Homemade McDonald’s is a Facebook community of 22k whose members’ attempts to replicate the international chain’s food using supermarket ingredients, has gone viral, with some hilarious results.
Aussie Founder Joel Cornell’ who did not expect the group’s popularity spike, said the idea behind it was simply based off McDonald’s being a staple fast food joint in his life till this day.
Members post pictures of the food they have made according to a strict set of rules.
Each post is required to be accompanied by taste and aesthetic ratings out of ten as well as a list of ingredients. And crucially lots of pictures. One of the most important guidelines is “MUST SHOW BITE PHOTO!!!!”, with caps and four exclamation points.
“The cross-section of the burger is very important. It gives an insight into the core of the burger,” said Joel. “You can kind of bluff the exterior of a burger with particular placement, so there’s nothing to hide when you see the layers. It also provides proof that a picture has not been lifted off the internet.”
The group has had a massive influx of members since being featured on major media outlets such as Buzzfeed, Broadsheet and The Mirror. While The Independent and Business Insider has highlighted recipes inducted into its “Hall of Fame” such as McNuggets, Big Mac and McRib.
Joel thinks that the rising number of members could be associated with a “subconscious obsession” many people have with Maccas.
“It influenced alot of people’s childhoods, for example we would say things like ‘Mum, PLEASE can we get Maccas on the way home?’,” he explains. “I think this is a platform to not only fulfil that childhood urge but also get up on a conglomerate which has had such subliminal impact on you.”
“I felt like they’d taken a piece of me and so I wouldn’t mind taking a piece of them,” he said. “It was literally just a channel for me and my likeminded mates – who love Maccas – to get into doing it at home and sharing their meals. It was just funny.”
The admin and eight other moderators actively filter posts according to a strict set of rules administered on the description section of the page. Members can also contribute by leaving feedback in the comment sections. Homemade McDonald’s even came up with its own group terms to execute a post, to achieve a stamp of approval does come down to the nitty gritty.
“‘Muck’ indicates whether or not a recipe has any inappropriate or irrelevant ‘fluff’,’ Joel explained. “If a recipe deviates too much from the original – including leaving ingredients out – it’s referred to as a ‘muck’, so perfect execution is referred to as ‘no muck’ or ‘muckless’.”
Every submission is eligible to be voted by the Homemade McDonald’s community into the “Hall of Fame” judging by presentation and effort put into a recipe. An Instagram page serves as an extension to the private Facebook group featuring a selection of the admin’s favourite recreations.
“It’s simply the best execution or most effort put into a recipe that makes it,” he continued. “The community votes. If it’s uber impressive and craps on other attempts, it gets in.”
Members are welcomed to recreate food from the Maccas menu including ex-promos, ex-menus, international menus and even vegan or vegetarian substitutes as long as they stick to the regime. Drinks and desserts are also acceptable.
While members would not be kicked out from the group for not participating in the recreation process, asking generic questions would result in that or removal of post.
“Members do get kicked out if they ask generic questions like ‘Does anyone have the Big Mac sauce recipe?’,” said Joel. “We want people contributing, not clogging up the feed with no effort.”
The McDonald’s menu from all around the world has been notorious to include local ingredients and highlight local delicacies familiar to its target consumers. International entries so far attempted the Ebi (Shrimp) burger from Japan and the Nasi Lemak burger with sambal from Malaysia.
Joel hadn’t anticipated international entries but said that after the group went viral the overseas representatives had been a welcome and pleasant surprise.
“The international menu items number in the hundreds so it’s great to get an international representation,” he said. “I’ve found that it’s a very therapeutic process for a lot of people all over the world.”
Joel – who is a visual and performance artist – sees the group as a form of reclaiming the addiction Maccas has involuntarily spread to him and others. He would also like to see the project being replicated with people recreating different big chain restaurant menus in their own homes.