McDonald’s is bringing back Szechuan sauce (again) and this time, the company appears to have learned from last year’s ugly sauce debacle.
The fast food giant said today it’s sending more than 20 million packets of Szechuan sauce to McDonald’s restaurants, instead of just sending out three or four packets to select restaurants. Szechuan sauce packets will be available beginning Feb. 26, and will last as long as quantities last.
McDonald’s is desperately trying to avoid another Szechuan sauce fiasco.
The company miscalculated demand for the sauce in October 2017, when it played into a popular Rick and Morty joke and reproduced a 20-year old sauce, causing havoc at McDonald’s restaurants across the country. McDonald’s first issued the sauce as part of a tie-in with Disney’s 1998 animated movie Mulan.
A press release from McDonald’s addressed the pandemonium that broke out in October, saying the company had the best intentions but admitting it went very wrong.
To coincide with the re-release, McDonald’s is producing a three-episode podcast to give wronged fans a proper explanation of what happened, which is maybe taking the publicity stunt one step too far. The podcast, called The Sauce, will feature “real interviews with McDonald’s corporate executives and Chef Mike, angered Sauce lovers and even electronic DJ Deadmau5 for a glimpse into what happened.”
Rick and Morty fans began tweeting about their hope for more positive behavior from the community this time around after McDonald’s initial announcement. Rick and Morty fans were disturbed by the ridiculous antics from some fans, including people who jumped on counters and caused chaos inside McDonald’s locations. Rick and Morty co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland haven’t tweeted about the new wave of Szechuan sauce, but made a point to call out inappropriate behavior the first time around.
FYI: We had nothing to do with this McDonald's stuff. Not happy w/how this was handled. Please be cool to the employees it's not their fault— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) October 8, 2017
McDonald’s head chef Mike Haracz tweeted on Oct. 8 that the company was going to do what it could to rectify the situation, pledging to “make it right” to disappointed fans. People drove in from Canada and to different states, waiting for hours to try and get the sauce last October.
Although Szechuan sauce was just a throwaway joke for Rick and Morty’s third season, it became a phenomenon for McDonald’s. It’s almost impossible to laugh at, Harmon told Polygon last October, because of how surreal it is.
“It’s really funny because if you’re going to get robbed, get robbed by McDonald’s,” Harmon said.