Hope you’re sitting down: A DNAinfo reporter went to 35 McDonald’s stores in Manhattan and found that 15 outlets below 14th Street charged extra for additional ketchup packets, while 40 more McDonald’s in Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Brooklyn charged nothing at all for the condiment. (“I don’t care how much ketchup they want,” says Miguel Ramos, a Bay Ridge franchise manager. “They could have as much as they want.”) We’ve heard similar complaints in the past, but this new one? Is it a classist, lycopene-deprivation conspiracy targeting downtown residents?
Well, yes no, actually. Turns out that the corporation leaves the fine details of condiment dispensing to individual operators, and some, like two-year “ketchup fee” vet Rocio Vazquez in the East Village, charge 25 cents “per handful of extra packets” as a cost control to reduce waste. Meanwhile, the young journalist is likely now feeling the grievous effects of visiting 75 McDonald’s locations, otherwise known as the terrible price of truth.