What’s the big deal about this Szechuan sauce, which McDonald’s first served during a cross-promotion of the Disney film “Mulan” in 1998?
Well, last year, “Rick and Morty,” a popular Adult Swim TV show, made a joke on April Fools Day about McDonald’s bringing back Szechuan sauce, and McDonald’s customers went apoplectic on social media. That prompted the fast-food giant to play along and release a tiny quantity of the sauce in October.
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It didn’t go well. In Wellington, Florida, for example, fans lined up hours in advance at three locations that were advertised as having the sauce, only to find none. Some fans expressed their displeasure rather vociferously. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene.
McDonald’s is bringing back its Szechuan dipping sauce. SUBMITTED
In the Dayton area, last October’s botched release saw the Szechuan sauce made available at only one local McDonald’s restaurant — across from Wright State University. Limited-edition posters that were connected to the release were available at six more Miami Valley locations, but the WSU restaurant was the only one to receive any sauce. Needless to say, it didn’t last long.
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This time will be different, McDonald’s says.
“We have hundreds of packets (of the sauce) per restaurant to satisfy that sauce craving, so we encourage customers to get ‘em while we’ve got ‘em, whether they come into the restaurant, use Mobile Order & Pay, or order through McDelivery on Uber Eats where it’s available,” Debbie Wright, a franchise owner for Dayton-area McDonald’s, said in a release.
McDonald’s is bringing back its Szechuan dipping sauce starting Monday for a limited time. Staff file photo by Jim Witmer
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McDonald's officials said they've "worked every day since October to bring back much, much, more of the sauce our fans have been craving. And we're excited to announce that starting Monday, Feb. 26, 20 million packets of Szechuan Sauce will be available across all U.S. McDonald's restaurants with a qualifying purchase, while supplies last (which this time around, we hope is a while)."
The sauce will be available starting at lunchtime on Monday. To obtain it, a customer must buy something else from the menu — but, “It pairs perfectly with the Buttermilk Crispy (chicken) Tenders,” a spokesman for Ohio McDonald’s restaurants suggested helpfully.