McDonald’s advertised on its website that the restaurant would offer its 1998 Szechuan sauce for one day only at select locations as featured in the season three premiere of popular comedy series “Rick and Morty.” The offer was advertised at three Palm Beach County restaurants in Wellington, Royal Palm Beach and Boca Raton.
More than 60 fans waited in line at the McDonald’s on State Road 7 just south of the Mall at Wellington Green. Some showed up four hours before the advertised 2 p.m. sauce offering, they said.
“I’m upset,” said Matthew Jones, 25, of West Palm Beach. Jones waited two hours in line before being told by managers that the restaurant never had any sauce to offer, he said.
“I asked when I got here and they said they had the sauce,” Jones said. “And they made us buy something and wait.”
The first 10 fans in line were given posters commemorating the fast food chain’s revival of the Szechuan sauce. Others in line were given stickers and coupons, they said.
Those who showed up were told to buy a meal and wait until 2 p.m. for the special, said Kurt Nolan, 15, who traveled from his home in Boynton Beach with his mother.
“It’s a scam,” Nolan said. “They made us buy food, and made us believe they had the sauce.”
Two sheriff’s deputies arrived shortly after angry patrons learned around 2:30 p.m. that there would be no sauce to give away. They declined to comment on what prompted the sheriff’s visit.
McDonald’s managers couldn’t be reached for comment.
The fast food chain first issued the Szechuan sauce during a cross-promotion of the Disney film “Mulan” in 1998.
“Rick and Morty” referenced the sauce in an episode that debuted in April, which prompted social media demands for McDonald’s to bring back the special sauce.
“Mostly it was just disappointing not to get the sauce,” said Leslie Jones, 22, of West Palm Beach.