An Aussie fish and chip shop already struggling to stay on top of the current potato shortage is blasting McDonald’s for “stealing” their stock.
Chris Dimopoulos, the owner of Blue Sea Fish Shop in Castlemaine, Victoria, took aim at McDonald’s new menu item – a potato scallop with chicken salt – and claimed the fast food giant was making the already tough conditions worse.
In a TikTok that’s been viewed 300,000 times in less than 24 hours, Mr Dimopoulos did a rough calculation to estimate how many potato cakes McDonald’s could be selling.
“So this Macca’s new potato cake, potato scallop bulls**t that’s going on at the moment, I think it’s just a bit of a marketing ploy,” he tells his followers.
“For me it’s more about, where are these potatoes coming from?
“You’ve got 990 odd Macca’s stores in Australia, and you serve about 1.7 million customers a day… If you sell one potato cake to every 10 customers, that’s 170,000 potato cakes you’re selling, every single day.”
Mr Dimopoulos said his business has dealt with shortages of dim sims, cabbage, lettuce and now potatoes – and he’s not the only one battling to meet demand.
“Every fish shop that I know around here is struggling to get chips, potatoes, potato cakes,” he said.
“Macca’s is bringing out a potato cake and they’re stealing all the bloody potato cakes, stealing all the potatoes. It’s the same potato we use for our chips. If they’re going to sell 170,000 potato cakes a day across all their shops, there’s no potatoes left for every mum and dad shop in Australia.”
The shortage has become so tight that businesses have been forced to close due to lack of stock.
Roy's Fish & Chips Takeaway Cafe in Bateman’s Bay, NSW, shut their doors twice in one week over the New Year period because they had no chips to sell.
A sign posted to their door read: “Due to potato shortages we have run out of chips so we cannot open. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
In the comments on Mr Dimopoulos’ TikTok, many supporters told the business owner they would rather eat a potato scallop from a local fish shop than from McDonald’s.
“Well if it makes you feel any better, everyone's saying that they prefer fish 'n chip shop potato cakes,” one commenter, who claimed to be a Macca’s worker, said.
“Local fish & chips > maccas any day of the week,” another added.
“You’ve got to factor in that people are substituting fries for a potato cake. It will mostly even itself out,” another rationalised.
McDonald's responds to claims of 'stealing' potatoes
McDonald’s told Yahoo News Australia they sourced the potatoes for the scallops before the shortage struck.
“McDonald’s has been proudly supporting Aussie farmers for more than 50 years,” the spokesperson said.
“Wherever possible we prefer to source local, including Aussie potatoes for our famous fries and hash browns.
“Our potato scallops are made here in Australia, from Australian ingredients. We worked with our suppliers to source ingredients ahead of the current shortage, and in time for the launch of our Summer menu.”
In December, Coles introduced a purchase limit for frozen potato chips, allowing customers to buy no more than two items per transaction. The limit remains current.
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