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Here’s What You Need to Know About McDonald’s Viral $12 ‘Dinner Box’

Meet the 'secret' bargain meal that's taken TikTok by storm.

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McDonald's; Getty

Earlier this week, a McDonald’s worker posted on the r/McDonaldsEmployees subreddit to ask if anyone else had encountered a McCustomer who tried to order a “dinner box” recently. “Someone was asking about a $12 dinner box which apparently has two Big Macs, two cheeseburgers, four  fries, and 10 McNuggets,” the Redditor wrote. “That would be like $30 at my store. They kept saying it was on the secret menu [...] When I asked where they got this information, they said TikTok.”

Several people responded to the post to say that they’d been asked about the dinner box at their own McDonald’s locations, while others said that they worked at restaurants that had different versions of that combination — with different names — and that the price ranges from $18 in Ohio to $26 in California.

Regardless of the cost or the state, the original poster was right: This whole thing started on TikTok. Last week, Leiela Kapewa-Latu shared a video of herself ordering the dinner box at a McDonald’s location in Texas, and then she unboxed it in her kitchen to show the pair of Big Macs, two cheeseburgers, four small fries, order of McNuggets, and the dipping sauces. 

Related: How to Make McDonald's Big Mac Sauce at Home, According to an Ex McDonald's Chef

“$12, ya’ll,” she said in the video, which has been viewed over 12 million times. “If you didn’t know, like we didn’t know, $12 gets you a dinner box. It’s not on the menu, so you’re probably just going to have to ask.”

Apparently a lot of customers have been asking – and their results have varied. Some commenters on Kapewa-Latu’s video shared a wide range of prices, from $18.99 in Arizona to $25 in Pennsylvania, to… totally unavailable in New York City. “I just went to McDonald’s and they had no clue what I was talking about. Then I felt very peer pressured and had to order food,” TikToker @lolohs333 said about her own attempt to order the box.

In a follow-up video, Kapewa-Latu said that she found it in the McDonald’s app by typing “dinner box” in the search bar, but that doesn’t work for everyone; in some locations, the deal doesn’t appear, while others have discovered that their app has a “Shareables” menu where similar deals can be ordered. (In my own location in central North Carolina, the closest McDonald’s does not have a dinner box, nor does it have a Shareables menu.)

So what gives? According to McDonald’s, franchisees can set the prices, availability, and components of the box or combo; McDonald’s corporate has not designed this as a standard menu item nor made it universally available. 

“Franchisees set their own prices and have the flexibility to create promotions that will drive demand in their restaurants,” a McDonald’s spokesperson told NBC Chicago, adding that customers should “download the McDonald’s app and sign up for MyMcDonald’s Rewards to access exclusive deals and check for shareable, bundled deals in their area."

Related: McDonald's Is Making Major Changes to Its Burgers

This time last year, Tiktoker @beau.thi.ful posted about discovering the dinner box at her McDonald’s. “How am I just finding out about this McDonald’s dinner box,” she said, before sharing her haul. She was able to score two Big Macs, two cheeseburgers, four orders of fries, and a 10-piece McNuggets for $12. 

If you live near a $12  Dinner Box-friendly McDonald’s, you’re one of the lucky ones. If you don’t, please be nice to the McEmployee who has no idea what you’re talking about.

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