If you grew up poor, then you probably learned some tips and tricks on ways to pinch pennies here and there. In the rare instances you did manage to afford takeout or fast food, you made sure to get your money’s worth in condiments, napkins, and plastic cutlery.
When it comes to the aforementioned accouterments like “free” sauces that people grew accustomed to receiving with their orders, it’s understandable why folks become miffed when their favorite fast-food joints start charging nominal fees for the inclusion of sauces in their orders.
However, how stringently locations implement these charges depends on the individual store and presumably how much stock they have on hand. If you’re residing in an area where customers regularly grab as many sauce packets as they can, it makes sense management would implement practices to curb this type of behavior.
And a Popeyes-themed post uploaded by TikToker Leiah (@leiahwithdacamry) hits on this free-sauce-giving situation.
In the clip, she says that she was not only charged an additional $1 for the sauce but that the employee was being rude to her simply because she requested it. Her clip also started a conversation on customer service skills in the food service industry.
@leiahwithdacamry what y’all up to this lovely wednesday night?? 😮💨 #popeyes #foodtiktok ♬ Drake – God's Plan – AJIMUSTANG&南辰Music
While unpacking her Popeyes meal in front of the camera, Leiah says, “Is it just me or are fast food places getting, like, really mean?”
The TikToker requested that the menu item, which retails for $3.99 depending on the location, come with sweet heat sauce. Apparently, according to the TikToker, the employee taking her order didn’t appreciate that she wanted the condiment, as she audibly uttered a sigh of frustration when she heard the request.
“We charge extra for those,” the Popeyes worker allegedly told Leiah. Leiah seemed perplexed by the response, saying to her followers, “What are you mad at me for, girl? I haven’t been here in like, months. I don’t know the policy! Why are you acting like I just asked for your firstborn child just because I asked for a sauce…all you gotta say is we charge extra for that, boom.”
However, Leiah says she went on to ask “how much extra” the sauce was and was shocked the hear that it was an additional dollar.
“I know it’s inflation, but…” she says before the clip then transitions to her rocking a packet of what appears to be Chick-fil-A’s Polynesian sauce she had saved from before. Leiah opens the packet and then pours some on the Popeyes chicken sandwich, then tries out the pairing on camera.
“It was worth it ’cause it’s good,” she says, before cracking open her container of side cole slaw, which she says the Popeyes location initially forgot to give her as part of her meal. She wraps up her video by taking a sip of a homemade smoothie that she made before the clip ultimately cuts out.
Commenters seemed to have a lot of opinions on the practice of charging for sauces, and judging by the responses it would seem that the sauce-charging practice is dependent upon the location one visits, as one user wrote, “I work at Popeyes and we don’t charge.”
Someone else said they stopped going to Popeyes for years because they once forgot to ask for tartar sauce when they ordered a shrimp box at the chain and only asked for some once they went up to the window. When they did, the employee said that they couldn’t place orders at the pick-up window and the sauce would cost them an additional 50 cents.
The pricing discrepancies for sauces didn’t seem to stop there—another TikToker wrote that the Sweet Heat sauce they purchase at their respective Popeyes costs significantly less, writing, “At ours it’s 15 cent and you suppose to get one for free.”
Another user said that they too seemingly angered an employee just for asking for sauce, only to be hit with a $1 surcharge for their request, but at a McDonald’s location.
“Yoooo fr bro I went to McDonald’s and they were mad cause we asked for it and they were like we charge extra and they were saying that for a sauce 1$,” they said.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Popeyes and Leiah via email for further comment.