Allen Hsu conducted an experiment in which he ordered three medium packs of McDonald’s fries and three large packs of McDonald’s fries. To his horror, he discovered that on average, there were only 14 more French fries in the large fries than in the medium fries. And one time, his large order of fries contained only one more fry than one of his medium orders.
This. Is. An. Outrage.
The New Zealand Herald confirms his findings:
Independent tests conducted by the Herald yielded similar results to Mr Hsu’s experiment, finding there was only a 12 french fry difference between the medium and large sizes at McDonald’s and, in terms of weight, only a 13g difference.
McDonald’s communication manager Christine Dennis said the fries’ box size determined the amount of fries served as restaurant staff were trained to fill the packs. Restaurant kitchens also had diagrams beside the fries station showing the correct filling amount.
However, there could be some variability because of different fries’ lengths and sizes, human variability in shaking the servings into the box, and because staff may have tried not to crush the fries by squashing too many in one box.
We’ll leave open the possibility that it just might be better for people, particularly frequent McDonald’s customers, not to eat fries to their (increasingly overworked) hearts’ content. But if you insist on the greatest incremental value from a large order versus a smaller one, KFC may be the place to go: “Their large size of french fries have almost twice the number of fries and twice the weight compared with their small size.”