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McDonald’s Teaches Employees Travis Scott Catchphrases Because of TikTok Trend

Plus, Chick-fil-A is testing a new sandwich, and more news to start your day

An overhead shot of a quarter pounder with cheese box, fries, bbq sauce and a sprite at McDonald’s
The Travis Scott Meal
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

How about we don’t make food service workers’s lives harder?

The Travis Scott Meal has been a godsend for McDonald’s, which is probably relying on its popularity to distract from the other issues the company is dealing with right now. The meal and merch are not only incredibly popular, but have spawned an entire TikTok meme, where people blast Scott’s “Sicko Mode” at the drive-thru instead of using their words to order. Instead of asking customers to actually communicate (to be fair, an ask unlikely to work), McDonald’s is instead requesting that workers to familiarize themselves with common catchphrases that are circling TikTok.

Phrases include “Let’s keep this short and sweet. I think you know why we’re here,” “Cactus Jack sent me,” and “It’s lit, sicko mode.” In a memo sent to franchisees, McDonald’s US CMO Morgan Flatley and McDonald’s Operator’s National Advertising Fund head Vicki Chancellor wrote, “To reduce confusion, please make crew aware of these monikers or alternate ordering methods.” Obviously, McDonald’s wants to be accommodating of customers, especially during a pandemic, and plenty of McDonald’s workers were probably already familiar with Travis Scott. But still, things are hard right now, especially for food service workers. Give them a break, or at least tip well.

And in other news...

  • According to Yelp, 61% of restaurants that closed during the pandemic are now closed permanently. [CNN]
  • Ghost kitchens are on the rise because of the increase in delivery. [WaPo]
  • Food service wages are rising, thanks to increased societal pressure over the pandemic. [NRN]
  • Martha Stewart is weathering the pandemic with CBD. [NYTimes]
  • Burger King says its Whopper “now features no colors, no flavors and no preservatives from artificial sources,” which just reminds you what was in it before. [QSR]
  • Chick-fil-A is testing out a new sandwich in the Carolinas, featuring pimento cheese. [Today]
  • The ongoing wildfires might give next year’s wine a “smoke taint.” [Wenatchee World]