June 16, 2022 marked a rather horrific day for all McDonalds lovers in Pakistan. At exactly 8:34pm, McDonalds Pakistan announced that it will no longer be serving medium and large fries — only regular ones with adjusted prices for medium/large meals.
The company cited a “supply chain issue” but it did not pacify the hungry Pakistanis.
McDonalds was introduced in Pakistan in 1998 and ever since it has remained popular for its fresh and crispy french fries. As we type this, we can only imagine picking up their iconic red box with the world-famous yellow arches on the front that encase a generous amount of stiff golden sticks of goodness. One can barely wait to dig in and hear the satisfying crunch as you bite through the crispy outer layer, with salt so generously tossed that you can feel it leaping onto your tongue with every bite you take, and finally melt away with the fluffy, soft inside. McDonalds fries are warm, satisfying, and the reason for half the traffic near Karachi’s Seaview on any given weekend evening.
The news that large and medium fries were not going to be served caused an uproar on social media for some Pakistanis who only like upsized portions of vegetables of the unhealthy kind.
Some are going through the multiple stages of grief.
For others, it seemed like a blessing in disguise.
Some made sure to look at the bright side
But some users online were irritated that after 23 years of operations in Pakistan, McDonalds still faces “supply chain issues” over fries when there is an ample growth of potatoes in the country.
In true desi spirit, some netizens advocated for the most delicious fries mankind has ever tasted: the humongous Rs50 recycled boxes exploding with golden french fry goodness that you can get from the street vendor near your house.
All in all, while the McDonald’s french fry conundrum may seem like a petty first world problem, it compounds on people’s woes, especially with the recent economic crisis the country has been facing. At a time where Pakistanis are being asked to cut down their tea consumption and give up pet food for their four-legged-friends (though that has now been reversed), something as basic as sacrificing a large helping of ones favourite french fries can be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The bigger issue to ponder for now is the import of potatoes, that too for a multinational chain such as McDonalds that has been operating in Pakistan for approximately 23 years. Agreed, there is a certain type of potato used for their world-famous fries but there must be one food supplier in Pakistan that meets their requirements. What’s worse is that this issue has arisen despite there being an excess in production of potatoes in Punjab this year.