There are some things in life that are just meant to be free: a glass of water in a restaurant, universal primary and secondary education, and, perhaps most importantly, the sachets of Thai sweet chilli sauce that come with a portion of McWings at McDonald’s.
But starting from today, patrons will be entitled to just one miserly packet of McWings sauce per order. Those who want more, i.e. normal people, will have to pay an extra HK$1 (US$0.13) per sachet of sauce.
Does corporate greed know no bounds?
News of the extra HK$1 charge first appeared on Sunday on online forums like Hong Kong Golden when a user posted a photo of a McDonald’s sign announcing that the changes would take effect from 4am this morning.
Since then, news of the HK$1 charge has been a hot topic, with fans of the McWings quite sensibly noting that one sachet of chilli sauce isn’t enough, and that they often need to go to the counter for extra sauce.
Others worried that this charge could soon be extended to other sauces offered at McDonald’s, with one person admitting that they need six sachets of ketchup with their regular fries. (After all, what are McDonald’s fries but a vehicle for ketchup?)
“They’re probably going to start charging for extra ice, napkins, and water soon,” lamented one netizen.
Some social media users were left wondering if the move was part of the fast food giant’s plan to be more environmentally-friendly, given that last year it implemented a “straw-free Monday” initiative.
But as one commenter noted, “if it’s to protect the environment, they might as well stop selling beef.”
Others have speculated that this was more likely a cost-cutting measure, as McDonald’s has been slowly raising its prices in recent years and, in January 2018, announced a slight price hike citing increasing rents and the cost of ingredients.
Responding to inquiries from HK01, the iconic mega-chain confirmed that for any portion of chicken wings (two, four or the sharing box that comes with four wings and four McNuggets) patrons will get one complimentary sachet of Thai sweet chilli sauce. But for the sharing bucket (which comes with 16 wings), customers will get two sachets of sauce. (Gee, thanks.)
The spokesperson reassured customers that they can still have multiple sugar packets for hot beverages, and told HK01 that McDonald’s regularly reviews the items it offers for free and will inform customers of any changes.
The spokesman did not explain the company’s reasoning for charging for the packets.