clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Best (and Worst) April Fools’ Day 2019 Food Pranks

From McDonald’s shake sauce to Starbucks for pups, here’s how restaurants and food brands celebrated April 1

A classic NY-style slice from Joe’s in NYC. Photo by Nick Solares.

At a time when oddball memes like St. Louis-style bagels and baby cheese face are popping up left and right, it can be hard for corporate April Fools’ Day jokes to make much noise on the internet. But that doesn’t stop chain restaurants, newspaper food sections, and snack companies from trying their hands at comedy on April 1. Here’s a roundup of notable April Fools’ Day stunts from around the web, including a truly hilarious piece of satire and a few very amusing videos.

Biting satire from the LA Times

The best April Fools’ Day joke so far is Lucas Peterson’s LA Times article, “For cramped New York, an expanding dining scene,” which approaches the NYC food landscape with the same culinary bias and bewilderment that some East Coast writers apply to their surveys of Los Angeles. One choice nugget:

My first culinary encounter was with pizza, a mysterious kind of baked tlayuda, covered in macerated tomatoes and milk coagulation, and occasionally smothered with a type of thinly sliced lap cheong called pepperoni. The odd dish, sometimes referred to as a pie, washed ashore from Naples some years ago. While the taste takes some getting used to, pizza can be enchanting when done properly.

In a masterful bit of trolling, the article also includes a sneaky link to the New York Times article that was originally titled, “The Blobs In Your Tea? They’re Supposed to Be There.”

Bon App goes full ASMR

Tapping into the ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) craze, Bon Appetit drops a video of its test kitchen stars Claire Saffitz, Brad Leone, Carla Lalli Music, Chris Morocco, Andy Baraghani, and Molly Baz whispering and also doing various kitchen prep tasks near a microphone.

McDonald’s conjures up “shake sauce”

Moving onto the much less funny world of April Fools’ Day brand stunts, McDonald’s shares a video this morning of its new (fake) “shake sauce” packets, which are just little portions of milkshakes for dipping nuggets, fries, and apple pies.

Starbucks, but for dogs

America’s coffee behemoth imagines what a new cafe model just for pups might look like. “The clientele is a bit more unpredictable,” a barista explains. “Oh, but they do always come when their name is called.”

Pizza Hut delivery, but with dogs

Because nothing says “inoffensive corporate fun” like a dog joke, Pizza Hut also tweeted a puppy-themed prank today: the Pizza M.U.T.T. delivery team. As a reward for enduring this groan-worthy joke, Pizza Hut is offering a 30 percent off coupon.

Dunkin’s ice coffee holder

It’s actually just two very large doughnuts stacked on top of each other.

White Castle’s ancient burger “auction”

Turns out there is no actual frozen burger auction livestream, and the link just goes to a history of the fast food chain.

Peet’s specialty coffee fake-out

Employing a similar tactic as White Castle, Peet’s teased a special promotion on Twitter, but the link goes to a page indicating that it’s all a joke.

Halo Top’s beauty regimen

What if America’s hottest low-calorie ice cream brand introduced a skin care line? Some people would definitely buy this Halo Top face mask.

Hardee’s is hiring

The job description is incredibly vague, but the gig economy will probably make this position irrelevant in a few years anyway.

Jägermesister gets into the weed business

Jägermesister introduces $42 “Jägerbong” kits, which will help party-loving hooligans turn old booze bottles into bongs. The package includes a one liter bottle of hooch plus “a bong carb, a hacky sack, eye drops, a lighter, and grinder.”

FreshDirect’s milk alternative

Inspired, no doubt, by the popularity of oat milk, online grocery store FreshDirect is introducing cauliflower milk — or “caulk.” This is a good one.

Fatburger’s yo-yo diet

Last week, the LA-based chain teased a rebrand to Skinnyburger. But today, Fatburger announces that the chain is still the same as always, and it’s offering free delivery via Postmates tomorrow.

Red Lobster’s new straws

Riffing on straw ban mania, Red Lobster jokes about replacing all of its regular sipping utensils with red licorice.

Disney’s snack ears

Although this is a joke, there are some Disney fans out there who would probably love to walk around the Magic Kingdom with two Dole Whip cups on their heads.

Illegal Pete’s goes upscale

And finally, Denver taqueria Illegal Pete’s created one of the best videos of April Fools’ 2019 with this fake commercial for its upscale counterpart promising “a bespoke culinary encounter.”

All Eater IDK Coverage [E]