McDonald's is running out of burgers because of the massive popularity of the Travis Scott Meal

Travis Scott surprises crew and customers at McDonald's for the launch of the Travis Scott Meal on September 8.Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for McDonald's
  • McDonald's said it was facing shortages due to the massive popularity of the Travis Scott Meal.
  • "It's been so lit, some of our restaurants have temporarily sold out of some of the ingredients in the meal," McDonald's said in a statement. "We're working closely with our suppliers, distributors, and franchisees to resupply impacted restaurants as quickly as possible."
  • In an internal memo, McDonald's also asked franchisees to make sure employees recognize catchphrases linked to the Travis Scott deal, including "the Fornite guy burger" and "'You know why I am here' (while playing Travis Scott music)."

McDonald's is running out of burgers thanks to a partnership with the rapper and singer Travis Scott.

The fast-food chain confirmed the shortages in a statement to Business Insider after some people said on Twitter that their local McDonald's had run out of the Travis Scott Meal.

The shortages are remarkable because the meal is made up of McDonald's classics: a Quarter Pounder with cheese, fries with barbecue sauce, and Sprite.Advertisement

"No doubt, Cactus Jack sent you ... A LOT of you. SO many of you," McDonald's said in a statement.

Read more: The inside story of McDonald's Travis Scott collaboration, as the fast-food giant digs into its 'marketing war chest' and franchisees protest the partnership

"In fact, it's been so lit, some of our restaurants have temporarily sold out of some of the ingredients in the meal," McDonald's added. "We're working closely with our suppliers, distributors, and franchisees to resupply impacted restaurants as quickly as possible. Stay tuned and don't worry, we've got more surprises from Cactus Jack coming soon."
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Because of the deal's popularity, McDonald's is temporarily controlling the supply of some ingredients, including Quarter Pounder fresh beef, bacon, slivered onions, and shredded lettuce, according to sources. More restaurants are expected to run out of these Quarter Pounder ingredients in the coming days as McDonald's weathers supply-chain disruptions.

Controlling supply is a strategy McDonald's uses to prevent shortages; it did so when meat-processing plants were closed earlier this year. However, this is the first time during the pandemic that McDonald's has actually run out of ingredients, in a shortage sparked by massive demand and not pandemic-related supply-chain disruptions.

Customers have swarmed McDonald's in pursuit of the Travis Scott Meal

Travis Scott at McDonald's.Jerritt Clark, Courtesy of McDonald’s
On Tuesday, Morgan Flatley, McDonald's US chief marketing officer, and Vicki Chancellor, the franchisee who heads McDonald's Operator's National Advertising Fund, sent a memo about the shortages and other aspects of the deal.Advertisement

In the memo, seen by Business Insider, Flatley and Chancellor told franchisees — the independent operators who run 95% of McDonald's locations in the US — to "make sure crew knows how much you appreciate their efforts in support of this promotion." McDonald's employees are receiving custom T-shirts designed by Scott's Cactus Jack label as part of the partnership.

The memo also instructed franchisees to make sure employees know the catchphrases associated with the campaign. Customers have posted videos on social media of themselves ordering the meal by blasting a Travis Scott song and telling McDonald's employees, "You know why I'm here."

"Various Travis Scott Meal marketing materials include the line, 'Say Cactus Jack sent you', leading some customers to say, 'Cactus Jack sent me' or other social-media-inspired variations including: 'It's lit, sickomode,' 'The Fornite guy burger,' or 'You know why I am here' (while playing Travis Scott music)," the memo said. "To reduce confusion, please make crew aware of these monikers or alternate ordering methods."Advertisement

Flatley told Business Insider in late August that McDonald's wanted to partner with Scott because of his cultural relevance, especially among younger customers. Flatley said people under age 34 were "becoming more and more challenging for brands to reach."

"How they engage with media is different," Flatley said. "They look to recommendations much more than any other generation has. They're very reliant on social media. They're very reliant on their friends."

McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski acknowledged the popularity of the Travis Scott deal in an Instagram Q&A earlier this week.Advertisement

"We put our people and our customers first, and I think our customers have spoken resoundingly — they love it," Kempczinski said. "So do I."
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