A man was extremely disappointed when McDonald’s served him what he claims was the worst veggie burger ever.
The paltry offering contained just a single cheese slice and one gherkin in a bun.
Peckish Rish Raniga, 29, attempted to order a meat-free option from his local fast food restaurant in southern Sydney, Australia, after work last Thursday.
But when the lifelong vegetarian asked staff for a meatless burger he was horrified to be presented with the paltry $7 (£4.23) option – which was missing any sort of burger filling.
A McDonald’s spokesman said they were sorry Rish did not have a good experience but that veggie burgers were not offered in Australia due to a lack of demand – with a petition calling on the fast food chain to change their policy.
Married account manager Rish, who is a vegetarian for ethical and religious reasons, said: “I even specifically asked the staff member who served me if they could make a vegetarian option and they said ‘of course we can, sure’.
“There was no reason to suggest they wouldn’t be able to make that for me. After I bought the burger I took it home so didn’t realise until I opened it.
“When I saw it I just thought ‘what the f***?’. I’d had a few chips on the way home but I was getting ready for this burger and it was just empty, there was literally just nothing in it.
“I’ve been embarrassed to show people the picture because it looked so bad. It’s not like I couldn’t have got a veggie burger anywhere else, but sometimes you just crave a Maccas.
“But surely you should get more than one piece of cheese and one gherkin. I was really surprised, it is very disappointing.
“At first I thought they’d forgotten the veggie patty, but I think they just couldn’t be bothered making it. That’s the vibe I got – that they don’t know how to make a vegetarian burger.
“Maybe they didn’t know or had just had no training in vegetarian options or had not been asked for a vegetarian option before.
“They should really think about catering to their market a bit better – there are a lot of vegetarians in Australia.
Rish ordered the $11 (£6.64) McDonald’s meal – which included the $7 burger, chips and a drink – from his local Macca’s at about 8pm.
Despite being a regular at that particular McDonald’s he had never attempted to order a vegetarian burger there before, usually opting for chips and a side salad.
But lifelong vegetarian Rish said he has no qualms ordering vegetarian burgers from other fast food chains across Sydney – with competitors happy to oblige.
In 2016, vegetarian burger patties were temporarily available in five McDonald’s branches across Australia but the menu option was dropped due to a lack of demand.
A petition for the fast food chain to offer a vegetarian burger patty has racked up 146 signatures to date.
Rish said: “This was the first time I had asked for a vegetarian burger in McDonalds.
“You can get a vegetarian burger from similar takeaways and in burger restaurants there is always an option too.
“You can walk into any restaurant the world over and there will definitely be vegetarian options available.
“I have been to lots of other McDonald’s around the world and they always have options for vegetarians. My wife is from the UK and she was very surprised when she came to Australia that you can’t get a vegetarian burger patty here.
“Normally they do an actual veggie burger patty but even if that was not an option I would have been happy with a good helping of salad, lettuce, tomato, cheese and a bit of sauce.
“Maybe 15 or 20 years ago when vegetarianism was not as big as it is today you can imagine this happening.
“Now if I’m with mates and they want to go to Maccas, I’m thinking well I can’t do that now, what am I going to have?”
A McDonald’s spokesman said: “All of our menu innovation is driven by our customers, and we’ll certainly take this feedback on board.
“We have a small number of existing items on our menu suitable for vegetarian consumers, however when we have introduced vegetarian burgers on the menu in the past their simply has not been enough demand for the product.
“All of our menu items are customisable to ensure they can meet the varied needs of our customers.”