Taking an order of crispy golden fries from McDonald’s is becoming much more difficult amid the chain’s continued and growing shortage of fries. Just weeks after McDonald’s Japan was forced to ration the sale of french fries due to a shortage of potatoes, the chain was forced to remove large fries from the menu in Malaysia.
McDonald’s Malaysia announced the menu change on social media on Monday, January 24, confirming that its restaurants in the region are “facing a french fries supply crisis”. Due to the shortage, customers will no longer be able to order large fries, although they can “still enjoy your favorite medium size dishes and fries”. Calling it a “sacrifice”, McDonald’s Malaysia promised that the big fires “would be back before you know it”, although the chain did not say when customers could possibly resume ordering big fries.
The decision to temporarily remove large fries from the menu follows McDonald’s Japan’s decision in December to start rationing fries. Although the rationing, during which only small orders of French fries were available, was only to last until December 30, it has continued and is expected to last at least until January. McDonald’s Japan cited “potato supply delays” caused by flooding near the Port of Vancouver in Canada.
According to a January 8 report from The Washington Post, there is an ongoing shortage of potatoes currently affecting large parts of the world, with potatoes “becoming unevenly available in some countries and fast food chains due to a confluence of factors”. The outlet noted that the global potato supply has been affected due to a number of issues, including “pandemic-related supply chain issues” and weather-related issues. The outlet also noted that “Japan has more than 3,000 McDonald’s franchises and relies on potatoes grown in the United States and shipped by ship from North America.”
However, potatoes aren’t the only menu item in short supply. Earlier in January, KFC was forced to remove several menu items from KFC locations across Australia due to a chicken shortage. Customers heading to their local KFCs in Australia were greeted with a sign that read “Due to supplier issues, we do not have original chicken, zingers, tenderloins or wings. Please refer to sold out stickers for available items.” In a statement, KFC said “our supply chain and workforce have been impacted by COVID-19,” promising that “we are doing everything we can to get back to frying everyone’s favorites. world as soon as possible”.