Why McDonald's Taiwan Had To Stop Selling Fries

It seems like only yesterday that ordering french fries at McDonald's meant walking up to the counter and waiting for them to get cooked up — if they weren't already. Now it seems the wait time for the golden potato treats will take longer than a few minutes for fans in Taiwanese McDonald's, who were told that a french fry shortage is at hand thanks to "global supply issues," per Focus Taiwan. While McDonald's was unable to say just how many of its branches had to stop selling fries for now, the company also said the restock won't take too long. After all, the company is hoping to get piping hot fries back in stock and ready to serve before the end of the week.

This is not the first time this year that a beloved potato product disappeared from Taiwan's McDonald's menus. In January, the fast food giant was forced to tell hash browns fans that they wouldn't be able to get their fix for the same reason. Hash browns were harder to get in Taiwan, but it took just a few weeks for supplies to be replenished. Will the same apply to the fry shortage?

McDonald's restaurants in Asia have been struggling with fry supplies

Taiwan isn't the only territory that was hit by a french fry shortage. In April, McDonald's Philippines took to social media to announce to its customers, "The supply of our World Famous Fries is limited because of the global freight crisis. That's why you haven't been seeing our fries in big red fry boxes (medium, large and BFF) in the stores" (via Inquirer.net). There is no sign that the large sizes have made a comeback. Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia had the same supply chain problems with their McDonald's French Fries in January this year, with Malaysia calling their problem a "large sacri-fries," per Insider.

McDonald's restaurants across Asia are heavily reliant on potato imports from the United States and Canada, which is why the shipping disruptions and bad weather which took down mustard plants in Canada at the beginning of the year had such a dramatic impact on menu items found on the other side of the world. That aside, The Washington Post says potato shortages have come up occasionally thanks to problems like the onslaught of potato blight — a potentially deadly disease that can cause potato plants to decay, per RHS — or labor issues, which crippled supply lines in 2014 (via The Guardian).