In our latest attempt to get rich and eat fast food, we test the limits of the Uniqlo/McDonald’s discount campaign.

Earlier this month, Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo announced that it was releasing a line of T-shirts that are also coupons. Wear one of the McDonald’s-themed tees to any of the chain’s locations in Japan, and you’ll get a 100-yen (US$0.93) discount on a medium-sized Big Mac set meal, knocking the price of the combo from its regular 690 yen down to 590.

As soon as he found out about the deal, our reporter P.K. Sanjun’s eyes lit up with a yen mark in one iris and an image of a hamburger in the other. Granted, as a collection of cheap and lazy individuals, most of us here at SoraNews24 were intrigued by the opportunity to save 100 yen on fast food, but P.K. was especially excited as he rushed off to Uniqlo when the shirts went on sale April 23.

He came back with a huge shopping bag stuffed with shirts, and filled us in on his plan. “See, the rest of you are probably thinking ‘The shirts cost 1,620 yen each, so if I use it to get the discount 17 times, it pays for itself.’ But you guys are thinking too small,” P.K., who claims to have an IQ of over 70,000, said while facepalming at our lack of intelligence and ambition.

“But a daring venture capitalist like me knows how to make the most of an investment opportunity,” P.K. continued. “I’ll explain my system slowly, so that you can keep up. I’m going to increase by revenue by 10 times if I wear 10 shirts at once. I’ll turn the 100-yen discount into a 1,000-yen discount, and when they subtract that from the 690-yen cost of the Big Mac set, McDonald’s will end up owing me 310 yen. If I eat a Big Mac set every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, just think of how much money I’ll be making! I may even quit my job writing with you wage slaves and become a full-time burger-eating mogul.”

▼ P.K. putting on his 10 Uniqlo Big Mac coupon shirts, or, to use his terminology, his “outfit of financial prosperity.”

By our calculations, P.K.’s plan would still only be netting him only 930 yen a day, which we weren’t sure is really enough to live on. Still, if his plan worked he’d be able to reduce his food/grocery expenditures to absolutely nothing. As for paying rent, maybe his plan is to move into Mr. Sato’s cardboard house?

Anyway, he’s the guy with the 70,000-plus IQ, so we held our tongues as he finished getting dressed, then followed him to the closest McDonald’s branch to SoraNews24’s headquarters in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood.

P.K. projected an aura of confidence as he strode in, since his chest was puffed up with 10 layers of cotton. He walked up to the counter, where a friendly clerk was waiting to take his order. In an effort to perfectly replicate P.K.’s display of genius-level financial acumen, we present the subsequent dialogue as it took place:

P.K.: “I’m wearing the Big Mac T-shirt, and I’d like a Big Mac set, please.”

Clerk: “Oh, it’s the shirt! This is my first time to see someone wearing it. Okay, we’ll deduct 100 yen from the price of your meal.”

P.K.: “By the way, I’m actually wearing 10 Big Mac T-shirts. So does that mean I can get a 1,000-yen discount, which would work out to getting a free meal plus 310 yen?”

Clerk: “Ummm…please wait a moment.”

After a brief wait, the clerk returned with his manager, and had her handle the rest of the discussion.

Manager: “Sir, the offer is a single-100 yen discount on a single set meal for customers wearing one of the shirts. Even if you are wearing 10 of them at once, you’re still only eligible for the single 100-yen discount. Is there anything else we can clarify for you?

P.K.: “N-, n-, no, not at all. Oh, wait. Since I’m wearing 10 shirts, if I ordered 10 Big Mac sets, would I be able to get a 1,000-yen discount on the total bill?”

Manager: “Sir, as I just explained, the offer is a single-100 yen discount on a single set meal. Even if you’re wearing 10 shirts, you’re only eligible for one 100-yen discount on your entire one-time order. Will there be anything else?”

P.K.: “N-, no, and thank you for clearing that up. In that case, I’d like one Big Mac set, please.”

Clerk: “You know, your T-shirt really does look cool! I hadn’t seen them yet, and I learned a lot from this.”

P.K.: “G-, glad to be of service!”

And so, P.K.’s dreams of becoming a professional burger eater were dashed. After further consultation, he discovered that he could have gotten 10 separate 100-yen discounts if he’d made 10 separate transactions. However, a single shirt would suffice for that plan, and the time spent getting back in line nine more times could almost certainly be put to better use working an actual job.

Oh, and we should also mention that the total cost of the 10 tees for P.K.’s shirt scheme was 16,200 yen, meaning that he’ll have to eat 162 Big Macs to recover his costs.

▼ Not the biggest financial catastrophe to come from one of our half-baked plans, but still bad enough to sting.

Thankfully, Uniqlo’s T-shirts are comfortable and high-quality, so P.K. is happy to wear them even if he’s not using them as fast food coupons. He doesn’t need 10 burger-themed shirts, though, so he was kind enough to distribute some of his extras to the rest of the staff.

So while P.K. has to eat a loss on his investment plan, the rest of us are eating burgers for cheap.

Related: Uniqlo McDonald’s T-shirts
Photos ©SoraNews24
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