Say something on McDonald’s corporate FAQ site, and nobody listens. But say it on Reddit, and the Internet blows up.
Folks have gone a bit nutso the past few days after a poster claiming to be a McDonald’s manager “confirmed” on Reddit the existence of a secret menu from which one can order, among other things, delicacies such as the “Land, Air and Sea” sandwich.
For those who have yet to gain admittance to this secret club, that would be a chicken sandwich, a Filet-O-Fish and a hamburger stacked together, all friendly-like.
The July 17 “ask me anything” on Reddit has generated nearly 5,000 comments — not all about the secret menu — and plenty of news outlets have written about the supposed confirmation.
Except, turns out McDonald’s PR has been saying customers can order off-menu items for years.
“Actually, our customers are pretty clever when it comes to customizing their orders with our menu items, so you may have seen some of their creations online,” the company has said on its website since at least 2014, according to the Internet Archive.
“But,” the company goes on, “we have no official secret menu of our own.”
McDonald’s spokesowman Lisa McCombs said in a statement Tuesday that “we know our customers are really creative and they tell us all the time that they enjoy customizing our menu.”
The company’s UK division even got in on the fun, posting a tweet of a man shocked to realize McDonald’s doesn’t really have an official secret menu.
— McDonald's UK (@McDonaldsUK) July 21, 2015
The manager on Reddit also says there’s no official menu, just a collection of hybrid items dreamed up by customers. They’re called “grill orders,” he says — not much different than asking to leave the pickles off a Big Mac.
“Order one and the workers might not know it by name,” the manager writes. “But if you explain what it is, and are willing to pay for all the ingredients, it’s just another ‘grill order’ that we can make up.”
The website #HackTheMenu lists 20 “secret menu” items for McDonalds, including the aforementioned Land, Air and Sea, the “McKinley Mac” (a Big Mac made with Quarter Pounder patties) and the hard-to-get Mc10:35: the mashup of an Egg McMuffin and a Double Cheeseburger, which can be procured only during that golden window around 10:30 a.m. when breakfast is ending and lunch service is beginning.
Given our obsession with hacking and customizing, McDonald’s isn’t the only restaurant with such off-menu items, of course.
You could whisper for an “Incredible Hulk” burrito at Taco Bell or signal your barista for a “Butterbeer Frappuccino” at Starbucks.
Regardless of how well-known these “secrets” may be, there’s no doubting their popularity.
“So there is a secret menu at McDonalds is there?” one Twitter user posted along with the hashtag “#Imgoingtoturnintoafatty.”
Of course, all the good publicity for Mickey D’s does come at a bit of cost.
“Overheard a guy say he wonders if McDonalds to has a secret menu,” Twitter user @yourenickaragon posted this month. “Dude, I’m not sure anyone knows what the regular menu is made of.”
Overheard a guy say he wonders if McDonalds to has a "Secret Menu"
Dude, I'm not sure anyone knows what the regular menu is made of.
— Nick Aragon (@yourenickaragon) July 10, 2015