As the global giant in the fast-food market, McDonald’s sees a lot of public scrutiny. When things go right for the company, everyone in the industry follows suit. Yet when Ronald McDonald goofs, the public takes note. And that’s what’s happening now as some employees are talking about ways the company is manipulating french fries.

Reddit users are coming forward with some shocking claims. A few McDonald’s employees say that the company advocates a practice called “pinching” that limits the number of fries that a carton can hold.

Redditor ActualRobot1 took to the forum to ask fellow users: ‘What did your job want you to hide from customers?’

As the Daily Mail reports, “pinching the carton while filling it decreases the volume of the package and means less fries can fit inside.”

User ExperiMENTALbunny wrote: “I worked at McDonald’s and they taught me how to pinch the fry carton just right while putting the fries into them so that it looked full, but actually wasn’t.”

“I only had 1 customer call me out on it. He shook the fries out into his bag and poured them back into the fry carton himself and it only filled up half way, so I had to give him more fries.”

“I was impressed and embarrassed. It’s been 7 years and I can still see his face.”

Psychoopiates commented “I f***ing hated that practice and basically refused to do it. Never got fired, but managed to have a few customers ask me when my shifts were the next week so they could have me filling their fries.”

“The fries were dirt cheap too! Case held 6 bags, each bag made 8 or 12 baskets, and each basket made 4-5 large fries filled my way.”

“They only cost 20$ a case, so if they just filled them like I would they would net 288$ with all conservative numbers and assuming they were all sold in meals.”

“This is coming from management side because I was shipping manager so I had to know all this s***.”

Thedreamdweller added: “I absolutely hated working at Maccies so I would overfill fry boxes as much as possible, fill drinks properly to the top instead of just what the machine automatically dispenses, basically I provided great customer service but it made me a s*** employee in my managers opinion.”

McDonald’s denies these claims. “We believe these claims to be fictional, there are no ‘secret tricks’ and we have strict operational procedures in place to ensure that fry portions are not under-filled. Without a verified source we are unable to investigate this further. Our employees work hard to ensure our customers have the best experience possible in our restaurants, and we strongly refute any claims that suggest otherwise.’

As a former employee, I can say I was never advised to pinch anything. The only admonition about fries I was taught had to do with dropping the bags in the freezer. Dropping a bag would shatter the flash-frozen fries, and the fry bits would fill every space in a carton, which meant larger-than-normal portion sizes and a loss for the company.