You likely know by now about the McDonald's Szechaun sauce freakout which occurred on and after October 7th but, in case you missed it because you have a life, here's the scoop. In the Season 3 premier of Rick and Morty, "The Rickshank Redemption," Rick tells Morty his "series arc" is to get his hands on McDonald's long-since-discontinued Szechuan sauce. And when that happened, and fans flooded the Internet with a desire for the sauce, the international burger chain saw dollar signs. McDonald's bringing back Szechuan sauce never pretended to be anything more than a PR stunt and cash grab, but the company failed to anticipate the backlash when the sauce ran dry.
Just take a look and see how Rick and Morty fans react to McDonald's on social media, and then imagine that anger playing out in drive-thrus and PlayPlaces across the country. Though the McDonald's Rick and Morty Szechuan sauce fiasco stems somewhat from the company's lack of planning, Rick and Morty fans are no saints either, a fact made evident by people actually engaging in small-scale riots over not getting any sauce. Next time the need for Szechuan sauce hits you, just order Chinese takeout.
On October 5th, McDonald's put out a press release saying the sauce would "be available, along with limited-edition posters, at participating restaurants on Saturday, October 7." Though they specified approximately 1,000 locations would receive the sauce, McDonald's probably should have anticipated people showing up to non-participating locations in search of it.
McDonald's directed their "sauce loving fans" to the website to find participating locations, which also included a survey to see which dipping sauce people "obsauced" over the most. And yes, they invented a terrible catchphrase to ensure no one, especially the Internet, ever forgets the debacle.
According to the BBC, some stores claimed that each venue only received "20 pots of sauce," an explanation as to why many stores ran out of it. Though no one knows why certain stores got selected or what constitutes a "pot," it is clear McDonald's severely underestimated the sauce's demand. Polygon reported some stores had as few as 20 packets, meaning only 20 individuals would get sauce, even though lines wrapped around entire stores.