London - McDonald's Corp. apologized for running out of its famous Big Mac hamburgers after British fast-food lovers sunk their teeth into a two-for-one promotion.
We expected the current 25th anniversary Big Mac offer to be popular, the world's largest restaurant chain said in full-page ads in several British tabloids.
However, the unprecedented demand has resulted in stock shortages in some of our restaurants, for which we sincerely apologize.
Tabloids carried front-page reports of furious customers left empty-handed after descending on McDonald's restaurants in droves.
The Daily Star said a near-riot erupted in Leigh, near Liverpool, when a group of businessmen went berserk after being told they could not have their free Big Macs.
They pulled the manager over the counter and were screaming blue murder at him, it quoted one customer as saying. I rang the head office later and someone told me they had closed 50 restaurants as they struggled to cope with the Big Mac frenzy.
Police were called in to control crowds at another restaurant, the Star said.
Demand has been very high indeed and some restaurants have had to offer other products. A few had to close for a short time to restock, McDonald's spokesman Mike Love said.
On a normal weekend we would expect to sell 500,000 Big Macs. We projected demand at two million last weekend because of the offer and it has actually been four million.
The two-for-one promotion is due to run until Jan. 10.
The Star tried to cheer up disappointed customers with a special recipe -- How to make your own Big Mac.
Meat Industry Insights News Service
P.O. Box 553
Northport, NY 11768
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