What's The Deal With The Viral $12 McDonald's Dinner Box?

McDonald's Big Mac
McDonald's Big Mac - Live heavenly/Shutterstock

There's nothing Americans love more than restaurant secret menus. But while a lot of fast food secret menu items like the Wendy's Barnyard Burger or the McDonald's Crunchy Double are mash-ups of different menu items, there's another category of secret menu item too: promotional deals that are available, but aren't specifically being advertised. Recently, a mom in Texas named Leiela Kapewa-Latu posted a video that went viral on TikTok for making people aware of one particular deal at the golden arches, and it's a doozy.

This dinner box is no joke. For just $12, Kapewa-Latu managed to secure two cheeseburgers, four small fries, one ten-piece nuggets, two Big Macs, and two sauces -- enough to feed her family of five. If every item had been purchased separately through an online order, the total would have more than doubled to over $26.

You might be thinking you should rush down to your local McDonald's and grab this deal for yourself. Slow down, though: Depending on where you live, you might get the same deal, but you might not. And, also depending on location, there may be no way to tell what exactly you'll get in your dinner box without going to McDonald's yourself and asking.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of American Fast Food Restaurants

The McDonald's Dinner Box Is Not Universal

McDonald's drive thru sign
McDonald's drive thru sign - Tonybaggett/Getty Images

It's important to note that this deal is not universal. Various customers in the comments thread were reporting different prices -- one in Ohio said the same deal cost $22, while another in Las Vegas, Nevada said there was a different dinner box deal available for $14.99. The variation here is down to franchising: In an official statement to ABC News, McDonald's said "franchisees set their own prices and have the flexibility to create promotions that will drive demand in their restaurants." In other words, it's a total crapshoot whether your local franchise wants to play ball. Since 95% of McDonald's locations in the U.S. are franchised, this is a pretty significant caveat.

It appears to also require ordering in person at many locations, while in other areas you can order on the app. Customers in various places reported zero results when searching for the dinner box in the McDonald's app, while other users noted they can order a dinner box under the "sharables" tab on the app, but what they include -- and what they cost -- still varies. So if you want to score this dinner box deal, check your McDonald's app first, and if you don't see it there, cruise to a drive-through and ask in person. Good luck!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.