Fish and chip shop owner SLAMS McDonald’s for selling potato scallops accusing the fast food giant of stealing the nation’s spuds: ‘Bloody hell’
- Australia is in the midst of a devastating potato shortage
- McDonald’s launched a new potato scallop on Wednesday
- Fish and chip shop owners were rationing scarce potatoes
- Chris Dimopoulous accused Maccas of ‘stealing’ their potatoes
A frustrated fish and chip shop owner has blasted McDonald’s for its new potato scallop promo accusing the fast food giant of pushing local shops to the brink of collapse amid a nationwide spud shortage.
McDonald’s launched its controversially named potato scallop with chicken salt on Wednesday but regional Victoria fish and chip shop owner Chris Dimopoulous said there was a bigger issue than whether they’re called a ‘cake’ or ‘scallop’.
Mr Dimopoulous said the new menu item could push his Castlemaine shop, two hours north of Melbourne, and other restaurants around Australia, out of the market.
Devastating floods and drought mean Australia’s potato crop for the season has been severely damaged with small shops already put on ‘rations’ to ensure there’s enough to go around.
Castlemaine fish and chip shop owner Chris Dimopoulous (above) said McDonald’s is ‘stealing’ potatoes from small shops with its new potato scallop promo
The scarcity has pushed the price of spuds through the roof but now fish and chip shops aren’t just wrestling each other for the precious crop, they’ve got McDonald’s to compete with as well.
‘I think it’s a bit of a marketing ploy but for me, it’s about where these potatoes are coming from,’ Mr Dimopoulous said in a video on Thursday.
‘You serve about 1.7million customers a day, if you sell one potato cake to one in every 10 customers that’s 170,000 you’re selling every single day.
‘Every fish shop I know around here is struggling to get chips, potatoes, potato cakes.’
Mr Dimopoulous said small stores had already suffered through cabbage, dim sim and lettuce shortages and have been forced to raise prices and absorb extra costs due to rising inflation.
Mr Dimopoulous said his shop (above) and other small stores have been struggling to get hold of potatoes during a national shortage
McDonald’s launched its new potato scallop promotional menu item (above) on Wednesday
‘Now we’ve run into a chip shortage and Maccas is bringing out potato cakes,’ he said.
‘They’re stealing all the bloody potato cakes!
‘They’re stealing all the potatoes, it’s the same potatoes we use for our chips.
‘If they’re selling 170,000 potato cakes a day across all their shops, there’s no potatoes left for the (family owned) shops.’
Mr Dimopoulous followed his video with a segment on Melbourne radio station 3AW on Friday where he said small shops are ‘holding on for dear life’.
‘It’s been really hard because we’re all on allocations so if I sell more than my allocation, I won’t get anymore,’ he said.
‘We’re really on a tight leash with how much we can sell and now Maccas has come out with a potato cake – or potato scallop, whatever they want to call it – and there’s not enough to go around.
Mr Dimopoulous said his shop makes their own potato scallops (above) but is struggling to keep in line with ‘rations’ amid the shortages
‘We make our own potato cakes from scratch and it’s just been getting harder and harder.’
McDonald’s responded to Mr Dimopoulous’ frustration by saying the potato scallop will only be offered for a limited time as part of its summer menu.
‘McDonald’s has been proudly supporting Aussie farmers for more than 50 years,’ it said in a statement.
‘Wherever possible we prefer to source local, including Aussie potatoes for our famous fries and hash browns.
‘Our potato scallops are made here in Australia, from Australian ingredients. We worked with our suppliers to source ingredients ahead of the current shortage, and in time for the launch of our summer menu.’