DNAinfo.com went around to 35 different McDonald’s in lower Manhattan and found 15 that charged customers for each additional ketchup packet requested.
“We want to control condiment cost,” said the manager of an East Village McDonald’s, who explained that he began charging the fee — $.25 for a handful of extra packets — in 2011 after seeing unopened packets being tossed out by customers. “Why should I be wasting money on that?”
None of the 40 McDonald’s surveyed in New York City’s other boroughs charged a fee for extra ketchup.
“I don’t care how much ketchup they want,” says the manager of a Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, McD’s. “They could have as much as they want.”
DNAinfo reports that all of the NYC-area McDonald’s stores get their ketchup from the same supplier and all pay the same price — about $.015 per packet. McDonald’s HQ says franchisees can set their own policies regarding charging for condiments.
One customer who wanted more ketchup but didn’t feel like forking over the extra money summed up his situation pretty well.
“What could you do about it?” he asked. “It’s not like ketchup is a big enough thing where you can protest against McDonald’s.”