Most of us take food pretty seriously, especially when it comes to our favourite treats, so it’s no surprise that shortages at a number of popular chains have left Brits outraged and horrified.
Still, one reporter’s coverage of McDonald’s highly publicised dearth of milkshakes has taken social media by storm, thanks to his treatment of the issue with the utmost solemnity.
ITV News sent its Scotland correspondent Peter Smith out to local branches of the fast food favourite to glean how customers were feeling.
The segment begins with Smith in his car, telling viewers: “When the sun is shining and you come to a McDonald’s drive-thru, this is the one thing you don’t expect to happen.”
He then asks the server for two strawberry milkshakes only to be told that his order can’t be fulfilled.
“We saw how the McDonald milkshake shortage was affecting others,” he then says gravely, as the shot cuts to an overview of the restaurant.
“Disappointed,” one customer tells him, before revealing that he’ll simply have to get his sweet fix from a nearby ice cream shop instead.
“You’ve just got to try to figure it all out by yourself now,” Smith responds sympathetically. “That’s a shame.”
The reel continues with further vox pops, including one man who admits dejectedly that the shortages have left him feeling “distraught”.
The sombre tone of the broadcast was picked up on by one delighted viewer, who posted an excerpt of it to Twitter with the caption: “ITV News making the McDonald’s milkshake shortage out like a global pandemic.”
Her tweet racked up more than 47,800 likes and 440 retweets in less than 24 hours, as fellow users of the platform shared their glee at Smith’s approach.
Although most commentators focused on the journalist, others flagged other elements of the video, including the “distraught” man at the end.
Owing to the position of the camera, Smith looked gigantic compared to the interviewee, as many viewers pointed out:
Meanwhile, although Smith clearly takes his reporting seriously he, too, seemed to enjoy people’s response.
Retweeting the full video, along with the Twitter user’s mocking caption, he wrote dryly: “We just go wherever the story takes us.”
His longer version of the segment shows that the story had a happy ending.
His “tour of drive-thrus in the name of journalism” saw him, at last, reach a McDonalds with milkshakes still in stock.
Buying three, he returned to his interviewees from earlier to share them out.
“That’s made my day,” said the woman from her car, while the first man described himself as “the lucky one today.”
And what did our “distraught” friend make of his icy beverage?
“Nectar,” he said, with a smile.