McDonald's is opening a pop-up serving free fries in Sydney, but people aren't happy
The offer of free french fries is no way to placate angry residents.
McDonald's in Australia is set to open a fries-only pop-up restaurant called "Fries With That" in the inner-city suburb Glebe in Sydney for three days from Friday, where people can try the company's new products for free.
The store is set up in a former cinema where customers can trial six new toppings on fries, with no sight of the company's famous golden arches.
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Those toppings include Sour Cream & Sweet Chilli, Caesar, Curry, Pesto & Parmesan, Chipotle Cheese Sauce and Peri-Peri Cheese Sauce.
People will also have the opportunity to weigh in on what topping should be added to the menu, once they've tried it. Sounds relatively harmless, right?
The store is yet to actually open, but it hasn't received a warm welcome from locals thus far.
The sudden appearance of Fries With That has really ticked off some of the suburb's residents, who fear the pop-up is a chance for the company to test whether they can open up a permanent store in the area.
Opening a McDonald's in Glebe would destroy the suburb's village feel, undercut local businesses and provide an unhealthy option, Amanda Tattersall, organiser of the "No McDonald's working group" told Fairfax Media.
That's despite the fact other fast food chains, Domino's and Subway, have already set up shop in the area.
A petition against the temporary McDonald's has also been set up by Tattersall, attracting more than 900 signatures so far.
"You want to build a store in Glebe. We have tried to ask you if it's a pop up store, or a rebranded McCafe. You won't answer our questions," the petition reads.
"But here is the message McDonalds — don't open a store in Glebe. And if you do open one. Please close it now!"
The petition highlights the area's strong cafe and food culture, while accusing the company that it treats its employees badly.
"We all know that most of your food is bad quality (no matter how much you pretend otherwise) — high in fat, high in sugar, made with poorly sourced ingredients. We know around the world that you pay your workers low wages too."
Protesting against McDonald's stores in Australia is nothing new, with towns like Tecoma in Victoria, parts of the Blue Mountains in Sydney, and the northern New South Wales town of Byron Bay having campaigned against the fast food chain.
A McDonald's Australia spokesperson told Mashable Australia via email: "'Fries With That' is a fun three-day celebration of one of the most loved items on our menu. We can assure the local community there are no plans for a permanent site in the area."
It's certainly no mea culpa for the residents who have a chip on their shoulder.
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